navy core values - honor courage commitment

Honor, Courage, Commitment: US Navy Core Values

The US Navy has been around for a really long time, just under 227 years as of the time of this writing.

The words honor, courage, and commitment don’t get tossed around easily.

Their meaning, and the impetus behind them, create a special bond for all of those that have served, or are currently serving in the US Navy and Marine Corps.

Here’s the official charter below, along with a brief explanation of each: 

Navy Core Values: Honor, Courage, Commitment

honor courage commitment


I am accountable for my professional and personal behavior. I will be mindful of the privilege I have to serve my fellow Americans. I will:

  • Abide by an uncompromising code of integrity, taking full responsibility for my actions and keeping my word.
  • Conduct myself in the highest ethical manner in relationships with seniors, peers and subordinates.
  • Be honest and truthful in my dealings within and outside the Department of the Navy.
  • Make honest recommendations to my seniors and peers and seek honest recommendations from junior personnel.
  • Encourage new ideas and deliver bad news forthrightly.
  • Fulfill my legal and ethical responsibilities in my public and personal life.

So what is ‘Honor’?

From a philosophical perspective, honor is an adherence to what is right or to a conventional code of conduct.

From a layman’s perspective, to me, honor means doing the right thing even when no one is looking.

It’s the core value that is defined by treating everyone you meet with the respect you so desire for yourself.

Lastly, it’s taking responsibility for your actions, whether they be good or bad.

Related ArticleMilitary Honor / Color Guard Units Explained


Courage is the value that gives me the moral and mental strength to do what is right, with confidence and resolution, even in the face of temptation or adversity. I will:

  • Have the courage to meet the demands of my profession.
  • Make decisions and act in the best interest of the Department of the Navy and the nation, without regard to personal consequences.
  • Overcome all challenges while adhering to the highest standards of personal conduct and decency.
  • Be loyal to my nation by ensuring the resources entrusted to me are used in an honest, careful and efficient way.

So what is ‘Courage’? 

From a definitional standpoint, courage is the ability to do something even though it frightens or scares you.

From a layman’s standpoint, to me courage means sticking up for someone or something when it’s the ‘unpopular’ thing to do.

Courage is putting yourself in danger in order to defend those around you, sometimes at a high personal cost.

Lastly, courage is doing something challenging or difficult that can expose you to great personal risk.


The day-to-day duty of every man and woman in the Department of the Navy is to join together as a team to improve the quality of our work, our people and ourselves. I will:

  • Foster respect up and down the chain of command.
  • Care for the personal and spiritual well-being of my people.
  • Show respect toward all people without regard to race, religion or gender.
  • Always strive for positive change and personal improvement.
  • Exhibit the highest degree of moral character, professional excellence, quality, and competence in all that I do.

So what is ‘Commitment’?

Commitment is defined by being wholly and fully dedicated to a task, cause, or even an order.

In order to ‘commit’ to something, you need to have a sharpened resolve, and a dedication to doing the ‘right thing’.

It also means being committed to your shipmates, lending them a helping had when they’re in need.

So what does honor, courage, and commitment mean to you? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!


How old is the US Navy? –

See Also

US Navy Sailor’s Creed

Marine Riflemans Creed

Navy SEAL Creed / Ethos

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What do the words honor, courage, and commitment mean to you? Learn more about the US Navy's Core Values here, including a brief explanation of each.

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