The Navy needs a battle cry.
Sure, we have “Ahoy,” but come on. Ahoy went out with Popeye. And it hardly puts fear into the hearts of our adversaries (“Ahoy, terrorist!”).
The SEALs have “Hooyah,” but I don’t think they would lend it to the rest of the Navy. I suppose someone could walk into a SEAL hangout and ask they would let everyone use their phrase, but it’s not going to be me.
The Marines, of course, have “Oorah!” According to Marine Corps News, Oorah means “to kill,” and can be traced back to RECON Marines who rode aboard U.S. submarines during the Korean War. The “Aarugha” of the subs’ klaxons became their battle cry, and Oorah stuck.
The Army uses “Hooah,” which, according to About.com, means just about anything except no.
The Air Force doesn’t have one, but they use the Army’s and the Army doesn’t seem to mind. I think they get off on a technicality since they used to be the Army Air Corps.
But the Navy (and I’ll throw in the Coast Guard too) doesn’t have one. And with IA being what it is, more and more Navy and Coast Guard Sailors are operating side-by-side with Marines and the Army.
So, what to use for the new battle cry?
“Huzzah!” was a battle cry used during the Civil War – that has potential, but it sounds a lot like hubba.
“I have not yet begun to fight.” Good one, but too long, especially while running in formation (“I have not yet – pant, pant – begun to fight.”)
“Give me liberty or give me death.” Good one, but it will quickly be shortened to “Liberty,” which takes on a whole new connotation in the Navy and Coast Guard.
No, the Navy needs something that inspires fear. Something that brings on involuntary shivers. A phrase that, when heard, makes the recipient want to run the other way.
WAIT! I have it! It’s perfect. The new Navy (and Coast Guard) battle cry should be…