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Groninger Scholarship Essay, winner Garrett Wicker

By Garrett Wicker

Garrett Wicker. Branson Globe photo)

In your own words, give the history of the oath of enlistment given to each member of the Armed Services as they are sworn in to serve our country.

Being an active member in the military means more than just having a job. It means that you are invariably putting your life on the line. You must be strong, not only physically capable, but also mentally capable. When deciding to join the honoring profession, it is a requisite that you recite the oath that all the veterans have stood for and the beautiful history that falls behind it.

In the beginning of the American Revolution, Congress established oaths for the continental Army. Their oaths differed depending on where they enlisted. During the Revolutionary War, the first oath was adopted on June 14, 1775; primarily for the Continental Army. Shortly later, however, the oath was edited to propose the idea that englisting could result in a longer duration of service. In the original, written in 1775, the oath read that the soldier was only active for one year. In the revised version this part was omitted.

The first Constitutional oath was approved by Congress in 1789. The pledge had two similar parts that consisted of swearing yourself in. It applied to all commissioned officers, noncommissioned officers, and privates in the services. The 1789 version of the oath remained in commission for many years. In 1960, an amendment to Title 10 redesigned the vow into what it is today.

Break down each segment of the oath and explain what it means to you.

If I were to enlist today, this is how I would interpret the oath, and what it means to me. “I, (NAME), do solemnly swear...” ensures that I am making this decision.

“...that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, forgeign and domestic...” illustrates that I will protect the Constitution against all acts of corruption.

“...that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same...” elucidates that I believe and will demonstrate the laws the constitution has set forth. This segment also exemplifies my loyalty to the government.

“...and that I will obey the order of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code Military Justice” clarifies my awareness of authority and my obedience towards them.

The final sentence reads, “So help me God”; this is consequential because our entire nation is built on faith in God.

In summation, I originally did not know the enlistment oath. This opportunity was an eye-opening experience. I am forever grateful that I was blessed to live in the land of the free that is protected by the brave men of America.

(Editor’s Note: Branson Globe hopes you enjoy reading the thoughts of these young people, and will wish them well in their future endeavors. Watch the June 12 issue of Branson Globe for the essay by Rae Woods. Thanks to Scholarship Chairman Bob Sarver of VVA 913 for sharing these essays.)

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