Corps Values:  (excerpt from Warrior Culture of the U.S. Marines, copyright 2001 Marion F. Sturkey)

   Why are U.S. Marines considered the world's premier warriors?  Why?  What puts the Marine Corps above the rest?  Other military services have rigorous training and weapons of equal or greater lethality.  So, why do U.S. Marines stand head and shoulders above the crowd?

   The truth lies in the individual Marine.  He (or she) did not join the Marines.  Roughly 40,000 try each year.  Those who survive the crucible of Marine basic training have been sculpted in mind and body.  They have become Marines.

   Once he has earned the title and entered the Brotherhood of Marines, a new warrior must draw upon the legacy of his Corps.  Therein lies his strength.  In return, the strength of the Corps lies in the individual Marine.  The character (often defined as "what you are in the dark") of these warriors is defined by the three constant Corps Values: honor, courage, and commitment.

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.