this is my rifle

Marine Rifleman’s Creed

In the Marine Corps, every Marine is a rifleman. Therefore, all Marines must memorize the Rifleman’s Creed while a recruit.

Recruits memorize the Marine Rifleman’s Creed in boot camp, but there is a history surrounding the intent of the creed.

What Is the Marine Rifleman’s Creed?

All Marines learn the Rifleman's Creed

“This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will …

My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit …

My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will …

Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.

So be it, until victory is America’s and there is no enemy, but peace!”

History of the Rifleman’s Creed

Major General William H. Rupertus wrote the Rifleman’s Creed during World War II after Pearl Harbor.

To this day, Marines learn the creed during boot camp, and it is in the training book recruits receive as part of their training.

Marines must have the creed memorized.

Over the years, the Rifleman’s Creed evolved to its current form although it stayed very true to the original wording.

Also. the Rifleman’s Creed’s original intent was to make Marines understand the only thing that stood in the way of them and death is their rifle.

Major General William H. Rupertus wanted Marines to take the creed seriously and understand the importance of their role in the United States Military.

Related ArticleNavy Sailor’s Creed

Other Marine Corps Sayings / Creeds

There are other sayings unique to the Marine Corps other than the Rifleman’s Creed.

For instance, Semper Fi is an adaptation of Semper Fidelis, representing the dedication to other Marines and their country.

Another to know is the Marines’ Hymn, which became official in 1929.

No one knows for sure who wrote the hymn, but it followed the Barbary Wars of 1805.

Do Marines Really Name Their Rifles in Boot Camp?

Marines learn the rifleman's creed while in boot camp

In the movie Full Metal Jacket, recruits were told to name their rifles.

Also, the movie portrays recruits reciting most of the Rifleman’s Creed as part of the ritual of their day.

However, many people wonder if Marines really name their rifles as a recruit.

According to Marines, some recruits do name their rifles while others do not.

Evidently, some drill instructors will make their recruits name their rifles, while others do not.

Some recruits also chose to give their rifle a name, although not all recruits announce they named their rifle.

Related ArticleNavy SEAL Creed / Ethos


The Marines believe every Marine is a rifleman.

As recruits, all Marines memorize the Rifleman’s Creed.

Written after World War II, the creed means to remind Marines that their rifle is what stands between them and death.

There are other sayings unique and meaningful to the Marines, as well.

Lastly, not all Marines name their rifle. However, some choose to give a name, and others name them if their drill instructor demands they do so.


Levi D.
Rifleman's Creed

Rifleman's Creed

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"This is my rifle....there are many like it, but this one is mine." is how the USMC Rifleman's Creed starts off. Learn more about the history of the creed here.
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