The Military Officer Oath of Office

CATO Institute Pocket Constitution - The Military Officer Oath of Office
CATO Institute Pocket Constitution

The Military Officer Oath of Office

The military officer Oath of Office is more than words, so…

Own Your Military Officer Oath!

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

“I [state 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;

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.

(optional) So help me God.”

The Purpose of the Military Officer Oath

Congratulations! You’ve taken and administered the military officer Oath of Office, or will. How well do you understand the history, importance, and significance of the words comprising the Military Oath of Office? This page dives a bit deeper to equip you with the insights required to truly own your oath. It allows for sharing important knowledge about the oath to those officer and enlisted personnel you’re administering it for!

Officers Oath Background

All military officers say the Oath of Office upon commissioning and renew their Oath with each promotion.

Civil servants take an Oath of Office, too. Enlisted members take the Oath of Enlistment upon entry and again each time they re-enlist.

All oaths taken by Americans are to the Constitution, and nothing else.

How recently have you read the Constitution? 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. It ties directly into our National Liberty and the Freedom of the Citizenry. Use this tool and apply it the next time you are asked to perform a re-enlistment or officer promotion.

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

It’s Your Military Officer Oath of Office

I (name) do solemnly swear (or affirm)…: Signifies a public statement of commitment, where you personally accept complete and total responsibility for your decisions and actions.

 …that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States…: You are not swearing to support the President, the  Country, the flag, a political party, or a particular service branch. But rather, the Constitution is what you’re swearing an oath to, which symbolizes all of those things.  Therefore, it’s important you actually read it! Have you read the Constitution lately, or ever?

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

 …that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;..: Officers pledge 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)

…that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion;…: Your word is your bond! Without integrity the moral pillar of any core value is lost.

…and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter.: Promise to give the effort your all. (Anything worth doing is worth overdoing) 

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

Unpacking Your Officer Oath of Office

There are many different oaths around the world. 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. 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. With a sense of honor without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. And consequences of failing to live up to one’s word and duty.

Ancient History

These declarations began in ancient Roman times. Many pledged loyalty to a specific general officer for a specific campaign. 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. Those funding that journey were interested in getting their investment back, too. And money became a serious topic during the enlightenment, just as it is now. It was important before the founders drafted the Constitution of the United States, too. Going further back, the Roman empire collapsed because of money mis-management and currency debasement.

Recent History on the Military Officer Oath of Office

Two years after the signing of the U.S. Constitution, the first bill became Law in June 1789. Statute 1, Chapter 1 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“. At that time, both officers and enlisted personnel took the same oath. Congress required it in April 1790.

In 1862, the officer oath became separated from the enlisted oath. They added the word “defend” to verify their loyalty to the Constitution to unite the Union. On 11 July 1868, the Oath of Office changed. It required “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” But then a change happened, becoming 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 commissioning or promotion ceremony.

These words, said out loud, provide the foundation of our duties. It is the cornerstone of our oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, including domestic ones.

And a word from the creator…

The Founder’s Perspective on the Military Officer Oath of Office

The founding fathers were adamant about economic matters. 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!”

The Founders’ knew from history that unsound money created “by decree” of the government was detrimental to the population and citizens. Our institutions have failed to teach us, our parents, and our grandparents about this most basic of matters.

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 Military Officer Oath of Office 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. They funnel the savings into Wall Street. Financial services vehicles store our work efforts and energy at substantial risk. Our years of leadership have prepared us for war abroad, but not war at home 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. This devalues our hard earned paychecks. 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 number of months! Understanding this is central to any sense of Liberty and Freedom anyone desires.

Plan for Liberty by Owning Your Oath! And be sure to explore The Military Officer Oath of Office at length. It’s just the beginning of an exciting journey! The Armed Forces career and military family life as many unexplored paths. Learn more with the Liberty Readiness Toolkit, and listen on the go!


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

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