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Semper Gumby The real Latin phrase meaning "always flexible" is Semper Flexibilis is an unofficial motto for the U.S. Navy Seabees, and they have been using it for many years, since at least 1989. If you have ever tried to make something such as a building or hospital during wartime you may understand where this motto comes from (you're in a foreign country during war and they want you to build a hospital, barracks, landing strip, dock, whatever it is, with whatever is availible). It is a play on the official motto Semper Fidelis, usually abbreviated Semper Fi, which means "always faithful" and that of the US Coast Guard, Semper Paratus, meaning "Always Ready." For the United States Marine Corps, Navy fast attack submariners, and USCG personnel, "Semper Gumby", refers to the cartoon character Gumby, means "always flexible."

First referenced by the 1st Sgt TOW Co. 3rd Tank Battalion 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Task Force Ripper) prior to deployment of Operation Desert Shield from MCAGCC 29 Palms, Ca. on August 15, 1990. "Marines, My platoon commander in Nam used to tell us 'Semper Gumby, Always Flexible'."

The 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines has "always flexible" as part of their official motto.

The phrase was also said by Corporal Gabriel 'Gabe' Garza played by Rey Valentin on the HBO series Generation Kill.

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