Leadership is a quality few people are born with, yet so many have exhibited it throughout history. Perhaps no one has personified the true art of leadership more than the American Army officer. Many of our most prominent leaders, people who have helped shape the course of world history, have served as Army officers. Army officers have proved that they rank among America 's bravest, brightest and best!
Few careers combine a respect for tradition and responsibility for tomorrow as does that of the Army officer. The military tradition of leadership and courage dates to the earliest times of recorded history. The Army tradition -- DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY -- reflects the spirit which stretches back to the Continental Army. Today, the American Army officer is a leader of the greatest army in the world.
Army officers are expected to live by and live up to a strict code of personal and professional conduct. This is a code of written rules, unwritten traditions, and a sworn oath. It is a code of duty which transcends personal convenience or comfort: code of duty which must be adhered to in the face of danger, even death.
It is a code of honor.
It is a code of service to the country. You can call this patriotism. And if you define patriots as "those who exert themselves to promote the well-being of their country; those who maintain their country's freedom and rights," you have defined an Army officer.
In the Army, the performance of duty to the best of one's ability is the first requirement. Missions must be accomplished up to standard and on time. There is little tolerance for careless work or halfway measures. In short, an Army officer must perform each duty as if his or her entire reputation depended on its successful completion.
What kind of person becomes an Army officer? A look at today's officer corps would prompt the response, all kinds of people -- all races, both sexes, all religions. But the real answer lies not in how these people are different, but in how they are alike. They are all motivated, eager for challenges, hungry for responsibility.
Army officers are well-trained professionals. They understand leadership enough to be selfless, willing to follow as well as lead and to contribute their success to the greater goal. This means a willingness to fight, enter areas of great personal danger, and accept the hazards of battle.
Army officers look at the valued customs which accompany their position as a priceless heritage passed along to them by officers of the past. They pledge to preserve these customs for officers of the future.
They are loyal -- to the ideals of being an Army officer, to the Army, to the country they love and serve.
How does the making of an Army officer begin? Simply, with someone who has the desire to be a responsible leader. Today, as in the past, there are a lot of bright, young, ambitious people with this desire. These are the cadets that make the Reserve Officer Training Corps one of the most highly respected programs in the nation.
I, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of Second Lieutenant, 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. So help me God.
Loyalty Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other soldiers.
Duty Fulfill your obligations.
Respect Treat people as they should be treated.
Selfless Service Put the welfare of the nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own.
Honor Live up to all the Army values.
Integrity Do what is right legally and morally.
Courage Face fear, danger, and adversity
I am an Army Cadet. Soon I will take an oath and become an Army Officer committed to defending the values, which make this nation great. Honor is my touchstone. I understand mission first and people always.
I am the past: the spirit of those warriors who have made the final sacrifice. I am the present: the scholar and apprentice soldier enhancing my skills in the science of warfare and the art of leadership.
But above all, I am the future the future warrior leader of the United States Army. May God give me the compassion and judgment to lead and the gallantry in battle to win.
I will do my duty