Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Duty": An active duty Marine Corps officer says -- "Honor Your Oath!"

"Any other option would be a dereliction of duty."


U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Lance Day, with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, gives the Oath of Enlistment to several Marines under his command Aug. 9, 2009, during a reenlistment ceremony at the company's forward operating base in the Nawa district of Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (DoD photo by Lance Cpl. Jeremy Harris, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

A tip of the boonie hat to Jeff for forwarding this. He writes in forward:

This was written by an active duty Marine Corps officer who is a good friend of mine. He asked me to send this around (if he does it himself, he'll probably get a ration for it) so I'm sending this to you for consideration. If you think it is good enough, please post it on your site for others to read.

Thank you.

For Liberty,
Jeff


It is certainly "good enough." I am honored to post it here. I did write back and ask Jeff about his use of the word "ration." His reply:

"I apologize for the slang - I'm a retired Navy officer and that word 'ration' is usually followed by 'of shit' - meaning his superiors would give him a hard time if they found out he was the author of this."

Actually, after he explained it, I remembered I knew that once upon a time. Must be getting old and brain dead.

Mike
III

Honor Your Oath!

An Open Letter to the Servicemembers of these united States

Written by an American Servicemember

“Duty, then is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less.” - General Robert E. Lee

Every oath administered at every enlistment, commissioning, and promotion across all branches of military service begins with the individual swearing or affirming to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic and ... [to] bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” Should our country and government fall under attack from foreign armies, there is no question that we will defend this country and our Constitution to our last. But what should be the proper course of action for the servicemembers of these united States when our Constitution is threatened from within, by those who themselves have taken a nearly identical solemn oath to support and defend (or preserve, protect, and defend in the case of the President) the very document they usurp? The answer to this quotidian question, it would seem, is not self-evident when one considers the near silence of our military personnel.

When elected officials, regardless of political affiliation, whether Representative, Senator, or President, repeatedly defy the Constitution by legislating on and regulating all aspects of American life, commerce, privacy, and health in direct defiance of the limited scope to which the Constitution binds them (see Article I, Section 8), what recourse is available to the servicemembers bound by their oath? What options remain when repeated written and oral petitions for redress of grievances addressed to these officials are answered only by repeated injury? How many petitions of this nature must be ignored before American servicemembers and civilians alike finally muster the courage to ask such questions?

Some may say that the servicemember’s duty is to maintain the status quo and remain silent, declaring that it would be unwise or unprofessional for military men and women to opine on political matters. However, these matters are not of a partisan nature. The nature of addressing unconstitutional advances, rather, is that of a servicemember fulfilling his sworn duty and at stake is the nature of the relationship between the federal government and the people and States.

It is also perhaps not surprising that our servicemembers largely have remained silent considering the dearth of education pertaining to the Constitution military personnel and Americans at large receive. Is this willfully negligent or is it another effort to abstain from appearing partisan? Is this negligence to teach the Constitution sufficient to relieve the servicemember of his sworn duty to support and defend our governing document? Certainly not! Ignorance in this case is a terrible shame but is no excuse. The ethical responsibility is on the individual servicemember to fully understand his sworn oath and it falls equally on his leadership to ensure comprehension of and adherence to the oath.

If the servicemember’s duty to support and defend the Constitution persists, again what recourse is available? Seeking to engage fellow servicemembers in discussions about Constitutional authority for current legislation has the potential of yielding sarcasm, indifference, or being labeled a domestic terrorist threat. The time has sadly arrived where servicemembers who have sworn to support and defend the Constitution are marginalized for voicing their concerns that our governing document is being metaphorically shredded.

So again, what remains for the servicemember who sincerely holds himself accountable to his oath when he finds his fellow servicemembers and elected officials to be guilty of neglecting their own? Should he remove himself from military service? Should he abandon his sworn duty because so many others find the implications of supporting that oath an uncomfortable or unacceptable option? Common sense and an obligation to honor tell us that to do so would be absurd. Rather, it is the duty of the individual servicemember to continually and emphatically advocate the long-forgotten notion that the federal government abide by the law of the land. To that end, let this letter serve as a call to all those who have raised their right hand, often invoking divine assistance, to reexamine their willingness to abide by their oath and to accept its full weight and responsibility. This inevitably will yield only two options: deciding to dutifully act in full accord with the oath, thereby truly supporting and defending the Constitution, or deciding to depart military service. Any other option would be a dereliction of duty.

August 7, 2009

14 comments:

GunRights4US said...

Wonderfully said.

But don't the last two lines kind of infer that the duties imposed by the oath are relieved upon discharge; and thus that the oath's obligations can somehow be avoided?

