The Soldier's Creed - What Do the Words Really Mean?

The Soldier’s Creed is something you will learn (and be able to recite from memory) once you get are in Basic Combat Training. For many new soldiers, they are so focused on knowing the words (so they don’t have to drop and do pushups), they don’t truly understand the meaning of their recitation. So what do the words really mean?
I am an American Soldier. You are serving not just for the GI Bill education benefits, but to be part of something larger than yourself.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team. Being a warrior, you will be trained to fight and defend yourself. As a team member, you live to serve the team. To maximize the team’s capability, all team members must work toward a common goal - mission accomplishment; if one member fails the team, the mission could fail.

I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values. Regardless of how they feel about war, you protect their freedom – so they can have the right to voice their opinion.  As far as the Army Values, it is all or nothing. You can’t choose to follow the Army Values when it is convenient- you follow them 24/7/365 as they are your way of life.

I will always place the mission first. The mission always comes first – even if it means you must sacrifice something – even if that something is your life.
I will never accept defeat.
Defeat is not just a personal thing. If you fail, you also failed the people of the United States – the very people you chose to defend.

I will never quit. As an American soldier, it is not in your will to quit. By giving up, you are letting down your team and the American people you pledged to serve.

I will never leave a fallen comrade. This not only applies in combat, but always. You are always there to support and help your team members just as they are always there to help you.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. If you are ordered to do something (provided it is not morally or ethically wrong) you have an obligation to do it, regardless of your personal feeling toward it. Basic Training and IET will teach you how to do each warrior task and drill properly. All you have to do is listen and pay attention each and every day.

I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself. It means keeping everything assigned to you in the best condition you can – including yourself by eating right and excelling (instead of just passing) at the APFT. You can’t be mentally strong if you are not physically strong
I am an expert and I am a professional. You know your job and you do it well. The image you project is one of a professional – because that is what you are, a professional soldier.

I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat. Even with all the modern equipment of today, sometimes it still takes soldiers on foot going in and rooting out the enemy (as in Afghanistan).

I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life. Regardless of what the American people think of what you do, you do it to protect their freedom – their freedom to verbally deplore what you do for them.

I am an American Soldier. Hooah!

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