I am once again humbled to share a few thoughts, and I am optimistic that they will resonate with all of you; regardless of your branch of service, active, retired, reserve or a family member — every service member holds a unique reason as to why they serve.
I want this to be a reminder of how we serve.
Last weekend, we celebrated Armed Forces Day. Memorial Day is upon us. Independence Day is right around the corner.
These are all days on which we recognize, remember, and honor our military service, our fallen, our past and current achievements and the significant role our armed forces have played in securing and maintaining our way of life in our great nation. Within our Army seal, as well as on the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge is our motto: This We’ll Defend.
We defend our nation as members of the profession of arms and through our honorable accomplishment of the mission.
Our Army Ethic provides the foundation and moral basis for why we exist. It stems from our countries beginning — the U.S. Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, United States law, the law of war, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, our oaths of enlistment and commissioning, Army values and many other contributing rules and norms.
We are members of a profession, we support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and we serve our countrymen and brothers in arms with honor and treat them with dignity and respect.
With this, I offer our Army Ethic as a reminder of what we do and why, and encourage all of you to realize that you are trusted professionals. The Army Ethic is our professional identity and by continuously and consistently demonstrating our character, commitment and competence we build and maintain trust amongst ourselves, and the people of our great nation.
• Editor’s Note: The following is from Army Doctrinal Reference Publication 1, 14 June 2015.
• Trusted Army professionals are honorable servants of the nation —professionals of character:
We serve honorably — according to the Army Ethic — under civilian authority while obeying the laws of the nation and all legal orders; further, we reject and report illegal, unethical or immoral orders or actions.
We take pride in honorably serving the nation with integrity, demonstrating character in all aspects of our lives.
In war and peace, we recognize the intrinsic dignity and worth of all people, treating them with respect.
We lead by example and demonstrate courage by doing what is right despite risk, uncertainty, and fear; we candidly express our professional judgment to subordinates, peers and superiors.
• Army experts — competent professionals:
We do our duty, leading and following with discipline, striving for excellence, putting the needs of others above our own, and accomplishing the mission as a team.
We accomplish the mission and understand it may demand courageously risking our lives and justly taking the lives of others.
We continuously advance the expertise of our chosen profession through lifelong learning, professional development and our certifications.
• Stewards of the Army profession — committed professionals:
We embrace and uphold the Army values and standards of the profession, always accountable to each other and the American people for our decisions and actions.
We wisely use the resources entrusted to us, ensuring our Army is well led and well prepared, while caring for Soldiers, Army civilians and families.
We continuously strengthen the essential characteristics of the Army profession, reinforcing our bond of trust with each other and the American people.