"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."
73 words not counting the enlistee’s name.
Such simple words with such profound meanings. I was an ignorant teenager the first time I held my right arm in the air to repeat those words on April 24th, 1972.
Like most kids, I may have read bits and pieces of the Constitution during my years of school, but I couldn’t tell you much about the specific sections.
For the record, I swore. I swore each time I reenlisted and I certainly swore when I became a Chief Warrant Officer. Every man and woman I reenlisted chose to swear as well. I would actually ask them in private before their ceremony which they preferred and asked them about what they thought it meant.
I will support and defend the Constitution:
Supporting it means that I will follow it and expect my leaders to set examples that are worthy of its intent. There are three branches of government to maintain a balance in the way things are done. That balance ensures that none of the three gain too much power.
If the Executive Branch tries to usurp the legitimate power of either of the other two, it must be held to account. It’s harder to govern that way, but it gives a greater chance that the will of the people will not be over-ridden in the process.
I have a copy of the Constitution and no where in it are the words “We Can’t Wait”. Apparently that belief is not shared by some people.
Defending the Constitution can sometimes become problematic. The problem does not exist so much in the “foreign enemy” application. We defend our country routinely (except for a few million “visitors” who are allowed to slip in under the radar screen). But what exactly is a “domestic enemy”? Free speech eliminates some of the characters I would automatically want to include. I can’t believe I gave an oath to do something and wasn’t really sure what it meant.
“I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same”
with the exception of anything contradictory under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Unless the UCMJ is ultimately proven to be wrong such as Article 125 concerning Sodomy. (This is still sort of a family blog so you will have to look that one up to see what formerly was not a “Best Practice”).
“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.”
The President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. Whether you like them or not, you are taking a solemn oath to obey their orders. In a civilized society, this is an important rule in order for the military to be able to perform its sworn duty and follow the Constitution.
Without this clause, there could be chaos. With this clause, there could be a form of tyranny. We might see helicopters with armed men flying over major cities. We might see armored vehicles routinely travelling the highways of America. The military could relieve local and state officials in the case of an emergency proclamation that is created by a large crisis.
It is for that very reason that each thinking citizen needs to understand the responsibility of holding government and particularly the Executive Branch responsible.
Not just once every four years (although that’s a great start) but every day by holding their elected representative’s feet to the fire if the Executive branch goes off the reservation in the name of expediency.
We should not elect someone because they promise us free stuff that used to belong to others.
We should not elect someone who uses a teleprompter with poll tested ideas that make us feel good. We cannot elect someone with no past record of accomplishment simply because we have been brainwashed to look for “change”.
The Commander in Chief of the United States Of America holds too much responsibility in his (or her) hands to be elected merely because of their physical characteristics. The current experiment has proven this to be too true.
America has never been entirely perfect. It has only been perfect in having the ability to overcome past mistakes. This year’s election will show whether we retain that ability. For myself, I will do everything I can to ensure no military man or woman has to look inside of themselves when given an order by someone who is woefully ignorant of the Constitution and the awesome responsibility of following it.
So help me God.
Romans 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?