Oath of office- I (name) do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; That I will well and faithfully discharge the duties I am about to enter; So help me God
Oath of enlistment- I (name) do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; And I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the officers appointed over me according to regulations and the uniform code of military justice.
I had the most disturbing conversation with a young soldier who is probably in his early thirties and a seasoned veteran who is currently serving in the Army reserves. I spoke with him while working out at the gym. I approached him with the deliberate attempt to find out what his units attitude was toward gun control and disarming American citizens. He told me point blank folks that if given orders to disarm Americans, because they had sworn an oath to the constitution, his words, because they had sworn an oath to the constitution they were obligated to follow orders whether they liked them or not! Obviously this soldier is sadly misinformed of his duties to up hold and defend and believes that the constitution represents the government. In 1994 Marines in Twenty Nine palms were surveyed to determine how many would go along with such orders. The numbers were shocking, 25% of Marines said they would follow orders to disarm Americans. I am afraid to say my friends that today, because of the intensity of leftwing indoctrination in our schools the numbers would be higher. We have an obligation to reach out to our young troops who believe that swearing an oath to the constitution means swearing an oath to the president or the government. We have to educate them.
The oath of enlistment does demand that enlisted service members obey the orders of the president; it goes on to say however, “according to regulations and the uniform code of military justice.” In other words the oath of enlistment bounds enlisted service members to obey only lawful orders as they are described by law. The constitution is the supreme law of the land, regrettably this is something from our education system today. Notice the oath of office now, there is nothing dictating that those sworn in on this oath are obligated to follow orders from any higher authority, except the constitution itself. This means that officers and those sworn into elected office are explicitly bound to disobey and disregard any orders that are unconstitutional. If an officer in the military is true to this oath than an enlisted man can rest assure that the orders he is following are constitutional and lawful.
The idea of swearing an oath to the constitution is to preserve the fundamental principles that keep liberty alive. From the earliest days of the nation military men were taking this oath. Before the revolutionary war there many factions that were still swearing oaths to King George the third. As a General, George Washington required men to disregard this oath, cut all ties to the king and swear loyalty to the United States. Here are some examples of the first oaths of enlistment.
"I _____ have, this day, voluntarily enlisted myself, as a soldier, in the American continental army, for one year, unless sooner discharged: And I do bind myself to conform, in all instances, to such rules and regulations, as are, or shall be, established for the government of the said Army."
"I _____ swear (or affirm as the case may be) to be trued to the United States of America, and to serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies opposers whatsoever; and to observe and obey the orders of the Continental Congress, and the orders of the Generals and officers set over me by them."
Here are some examples of the officer oaths rejecting the authority of King George the third.
Officers: Continental Congress passed two versions of this oath of office, applied to military and civilian national officers. The first, on 21 October 1776, read: "I _____, do acknowledge the Thirteen United States of America, namely, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to be free, independent, and sovereign states, and declare, that the people thereof owe no allegiance or obedience to George the third, king of Great Britain; and I renounce, refuse and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him; and I do swear that I will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain, and defend the said United States against the said king, George the third, and his heirs and successors, and his and their abettors, assistants and adherents; and will serve the said United States in the office of _____, which I now hold, and in any other office which I may hereafter hold by their appointment, or under their authority, with fidelity and honour, and according to the best of my skill and understanding. So help me God." The revised version, voted 3 February 1778, read "I, _____ do acknowledge the United States of America to be free, independent and sovereign states, and declare that the people thereof owe no allegiance or obedience, to George the third, king of Great Britain; and I renounce, refuse and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him: and I do swear (or affirm) that I will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain and defend the said United States, against the said king George the third and his heirs and successors, and his and their abettors, assistants and adherents, and will serve the said United States in the office of _____ which I now hold, with fidelity, according to the best of my skill and understanding. So help me God."
These historical oaths show the history of Americas thirst for freedom and willingness to stand and fight for it. Notice in the second oath of enlistment where it says “against all enemies and opposers whatsoever.” This puts the principles of defending liberty as the utmost priority of this oath.
The idea of supporting and defending the constitution is also established in historical law. In 1803 (Marbury vs. Madison) Judge John Marshall obliged all judges to give precedence to the constitution over any other legislative act. This is the same decision in which he declared any laws repugnant to the constitution are null and void. Justice Joseph Story wrote in “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States” that all officers sworn to uphold and defend the constitution are conscientiously bound to reject any act that is inconsistent with it.
It must be remembered that the constitution is the supreme law of the land and it is the principles of this constitution to which our soldiers, officers and elected officials are sworn to uphold. The young soldier I described is severely misguided and in need of a history lesson. With all the challenges we face as a nation and the news of West Point Cadets being trained to believe right wingers are threats to national security we as responsible Americans are obligated to develop a strategy to teach our warriors the truth about their obligations to their nation and to liberty, not to president Obama or any other president.
Here is a link to a series of quotes describing the supremacy of the constitution. http://www.ourrepubliconline.com/Topic/27