Military stories from past to present, both wars.

From Matt Massie, owner of My Service Pride.com

November 11th, 2011 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

The sacrifices of the military are and have been for the support and defense of the constitution – the document that guarantees our liberties and protects us from any government usurpation of those liberties. On Veteran’s Day 2011, join me in thinking about the oath we made and the meaning of our service.  (I don’t mean to leave out officers, but mean to think about how the solemn pledges have changed, using the oath of enlistment as an example.)

The enlisted oath has changed over the years to reflect our service and sacrifice for the constitution, not the government that is created by the constitution.  Here’s how the very first oath read, from the act that created the Continental Army on June 14, 1775:

“I _____ have, this day, voluntarily enlisted myself, as a soldier, in the American continental army, for one year, unless sooner discharged: And I do bind myself to conform, in all instances, to such rules and regulations, as are, or shall be, established for the government of the said Army.”  This was voted on 14 June 1775 as part of the act creating the Continental Army.

That oath was replaced with this one in the Articles of War in September 1776:

“I _____ swear (or affirm as the case may be) to be true to the United States of America, and to serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies opposers whatsoever; and to observe and obey the orders of the Continental Congress, and the orders of the Generals and officers set over me by them.”

The wartime oath from the Revolution was replaced, two years after the signing of the US Constitution, with this one by an Act of Congress in 1789:

“I, _____, do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will support the constitution of the United States. I,_______, do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) to bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and to serve them honestly and faithfully, against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever, and to observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States of America, and the orders of the officers appointed over me.”

That version remained intact until the 20th century.  In the Act of May 5, 1960, Title 10, US Code, Congress replaced the wording first adopted in 1789, with an amendment effective 5 October 1962:

“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.”

(All references are from “Oaths of Enlistment and Oaths of Office” by the Center Of Military History, United States Army. www.history.army.mil/html/faq/oaths.html)

From the Marine who founded My Service Pride to my brothers and sisters in these solemn pledges, and from the friends and family who work with me at My Service Pride: thank you, on this Veteran’s Day and every day, for your service to our country and your defense of our great Constitution.

Matt Massie

Sergeant, USMC

1996-2006

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