In boot camp at Parris Island or San Diego, and in the Basic School at Quantico, no one escapes from the Rifleman's Creed. Every Marine is trained, first and foremost, as a rifleman, for it is the rifleman who must close with and destroy the enemy. The rifleman remains the most basic tenet of Marine Corps doctrine. All else revolves around the individual Marine - male or female. Marine Aviation, Marine Armor, Marine Artillery, and all supporting arms and warfighting assets exit to support the rifleman. It is believed that MGen. William H. Rupertus, (Distinguished Marksman - 1915) USMC, authored the creed shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. It is commonly known as the Rifleman's Creed, but it has also been called "My Rifle: The Creed of a United States Marine." Every Marine must memorize this creed. And, every Marine must live by the 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.
My rifle, without me is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true.
I must shoot straighter than the enemy who is trying to kill me.
I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will…
My rifle and myself 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 strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel.
I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage.
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!