I can remember my enlistment like it was yesterday. I was 18 years old and couldn’t wait. I had spent days in MEPS, waiting to be a Marine. But after four long days of enduring a corporal who was a power-hungry Marine, my chance of being a marine was ruined and the Marine’s chance of getting a great Marine was ruined. The Navy sure benefited from it as they would soon find out. So your loss, corporal, and the Navy’s gain. Thanks, corporal; I really enjoyed my time in the Navy and even more in the Army. All I ever wanted to be growing up was a Marine. But thanks to your lack of leadership, I became a great sailor and soldier. The day I took the Oath of Enlistment in the Navy and Army was a day I will always remember. It reminds me of what an honor it is to serve. The pride I have in my uniform. The selfless service and sacrifice that I have made to the armed forces and to my country has and always will be my single greatest honor.
Say It Together
This is the Oath of Enlistment: “I do solemnly swear 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; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
Oath of Enlistment What It Means
Let’s break it down. “I do solemnly swear to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” This is simple—as a military member, you must defend our country abroad and right here at home. This means if you are ordered to take action against an American citizen, then you must in accordance with the Constitution and the president. You should keep in mind that the oath originated back in the 1700s and later changed in the 1960s. During the Civil War, many captured soldiers were forced to take this oath because for years after the Civil War ended, there were a lot of rebellious soldiers that still fought against the North. Once they were captured, if they did not accept the oath, they were then killed (or should I say slaughtered).
“Obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me.” This means follow your last order to the letter. If you’re ordered to assault a beach, a jungle, a village, etc., then this is what you must do, without question or hesitation. “According to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.” As a member of the armed forces, you must live and follow the UCMJ. There is no opinion, law, or rule more important to a military member than the UCMJ.
The oath is simple. The commitment, dedication, and courage is what is harder. Once you take the oath, it is now your commitment for however many years. It will truly take dedication and courage to complete this commitment. Once you have learned the rules and how to follow them, your oath will be your life forever.