Words that Shape a Soldier’s Identity and Ethic

The Oath of Enlistment

I, _____, 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; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

The Oath of the Officer’s Commission

I, _____ , having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ 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.

The Army Values

  • Loyalty: Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other Soldiers.
  • Duty: Fulfill your obligations.
  • Respect: Treat people as they should be treated.
  • Selfless Service: Put the welfare of the nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own.
  • Honor: Live up to Army values.
  • Integrity: Do what’s right, legally and morally.
  • Personal Courage: Face fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral).

The initial letters form the memory device: LDRSHIP.

The Warrior Ethos

  • I will always place the mission first.
  • I will never accept defeat.
  • I will never quit.
  • I will never leave a fallen comrade.

General Orders

  1. I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved.
  2. I will obey my special orders and perform all my duties in a military manner.
  3. I will report all violations of my special orders, emergencies, and anything not covered in my instructions, to the commander of the relief.

The Soldier’s Creed

I am an American Soldier.
I am a warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough,
trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy,
the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.

The Non Commissioned Officer’s Creed

No one is more professional than I. I am a noncommissioned officer, a leader of Soldiers. As a noncommissioned officer, I realize that I am a member of a time honored corps, which is known as “The Backbone of the Army”. I am proud of the Corps of noncommissioned officers and will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the military service and my country regardless of the situation in which I find myself. I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety.

Competence is my watchword. My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind—accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my Soldiers. I will strive to remain technically and tactically proficient. I am aware of my role as a noncommissioned officer. I will fulfill my responsibilities inherent in that role. All Soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership; I will provide that leadership. I know my Soldiers and I will always place their needs above my own. I will communicate consistently with my Soldiers and never leave them uninformed. I will be fair and impartial when recommending both rewards and punishment.

Officers of my unit will have maximum time to accomplish their duties; they will not have to accomplish mine. I will earn their respect and confidence as well as that of my Soldiers. I will be loyal to those with whom I serve; seniors, peers, and subordinates alike. I will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders. I will not compromise my integrity, nor my moral courage. I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget that we are professionals, noncommissioned officers, leaders!

Federal Law for Army Leaders

All commanding officers and others in authority in the Army are required:

  1. to show in themselves a good example of virtue, honor, patriotism, and subordination;
  2. to be vigilant in inspecting the conduct of all persons who are placed under their command;
  3. to guard against and suppress all dissolute and immoral practices, and to correct, according to the laws and regulations of the Army, all persons who are guilty of them; and
  4. to take all necessary and proper measures, under the laws, regulations, and customs of the Army, to promote and safeguard the morale, the physical well-being, and the general welfare of the officers and enlisted persons under their command or charge.

Title 10 US Code Section 3583

The Soldier’s Rules

  1. Soldiers fight only enemy combatants.
  2. Soldiers do not harm enemies who surrender. They disarm them and turn them over to their superior.
  3. Soldiers do not kill or torture any personnel in their custody.
  4. Soldiers collect and care for the wounded, whether friend or foe.
  5. Soldiers do not attack medical personnel, facilities, or equipment.
  6. Soldiers destroy no more than the mission requires.
  7. Soldiers treat civilians humanely.
  8. Soldiers do not steal. Soldiers respect private property and possessions.
  9. Soldiers should do their best to prevent violations of the law of war.
  10. Soldiers report all violations of the law of war to their superior.

The Soldier’s Rules are a simplified summary of the Law of War taught to every Soldier.

The Code of Conduct

  1. I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
  2. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.
  3. If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
  4. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.
  5. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.
  6. I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.

The Principles of Ethical Conduct for Federal Employees

  1. Public service is a public trust. requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private gain.
  2. Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty.
  3. Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic Government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest.
  4. An employee shall not, except pursuant to such reasonable exceptions as are provided by regulation, solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities regulated by the employee’s agency, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s duties.
  5. Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.
  6. Employees shall make no unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the Government.
  7. Employees shall not use public office for private gain.
  8. Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.
  9. Employees shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.
  10. Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with official Government duties and responsibilities.
  11. Employees shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities.
  12. Employees shall satisfy in good faith their obligations as citizens, including all just financial obligations, especially those such as Federal, State, or local taxes that are imposed by law.
  13. Employees shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap.
  14. Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or the ethical standards promulgated pursuant to this order.

The Army Song

Intro: March along, sing our song, with the Army of the free
Count the brave, count the true, who have fought to victory
We’re the Army and proud of our name
We’re the Army and proudly proclaim

Verse: First to fight for the right,
And to build the Nation’s might,
And The Army Goes Rolling Along
Proud of all we have done,
Fighting till the battle’s won,
And the Army Goes Rolling Along.

Refrain: Then it’s Hi! Hi! Hey!
The Army’s on its way.
Count off the cadence loud and strong (TWO! THREE!)
For where e’er we go,
You will always know
That The Army Goes Rolling Along.

Verse: Valley Forge, Custer’s ranks,
San Juan Hill and Patton’s tanks,
And the Army went rolling along
Minute men, from the start,
Always fighting from the heart,
And the Army keeps rolling along.
(refrain)

Verse: Men in rags, men who froze,
Still that Army met its foes,
And the Army went rolling along.
Faith in God, then we’re right,
And we’ll fight with all our might,
As the Army keeps rolling along.
(refrain)

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