Marine Corps Values

Honor, Courage, Commitment

Excerpted from

Marine Corps Warfighting Publication 6-11

"Leading Marines"


Generation after generation of American men and women have given special meaning to the term United States Marine. They have done so by their performance on and off the battlefield. Feared by enemies, respected by allies, and loved by the American people, Marines are a "special breed." This reputation was gained and is maintained by a set of enduring core values. these values form the cornerstone, the bedrock, and the heart of our character. They are the guiding beliefs and principles that give us strength, influence our attitudes, and regulate our behavior. They bond our Marine family into a total force that can meet any challenge.

HONOR: Honor requires each Marine to exemplify the ultimate standard in ethical and moral conduct. Honor is many things; honor requires many things. A U.S. Marine must never lie, never cheat, never steal, but that is not enough. Much more is required. Each Marine must cling to an uncompromising code of personal integrity, accountable for his actions and holding others accountable for theirs. And, above all, honor mandates that a Marine never sully the reputation of his Corps.

COURAGE: Simply stated, courage is honor in action -- and more. Courage is moral strength, the will to heed the inner voice of conscience, the will to do what is right regardless of the conduct of others. It is mental discipline, an adherence to a higher standard. Courage means willingness to take a stand for what is right in spite of adverse consequences. This courage, throughout the history of the Corps, has sustained Marines during the chaos, perils, and hardships of combat. And each day, it enables each Marine to look in the mirror -- and smile.

COMMITMENT: Total dedication to Corps and Country. Gung-ho Marine teamwork. All for one, one for all. By whatever name or cliche, commitment is a combination of (1) selfless determination and (2) a relentless dedication to excellence. Marines never give up, never give in, never willingly accept second best. Excellence is always the goal. And, when their active duty days are over, Marines remain reserve Marines, retired Marines, or Marine veterans. There is no such thing as an ex-Marine or former-Marine. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Commitment never dies.

The three Corps Values: honor, courage, commitment. They make up the bedrock of the character of each individual Marine. They are the foundation of his Corps. These three values, handed down from generation to generation, have made U.S. Marines the Warrior Elite. The U.S. Marine Corps: the most respected and revered fighting force on earth.

Reaffirm these core values and ensure they guide your performance, behavior, and conduct every munute of every day.

-- Marine Corps Warfighting Publication 6-11 (formerly FMFM 1-0) Leading Marines, Appendix, pp. 101-102

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