What Is the US Navy’s Motto?

The United States Navy has two mottos, one official and one unofficial, with the former being “Semper Fortis,” and the latter “Non Sibi Sed Patriae.” The first means “ever strong,” the second “not for self but for country.”

The Navy motto, Semper Fortis, is infrequently used, according to 2013’s February issue of the Navy’s independent journal, “Proceedings.” Cohesive identity within the United States Navy is often perceived as lesser than in other branches of the armed forces.

Reciting the Sailor’s Creed involves making pledges to do the following:

  • Obey the orders of superior officers
  • Support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America
  • Defend freedom and democracy around the world

Unlike the Navy’s rarely-used motto, the Sailor’s Creed sees regular recitation throughout the Navy. It is recited daily in boot camp and has gone through many revisions throughout its history. Like the motto, the Creed is intended to provide a sense of uniformity and unity to those who recite it and identify with its tenets.

The Navy’s motto, Semper Fortis, is a reflection of its key role in many important international and national conflicts. In the Civil War, World War II’s Pacific Theater and the Revolutionary War, the Navy has played a pivotal part both through mobility enhancement and through tactics such as blockades.