Home History The Origin of the Military’s Iconic Mantra: ‘Embrace the suck’

The Origin of the Military’s Iconic Mantra: ‘Embrace the suck’

by Enochadmin

Among the finest items of recommendation, for folks in careers each out and in of service, is to be taught to cope with issues or take the dangerous in stride.

However the navy, famed for its capability to show a phrase or wreck something with an absurd acronym, got here up with its personal colloquialism for making the most effective of any state of affairs: “Embrace the suck.”

Although it’s unimaginable to hint again the phrase definitively to its first person, it turned popularized in 2003 by Marines in Iraq.

Retired U.S. Military Reserve Col. Austin Bay authored a e-book within the mid-2000s referred to as “Embrace the Suck,” wherein he explains the which means of the phrase.

“The Operation Iraqi Freedom phrase ‘embrace the suck’ is each an implied order and smart recommendation couched as a vulgar quip,” Bay wrote.

He likens the slang phrase again to legendary navy strategist Prussian Common Carl von Clausewitz and his views on “friction.”

“Clausewitz went to struggle when he was 12 years previous,” Bay wrote. “Over the previous couple of a long time, critics have argued that his treatise ‘On Battle’ is a bit dated when it comes to principle. Nonetheless, everybody with navy expertise agrees that Clausewitz understood ‘the suck.’ He referred to as it ‘friction.’”

For Clausewitz, it’s this “friction, or what’s so termed right here, which makes that which seems straightforward in struggle tough in actuality.”

Troops, of their resilience, in impact, mitigate the chasm of distinction between coaching or planning and the usually harsh realities they face on the bottom. They usually do it with aplomb, as a result of they have to.

An actual mantra, “Embrace the suck” has change into such a well-liked modern phrase that it’s throughout YouTube, utilized in corporate boardrooms and even titles various books.

“That is certainly one of my private favourite expressions,” wrote retired Military Officer Man McCardle on Quora. “I’ve informed a couple of soldier a couple of time to ‘embrace the suck.’ I’ve run the phrase again and again in my head innumerable instances to assist me preserve driving on by robust conditions.”

So go on, embrace the suck — maintain it tight. It’ll preserve you heat on lengthy responsibility nights.


Initially revealed on Military Times, our sister publication.

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