The fact that this author could face discipline...a "ration" as it were...is disheartening, maddening, sobering...disgusting even.

jon said...

i think if you remain in service, you're certainly on the hook for advocating your position. but there's nothing wrong taking an honorable discharge in the proper course of time and then joining the guard or a militia instead.

Anonymous said...

There is no expiration date to the oath I took. I've been out for 8yrs now, but stand no less ready today than I did then to fulfil it. Those who choose to ignore (or try to avoid) the implications of their oath are those who never took it seriously to begin with....with neither a moral compass nor a sense of honor and duty.

Just my tuppence.

BoarHawg

Anonymous said...

I first took the oath in 1989. Been out a couple years now, but as BoarHawg said there's no expiration date on it.

-Another Veteran

pdxr13 said...

We have not been discharged of our obligation to that oath, ourselves, or our countrymen.

If we could be free of it when the last pay statement comes, we would be no more than mercenaries . I believe that many US contractors who are ex-military have drawn their line of performance at acting contrary to their Oath, while taking a paycheck to use skills Uncle paid them to learn. We will find out if such introspection is common when they are stationed in the ConUS.

Cheers.

kingin123 said...

I took my oath in 1959, that's right 50 fuckin years ago. It still goes and my index finger still works OK.

Happy D said...

There is a reason I love these guys and gals, even the Marines!

It was asked.So again, what remains for the servicemember who sincerely holds himself accountable to his oath when he finds his fellow servicemembers and elected officials to be guilty of neglecting their own? Should he remove himself from military service? Should he abandon his sworn duty because so many others find the implications of supporting that oath an uncomfortable or unacceptable option? Common sense and an obligation to honor tell us that to do so would be absurd.

Answer; You stay in for the reasons so well covered by the author and to be Mike's Good Soldier Schweik see in the Absolved chapter links The Four Fingers of Death. The supplies diverted the order not taken could save innocent, important lives or even mine. Or even end the fight before it starts.

Anonymous said...

We all know what is implied when we took the oath. It does not expire. And be honest, when you took it, you related it to fighting in a war against foreign enemies. I believe we all understand that now our very American way of life is under daily attack. We must stay informed of what is happening. We have been looked to for answers when attacked since the Continental Army of old. When politicians fail what is the next step?

Anonymous said...

Well written sir, I say HONOR your OATH- as Law Enforcement, Soldier, and as PRESIDENT! Call him to account!










www.autpaxautbellum.net

Bert said...

I first took the oath in 1973 when I joined the Army. I took a similar oath in 1978 when I became a LEO. There were no expiration dates on either of those oaths, and I consider myself as bound by them today as on the days I took them.

Today that responsibility entails that I remain as knowledgeable as I can about current events and how our leaders are responding to them.

I have been increasingly pessimistic as to whether or not we can rein in an increasingly burdensome Federal government without resorting to the true reason for the 2nd Amendment.

It may come down to whether or not the current members of the military services take their oaths as seriously as all the vets I know do.

I agree with JesseM; we need to hold ALL our elected leaders to account, and remove them asap, the moment it can be proven that they have abrogated their own oaths.

CaptGooch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CaptGooch said...

jon said...
i think if you remain in service, you're certainly on the hook for advocating your position. but there's nothing wrong taking an honorable discharge in the proper course of time and then joining the guard or a militia instead.
August 30, 2009 10:26 AM

-------------------------------

Jon,
You seem to not realize that even a Guardsman or woman and or a State Militia enlistee or officer candidate do swear to the same oath. This tradition goes clear back to the 1700's when the Constitution was ratified by the Congress.

So what is gained by switching units ?

CaptGooch said...

Well Done Capt. Day.

Well Done and Well Said.

I first took my Oath in 1966. I served in the Navy and then moved on to the Merchant Marine where we also swore the Oath.

As a mustang in the Merchant Marine I held a commission for 25 years.

I "retired" in protest of the DHS being given the authority to oversee the Merchant Marine.

I cannot express the admiration I hold for Captain Day for his courage in putting his personal opinion out for all to see and for his comrades in arms to read as well.

While the name oath keeper is not mentioned it is quite plain that Capt. Day is in fact keeping his Oath and that makes him an Oath Keeper.

Thank You Captain for your honor, integrity and courage.


Gregory Gooch
Capt USMM Ret
Oath Keeper
since '66
http://oathkeepers.org/oath/

Chris said...

I took my oath in 2003, yes I'm a youngin' but damn it, I don't recall the officer saying it expires on this date in the year 20xx. I've been out since 2007 but I still hold true to that oath. The motivated leatherneck said it best, Honor the Oath, and that's what I've been doing since I took it.

Semper Fi.
From a United States Marine.