To become an officer in the United States military there is a military oath you take. But first you must work hard and complete training and graduate from your university. Many of those who started the journey with me did not finish. It was four years of hard work and commitment. There were many long hours put into studying and a summer spent in training. And when you think you have completed everything there is still one more thing you have to do. On the day of your commissioning you must say this military oath.
The Military Oath
“I, _____ (State your name), having been appointed an officer in the United States Air Force, as indicated above in the grade of 2nd Lieutenant do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.” (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)
What does it mean to me?
Often times you don’t really think about the words you are saying you just repeat what the person who is swearing you in says. Or maybe you took the time to memorize it. Either way the words still mean the same. You are swearing to support and defend your country, no mater what the cost. The cost could be your life or just a difficult situation. You will go where they tell you to go and do what they tell you to do. No questions asked.
You promise your allegiance to your country, even when your politics may not match the mission. The President is your leader no matter which party line you stand. You state that you have chosen this life and are honest and true. You say that you will do your best no matter what job is asked of you.
And you say this oath and maybe the magnitude of your life change doesn’t really hit you because you have been working so hard to this day. The day you commission into the military.
All military members must take an oath. It is why we are held to a higher standard than our civilian counterparts. We have stated that we will go above just serving and have committed ourselves to an oath.
Each time an officer is promoted the oath is repeated with the new rank changed in it place, but the words are the same. A reminder to the commitment you made when you first became an officer.
See all my 31 Days…Military Life