Maybe, 'duty' or 'faith' is also applicable instead of 'obligation'.

When one is doing self-sacrificing acts to follow his/her obligation, what word can describe one's frame of mind best?

Suppose NAVY SEAL team members say "No one left behind", what emotion or resolution will appear in their mind?

  • 1
    *****Jihad***** May 30, 2014 at 0:40
  • 2
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about emotional responses to loyalty-inducing mottoes, rather than the specifics of any particular English words or syntax used in those mottoes. May 30, 2014 at 1:15
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    "What word can describe one's frame of mind best?" How about "F***!" May 30, 2014 at 1:21
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    In my opinion, the question is on topic. Clear explanation with an example. The word does not have to apply to the example he gave only (or just to the motto).
    – ermanen
    May 30, 2014 at 1:26
  • Blessed Geek, struggle or striving? gainpeace.com/…
    – Tristan r
    May 30, 2014 at 13:48

9 Answers 9


The first word that comes to mind is dedication. The Marine moto semper fi(delis) means always faithful which works too. But their system of brotherhood works on their dedication to themselves and their country.

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    FYI: Semper fi is the motto of the Marines. The Navy Seals' motto is "Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow, Never Quit". May 30, 2014 at 1:18
  • @medica - brain fart was typing two things at once. thanks May 30, 2014 at 2:40


Loyalty or the obligation of loyalty, as to a nation, sovereign, or cause.

Etymonline says:

General figurative sense of "recognition of claims to respect or duty" is attested from 1732.

From U.S. Army website: (under "army values")

Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other Soldiers. Bearing true faith and allegiance is a matter of believing in and devoting yourself to something or someone. A loyal Soldier is one who supports the leadership and stands up for fellow Soldiers.

Also, devotion and fidelity come second.


I would use resolve for the quality you are seeking.

Wounded and weary, he nevertheless met every challenge with steely resolve.

Firm determination to do something:

She received information that strengthened her resolve.

She intended to stick to her initial resolve.

Or, as a verb, "We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain."




Having, exhibiting, or motivated by no concern for oneself; unselfish

and altruism

Unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness

come to mind.

  • I know the definitions are known to you, and also you know about our site's preference about definitions and link rot. You should really include them in most cases. May 30, 2014 at 5:46
  • @medica - Fair point. I have edited accordingly.
    – Erik Kowal
    May 30, 2014 at 5:50
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    Great. Thanks for respecting the site recommendations. May 30, 2014 at 5:51

One of the main traits of all military codes is: Obedience:

  • the act or practice of obeying; dutiful or submissive compliance: Military service demands obedience from its members.

Ex: The 1968 My Lai massacre was a military crime of obedience.


Conviction, because action first requires internal agreement, and it is only when you are assured beyond doubt, that you act.


The person would have a deontological frame of mind:

Of, relating to, or concerning duties or obligations: deontic logic.


Fatalistic because you know that the result will be your death, but you accept the consequences. Note that this usage would seem to imply a certain passive resignation to one's fate, rather than an active embracing of it.

Or, if you want a slightly different slant on the situation,

Fey in its original meaning

"a chiefly Scottish : fated to die : doomed

b : marked by a foreboding of death or calamity " (Merriam Webster)


What first comes to mind is cross and ordeal.

cross: an affliction that tries one's virtue, steadfastness, or patience

a cross (somebody has) to carry (or bear): an unpleasant situation or responsibility that you must accept because you cannot change it

ordeal: an experience that is very difficult or unpleasant

Alternately, consider resignation and strength and honor.

resignation: an accepting, unresisting attitude, state, feeling, etc.; submission; acquiescence: to meet one's fate with resignation

strength and honor: frequently used in the day of the warrior, these words were referring to the character of the warrior when fighting


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