Toasting the Armed ForcesAugust 1, 2014 by Carrie Miller
Toasting as a military tradition has been well established since the Middle Ages. However, modern-day toasting more closely resembles the customs of 16th-century England. At military dinners, mess halls, and dining-ins, toasts are expressions of honor and respect toward one’s comrade, regiment, or country. Some toasts are formal, others informal or even in jest, when made in a casual setting.
The military precludes drinking toasts with liquor, soft drinks, or water, while civilian practice is more permissive. (In Naval folklore it’s rumored that the object of a toast with water will die by drowning.) Because it’s considered improper to refuse to participate in a toast, even if you’re a non-drinker you should lift a glass of wine to your lips—without drinking it, of course.
We did some digging to find military toasts, from the patriotic to the unconventional, and we’re sharing some of our favorites here. So, raise a mug, tankard, or glass filled with the beverage of your choice, and join us as we toast the armed forces, America, and more!
To the Air Force
They’ve got wings, but they’re not always angels. Here’s to our Air Force.
Let others boast of clique or clan,
There is no prouder boast of man
Than this: “I am American!”
The nation great in story,
Where one can rise from any grade,
And few are warriors by trade,
But all are soldiers ready made,
To fight for dear Old Glory.
To the Army
Here’s to the bravest sons of guns!
Have no fear of warring nations
With invading banners flown;
Who can conquer freedom’s millions
When they fight for what they own?
To the Marines
I give you muscles of steel, nerves of iron, tongues of silver, hearts of gold, necks of leather—the Marines.
To the Navy
To our sailors: Long may they ride the waves.
To our Navy: May it ever float.
May we love peace enough to fight for it.
To the profound ignorance which we brought to this endeavor: because had we known what was ahead, we never would have started.
To Washington, our country’s capital: where the roads, and everything else, go around in circles.