Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Am an American Soldier

Note the change in our US military's "Soldier's Creed" and its movement from soldiers to "warriors."

Prior to 2003, US troops carried this text with them at all times, harkening back to the ethical crisis of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrior_Ethos#Previous_Versions)

"I am an American Soldier.
I am a member of the United States Army -- a protector of the greatest nation on earth.
Because I am proud of the uniform I wear, I will always act in ways creditable to the military service and the nation it is sworn to guard.

"I am proud of my own organization. I will do all I can to make it the finest unit in the Army. I will be loyal to those under whom I serve. I will do my full part to carry out orders and instructions given to me or my unit.

"As a soldier, I realize that I am a member of a time-honored profession--that I am doing my share to keep alive the principles of freedom for which my country stands. No matter what the situation I am in, I will never do anything, for pleasure, profit, or personal safety, which will disgrace my uniform, my unit, or my country. I will use every means I have, even beyond the line of duty, to restrain my Army comrades from actions disgraceful to themselves and to the uniform.

"I am proud of my country and its flag. I will try to make the people of this nation proud of the service I represent, for I am an American Soldier."

Contrast that statement with this, the current version implemented by Donald Rumsfeld in 2003. Note the transformation of our soldiers into machines and the removal of any reference to restraint or never disgracing the uniform or our country: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrior_Ethos)

"I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier."

A video of British journalst Robert Fisk discussing the the changes to the Soldier's Creed can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrior_Ethos

1 comment:

ruth said...

Hello,

My name is Ruth. I joined the Army back in 1975. Women had just been allowed to be in the regular Army and not in the Women's Army Corps. So the version back then was: "I am an American Fighting Man". The whole time in the Army I guess I was a guy. Finally, it was changed to "I am an American Soldier" sometime in the '90s.

This creed changes as the president changes and the mood the the US changes.