Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oath Of Office

I have never been able to attend the commissioning ceremony of an OCS (Officer Candidate School) class at the National Marine Corps. For some reason they hold these things during the week, when I have to work.

The oath that these Marines are taking is the same oath taken by every person who joins the military or enters civilian duty with the United States Government. Yes, I have even taken this oath, even though I am a contractor working for the federal government.

OCS Class 197, Alpha Company, Commissioning on March 28, 2008.

The Oath of Office

I, _______________, do solemnly swear
that I will support and defend
the Constituion 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
on which I am about to enter.

So Help Me God

Why is this oath so important to me. Well, first of all, any oath we take, especially if we are taking it in God's name is very important, I believe God will actually hold me to account for all the oaths I have taken - - even my sorority oath, which by the way caused an end to a relationship because I refused to share the 'secrets' with said boyfriend. He couldn't understand why I wasn't willing to share this with him - - he was going to marry me - - I shouldn't keep secrets from my future spouse. Um, well, I took an oath to have "ignomy and disgrace heaped upon me by all who knew me" if I violated the oath. I think it says something about a person when they are able to honor a promise.

There have been so many people in history, recent history even, who have violated this oath. I think the thing that angers me the most is that by violating this oath, they not only hurt our country, they destroy families.

I read an article about the submarine called the Scorpion that failed to return to port 40 years ago on Memorial Day weekend. The families stood for hours, in a cool drizzle, on the pier waiting for their 99 loved ones to return from a 3 month deployment. What the families didn't know, the Navy hadn't heard from the sub for several days prior and had already been searching the Atlantic. Two books have come out recently speculating that the sub was sunk by the Soviets and it may have had something to do with John Walker, a Navy communications specialist who began selling Navy cypher codes to the Soviets the previous year. He sold out countless individuals and their families for a thousand dollars a month.

Another article I read noted that the most recent spy cases have not involved sums of money in exchange for the information. The spies were acting on ideology - - they thought it was the right thing to do.

As far as I'm concerned, its not the right thing to do. We all made a promise. Not just to our country and countrymen - - but to the people sitting in the cubicles next to us or our collegues out in the trenches (here in the states or on foreign soil) and their families. I guess in my midwest upbringing, I still have a child like innocence and belief that a promise is a promise.

1 comment:

Samantha West said...

I really enjoyed that. As well, I thoroughly enjoy your posts about the museum, your photography is splendid and writing is very professional.

In Sept I plan to take a week or two and drive out to the museum. I hope to get to spend as much time as I can just looking at the exhibits.

When I was a docent at the 45 Infantry Division Museum in OKC I never stopped finding new things about each exhibit even though I knew them very well.