Liberty Readiness ToolkitToolkit

Oath of Enlistment – It’s Your Oath!

CATO Institute Pocket Constitution - Military Oath of Enlistment - It's Your Oath
CATO Institute Pocket Constitution

The military Oath of Enlistment is more than words, so…

Own Your Oath of Enlistment!

Get the understanding, meaning, and history of the Military Enlisted Oath before you say it! And refresh your mind every Independence Day!

“I [state your full name],  

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 Purpose of the Oath of Enlistment

Congratulations! You’ve said, or administered, the military Oath of Enlistment, or will. But how well do you understand the history, importance, and significance of the words comprising the Military Oath of Enlistment? So this page dives a bit deeper to equip leaders and followers with the insights to truly own this oath. It also allows you to explain its meaning when asked. And to provide additional context when giving it to those whom you’re leading. You can share important knowledge about the oath to those enlisted personnel to whom it is administered!

Oath of Enlistment Background

Enlisted servicemembers take the Oath of Enlistment upon entry to the Armed Forces. They take it again at every re-enlistment. And all military officers take an Oath of Office upon commissioning and renew their Oath with each promotion. Civil servants take an Oath of Office, too.

All oaths taken by Americans, including enlisted and officer ranks, are to the Constitution, and nothing else. But how recently have you read the Constitution? So herein is information to educate you on the important act of swearing to support and defend our Constitution against all enemies.

We must better understand the significance of this Oath. Because it ties directly into our National Liberty and the Freedom of the Citizenry. So, use this tool and apply it the next time you are asked to perform a re-enlistment or officer promotion, and to prepare to say your military Oath of Enlistment!

And reemphasize your, and their, solemn duty to defend the Constitution as an American Citizen!

It’s Your Oath of Enlistment

I (state your full name) …: So this signifies a public statement of commitment by you, personally.

 …that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States…: And the officer says this, too. Because none of us are not swearing to support the President, the  Country, the flag, political party, or a particular service branch, but rather the Constitution, symbolizing all these things. So have you read the Constitution lately, or ever?

 …against all enemies, foreign and domestic;..: Because we must always be prepared for current and  future wartime operations, kinetic or otherwise. (Service Before Self, with Self fully ready)

 …that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;..: So both Officers and Enlisted servicemembers say this pledging allegiance to the Constitution empowering the citizenry, and not a military service branch,  government, or organization. (It’s service to our Nation’s Ideas before Self)

…and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States;..: So you acknowledge the President as the presiding authority over what you will and won’t do!

…and the orders of the officers appointed over me..: And you acknowledge the officers commissioned by the President and confirmed by the Senate as passing along the President’s orders to you through the chain of command structure that exists. This is for the benefit of the Nation’s Citizenry and our elected officials!

…according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Because the Uniform Code of Military Justice exists to ensure discipline in the ranks so as to efficiently and quickly execute the orders given. And those orders are authorized from the power granted by the citizenry to elected officials over military personnel.

So help me God (optional): So this signifies truth and commitment to what you have sworn to in your oath. It is a higher call to a divine agency. It is important because It assists in ensuring your own integrity and honesty for your oath.

Unpacking the Enlisted Oath

There are many different oaths around the world. And all include some form of formal declaration or promise to fulfill a pledge.

They often call on higher beings or sacred object as witness to truth, commitment, and sincerity of your promise. Because an implication of divine judgment is implied in the event of falsehood or breach of obligation.

Oaths call on a higher power to perform to the best of our ability. And with a sense of honor without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. So it results in the acknowledgement of consequences for failing to live up to one’s word and duty.

Ancient History

These declarations began in ancient Roman times. Because many pledged loyalty to a specific general officer for a specific campaign. But we don’t do that today.

Oaths began in the U.S. in early colonial days. In the 1600s, the Pilgrims established the Mayflower Compact—which served as an oath, a covenant, and a constitution.

“Money” was a serious topic during the enlightenment, just as it is now. And the Roman empire collapsed because of money mis-management and currency debasement.

Recent History

Two years after the signing of the U.S. Constitution, the first bill became Law in June 1789. Statute 1, Chapter 1 and was titled “An act to regulate the time and manner of administering certain oaths, Unpacking the Oath of Office which established the oath required by civil and military officials to support the Constitution.” Both officers and enlisted personnel took the same oath. And Congress required it in April 1790.

