Why Do Marines Say “ooh Rah”?

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The famous marine phrase “ooh rah” is a motivational expression of spirit and valor that originated among marines stationed in Korea in 1953. Marines use “ooh rah” to communicate approval, resilience and determination.

“Ooh rah” has many different applications. Marines say it during training exercises, in response to pep talks and even during combat.

According to the U.S. Marine Corps Training and Education Command, the phrase has its origin in 1953. Marines stationed aboard submarines during the Korean War began to imitate the distinctive “aarugha” sound of the klaxon. They began to use it during training outside of the vessels. Over time, “aarugha” became the modern “ooh rah.”