"A Marine on duty has no friends” is a proverb of the United States Marine Corps, cited in print since at least 1973. The saying means that a Marine has a duty to serve the country, even if this does not win friends in other countries.
There is no documentary evidence to associate the proverb with Chesty Puller (1898-1971), a highly decorated Marine who is sometimes given credit.
Wikipedia: United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States. In the civilian leadership structure of the United States military, the Marine Corps is a component of the United States Department of the Navy, often working closely with U.S. naval forces for training, transportation, and logistic purposes; however, in the military leadership structure the Marine Corps is a separate branch.
Captain Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines on 10 November 1775 in Philadelphia as naval infantry. Since then, the mission of the Marine Corps has evolved with changing military doctrine and American foreign policy. The Marine Corps has served in every American armed conflict and attained prominence in the 20th century when its theories and practices of amphibious warfare proved prescient and ultimately formed the cornerstone of the Pacific campaign of World War II. By the mid-20th century, the Marine Corps had become the dominant theorist and practitioner of amphibious warfare. Its ability to rapidly respond on short notice to expeditionary crises gives it a strong role in the implementation and execution of American foreign policy.
As of 2010 the United States Marine Corps included just under 203,000 active duty Marines and just under 40,000 reserve Marines. It is the smallest of the United States’ armed forces in the Department of Defense. The United States Coast Guard is smaller, about one-fifth the size of the Marine Corps, but it operates under the banner of the Department of Homeland Security. The Marine Corps is nonetheless larger than the armed forces of many significant military powers, being larger than the active duty Israel Defense Forces and the active duty British Army.
Leatherneck—Magazine of the Marines
A Marine on duty has no friends.
—Marine Corps proverb
It reads: “A Marine on duty has no friends.”
“That’s the way it’s gotta be,” he said. “When you’re providing security, you’ve got an important job to do, and there’s no time for joking or clowning around.”
Aboard Air Force One:
200,000 miles with a White House aide
By Ken Chitester
Santa Barbara, CA: Fithian Press
We took one of the hourly shuttle vans to WHCA headquarters at Anacostia in southeast DC I stood at the fortified Marine guard post waiting for someone to bring the car around and noticed the signs. A MARINE ON DUTY HAS NO FRIENDS, one said.
02-17-2006, 05:30 PM
Staff Duty.. lol.. thank god those days are over for me. Hey, at least you have a computer man - At Bragg you would be hung out to dry if you did anything but sit there all night waiting for the “big one” to happen. I always used to dig the Marine saying painted over every staff duty in the world (seriously I have seen it at ever freaking Marine staff duty I have ever been to). It says “A Marine on duty has NO friends” - which basically means - “leave the staff duty the **** alone”..
Marine Corps Web Log
Marine Corps Quotes
By Cpl. Beddoe On 2009/01/16
“A Marine on duty has no friends.”
A Marine on duty has no friends
Thomas Spence, Western Oklahoma Presbyterian Examiner
September 1, 2009
A Marine on Duty has no friends. This piece of advice attributed to General Chesty Puller speaks to vigilance. Neither comfort nor friendship must come in the way of a Marine on duty. Lives depend on the readiness and diligence of the individual Marine.
International Air Gun Forums
Famous USMC Quotes:
on: September 11, 2011, 11:09:48 PM
“A Marine on duty has no friends.”
NYTimes.com: At War blog
January 23, 2012, 5:13 pm
In Urination Video, Behavior Unbecoming a Marine
By RAMSEY SULAYMAN
Even under the harshest of conditions, Marines are expected to maintain that standard of honor. Marines don’t get a pass on doing the right thing because they are in combat. We do the right thing because it is the right thing regardless of what those around us would allow. As the old saying goes, “A Marine on duty has no friends.”
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • (1) Comments • Monday, January 23, 2012 • Permalink
I love this story so much! Its make very touching sound in my heart. To me Marines are expected to maintain standard of honor. Thanks!