In 1862, the officer oath became separated from the enlisted oath. So they added the word “defend” to verify their loyalty to the Constitution to unite the Union. And on 11 July 1868, the Oath of Office changed. It required “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Previously it said bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America.

On 5 October 1962, the enlisted oath wording became “support the Constitution. Your oath doesn’t simply add flair to a promotion ceremony. Because these words said out loud provide the foundation of the duty sworn to in the Oath. It is the cornerstone of your oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, including domestic ones.

And a Word from the Creator…

The Founder’s Perspective on the Enlisted Oath

The founding fathers were adamant about economic matters, and didn’t separate the Officer’s Oath of Office from the enlisted servicemembers they were commissioned to lead. Both categories of military personnel said the same oath then, based on historical precedence for a military. They were paid the same money, too, for their labor and time. Roman soldiers demanded “sound money” for pay (gold or silver worked well). They recognized something, as our drafters of the Constitution recognized in the late 1700’s. A sound economy begins with the honest management of the medium of exchange. It’s a tool for buying and selling “stuff” in the markets for products and services. They collect taxes with it, too. It all begins and ends “with the money!”

Founder’s Truths

The Founders’ knew from history that unsound money created “by decree” of the government was detrimental to the population and citizens. Because our institutions have failed to teach us, our parents, and our grandparents about this most basic of matters, we’re conditioned and believe some inconvenient lies about our “money system.” And it affects officers and enlisted service members alike. So, that means it is a serious of domestic threat both nationally, and in your very home, too.

This is foundational to all of us living our lives. It is instrumental in defending the Constitution for our fellow citizens to live theirs with Liberty in Freedom.

Why the Enlisted Oath Matters

Today we’re seeing the cost of living increase. Our incomes from the federal government, and many in the private sector, too, continue falling way behind. Our life savings represent the energy from the jobs we’ve worked in. And we funnel our excess pay into Wall Street, to people we don’t’ know, may not like, and certainly can’t trust, having never met them. Those financial services vehicles store our work efforts and energy, putting it at substantial risk. Our years of leadership in uniformed service prepared us for war abroad. What we missed was the war we were in domestically with our currency and monetary system.

We trade our time, imagination, knowledge, and experience for fiat paychecks. The federal government and the banks produce the currency at will. The currencymeasuresthe savings usefulness, or utility. Government and banks are devaluing your hard-earned dollar(s). That means it takes more dollars to buy the same amounts of stuff. It makes me wonder why income taxes are necessary at all! This short discussion only scratches the surface of a very complicated and difficult concept to wrap one’s head around. It took me a year and a half, after two degrees from higher academia!

Understanding this is central to any sense of Liberty and Freedom anyone desires.

Plan for Liberty by Owning Your Oath! Explore your Oath of Enlistment in detail because it’s the beginning of an exciting journey! The Armed Forces career and military family life has many unexplored paths. Learn more with the Liberty Readiness Toolkit, and listen on the go!

Today’s Challenge…and the Future

We’re, unfortunately, hyper-focused on foreign threats through our own cultural biases, historical focus, and entertainment industry. This leads most to focus on the first word of “foreign.” Many may unknowingly neglect to consider serious domestic threats right under our nose.

Learn more with the “It’s Your Readiness” playbook series. Start by visiting this Leadership Article on DoD Reads! Listen to the Liberty Accelerator JET Show Podcast, flying fast now on soundwaves near you!

To Your Liberty,

Jarrod H. Smith

Jarrod H. Smith. Got Liberty? We’re bringing a fresh new perspective to service to the Nation. Jarrod brings 15 years of experience in Supply Chain and Logistics with the US Navy Submarine Force, Naval Aviation, and information technology systems and is applying skillsets as an Operational Planner to the most important weapons system: the Armed Forces Family. Fact of the matter is, we all “get out” one day. Intentional, informed planning, preparations, and workups from the earliest days in service are key, at every rank. Residing in the the greater Houston region with his wife and four kids, he’s preparing for Liberty beyond uniformed service in small town America. Their Liberty, and mine, is what he served for.

To Your Liberty, #HeckYeah

For more great content from the author:

Liberty Accelerator – Meet with Jarrod

Leave a Reply....