Military character Quotes

US Generals

  • Character in many ways is everything in leadership. It is made up of many things, but I would say character is really integrity. When you delegate something to a subordinate, for example, it is absolutely your responsibility, and he must understand this. You as a leader must take complete responsibility for what the subordinate does. I once said, as a sort of wisecrack, that leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well. ~ General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    o 19stars by Edgar F. Puryear Jr.

  • Dependability, integrity, the characteristic of never knowingly doing anything wrong, that you would never cheat anyone, that you would give everybody a fair deal. Character is sort of an all inclusive thing. If a man has character everyone has confidence in him. Soldiers must have confidence in their leader. ~ General Omar N. Bradley
    o 19stars by Edgar F. Puryear Jr.

  • I would put character way up on the list. If you want to select an officer for your command you want one who is confident of his abilities, who is loyal and who has good character. It is the man of good character that I am going to seek out. There are a lot of good people who know the ‘smart’ way of getting things done, but they also ride roughshod over people that they are supposed to be working with. I don’t want that. ~ General Mark Clark
    o 19stars by Edgar F. Puryear Jr.

  • Character as we used to say when I was in elementary school, is what you are. Reputation is what others think you are. The reason that some fail to climb the ladder of success, or of leadership if you want to call it that, is that there is no difference between reputation and character. The two do not always coincide. A man may be considered to have sterling chracter. Opportunity might come to that man; but if he has the reputation for something he is not, he may fail that opportunity. I think character is the foundation of successful leadership. ~ General Lucian K. Truscott
    o 19stars by Edgar F. Puryear Jr.

  • You can’t be wishy-washy as a military leader. You must be able to size up the situation and make a decision. Indecisiveness is weakness of character. You must be able to have confidence in what a leader tells you. ~ General Carl Spaatz
    o 19stars by Edgar F. Puryear Jr.

  • I would place character as the absolutely number one requirement in leadership. By character, I mean primarily integrity. A man whose superiors and, even more important, whose subordinates can depend upon that leader taking action based on honesty and judgment. If he does not base his action on honor, he is worthless as a leader. ~ General J. Lawton Collins
    o 19stars by Edgar F. Puryear Jr.

  • There are many qualities that go into a man of sterling character. I don’t know how to break it down. A man of high character has integrity, he is honest, he is reliable, he is straightforward in dealing with people. He is loyal to his family, his friends, his superiors. ~ General Wiiliam H. Simpson
    o 19stars by Edgar F. Puryear Jr.

  • I get accused all the time of using the word integrity when I mean character and character when I mean integrity. I think character is everything in leadership. It is what we try to build in all our young officers. It means the truth to me. That’s the only way I can put it. To stand up and tell the truth and not be in the gray areas. ~ General Jacob Devers
    o 19stars by Edgar F. Puryear Jr.

  • An officer who stands up under fire, who has the courage to defend his convictions, not arrogantly, not stubbornly, but intelligently. Someone who does not believe he knows all the answers, who will listen to others with different experiences and different knowledge. It means a deep sense of loyalty. Unless an officer has character nothing he can do can cause his men to love and respect him. ~ General Albert Wedemeyer
    o 19stars by Edgar F. Puryear Jr.

  • Character plays a tremendous role in military leadership. It’s a combination of many things — personality, clean living, presence. I just don’t know; it’s a very difficult word to describe because, as everyone knows, leaders come in all shapes and sizes and all sorts of personalities. I don’t suppose I ever knew two men whom I knew well who differed as much as General MacArthur and General Patton, yet both were tremendous leaders of mass armies, both were men of great character. ~ General Anthony “Nuts” McAuliffe
    o 19stars by Edgar F. Puryear Jr.

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