Taking the Oath

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Ambition, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Ambition

    Ambition USAFA Class of 2017

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    Simply put,

    must we include the bit about God at the end, or may we object to saying that OR replace it with something you would feel more comfortable saying?
     
  2. stvblm

    stvblm Member

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    We? Have you been appointed to USAFA? If not what is your concern?
     
  3. FlyingFuzz

    FlyingFuzz Member

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    I think Stelmack's concern is saying "So help me God" at the end of the oath. I know you are given the option to swear or affirm, but I don't know about that last bit.
     
  4. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    You know, every once in a while after someone tells me to "Have a Nice Day :smile:", I start thinking "who are they to tell me how to live my life?" "How DARE they force their expectations on how they wish iti to be what I consider is a day good enough to be considered "nice"".

    Then I take a deep breath and remember it's just a little innocous and polite ending to a conversation, or a way for someone who has provided me a simple service to show thier boss that they are following standard protocol to show "customer appreciation". I chuckle to myself a little as well over how worked up I got over something so trivial.

    I get the impession from your concern that you don't beleive in God or some "higher power". And that's fine, you have every rigth to feel that way. In fact, you want to join an organization that ensures you have the right to feel that way. But I have to ask, why make a big deal out of it? You're missing the point of the Oath of Office. It's not that you are asking for God's assistance in making you a good officer, it is that you are confirming your committment to support the US Constituition and the freedoms it garuantees our citizens, to support the American people, and to support those you will follow and those you will lead. Maybe with your very life, or the lives of those you are signing up to lead. You will SERVE, regardless of the cost.

    My first advice to you: don't make a big deal out of it. That part of the Oath is simply words we traditional say. Concentrate instead on the meaning of the words that come before your request for God's help. Mumble that last part if it makes you feel better, affirming to yourself that people can't force you to follow some religion.

    My second piece of advice for you: you're joining the military. It's a dangerous profession, with some of the highest levels of responsibility any person can ever face. There may come a day (and I honestly hope this never has to happen to you, but it might) when either you are in personal danger of physical harm, perhaps even life threatening, or there are people in the cross hairs that are personally looking at you to get them out of harm's way. And you will say this, either to yourself or out loud, "God help me."

    Trust me, there are no athiests in fox holes.

    Have a Nice Day! :smile:
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I always wondered the importance some people put on things. As if it really matters. Why not worry about things that matter?

    1. If by chance you HAD to say God, is that enough to have you turn down the appointment? Obviously, anyone with any common sense or knowledge of our country's level of "POLITICAL CORRECTNESS" would know that no one is going to force you to believe in a particular god, or god at all; nor force you to verbally claim alliance to God. Yet, you ask???

    2. 50,000+ previous cadets/air force officers have been through the process previously. You are NOT THE FIRST to do ANYTHING related to the academy. Don't worry about what clothes you are issued, how you pay back the clothes, laptop, etc... given you. Don't worry about when you get to use your cell phone, how many weekends you get off, etc...

    In other words, why not be less self centered and worry about the things you need to control, such as RECEIVING an APPOINTMENT. Worry about improving your ACT/SAT; becoming a better leader; getting the nomination and receiving an appointment. Anything about the actual academy/military, is something that will take care of itself. You don't need to worry about that. You will get through it just like the previous 50,000+ have. There is nothing special or unique about you and your situation.

    Now; if you truly believe that you WILL turn down an appointment or QUIT the academy, IF, certain things exist; then definitely ask. I.e. If the academy doesn't let me have weekends off, then I don't want to accept an appointment. If you've got definitive questions like that; then definitely ask. Because the academy and the military is made up of hundreds and thousands of things that will exist that you definitely are not going to like. And if you're the type who might turn down an appointment or quit because of some of these things, then definitely ask. But don't think for a second that you are unique and special and have a scenario that no one else prior has been through. We are a politically correct nation. You are not the only person to not believe in God or doesn't want to say the word God in the oath. Do you HONESTLY THINK the government is going to force you to say it??? For real???? If anything, political correctness has gone so rampant, that it's more logical and appropriate for a Christian, white male, etc... to ask if THEY are ALLOWED to do certain things.

    I am not dogging the OP. Not dogging anyone. But too many people associate their experiences with the rest of the world. You can't do that. Just because YOU have never been a cadet at the academy or gone through the process before, doesn't mean that the academy hasn't had some cadets come through those doors before. Worry about the things that matter. Not the individual things. Not unless you truly are willing to turn down an appointment or quit because of it.
     
  6. NighthawkBandit

    NighthawkBandit New Member

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    From the regs, uh I mean the AFIs. AFI 3606 paragraph 5 it then becomes an affirmation rather than an oath:
    ―I, (State your full name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) 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 that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.‖ (Note: Airmen may omit the words ―So help me God‖, if desired for personal reasons).
     
  7. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    This seems to be a real issue for the OP. The USAFA Admissions site provides the following advice regarding the Oath and perhaps he is taking the advice seriously:
    "Shortly after arrival, you’ll participate in one of the more solemn occasions of your cadet career: taking the oath that makes you a member of the Armed Forces of the United States. Consider what this country means to you and what defending it involves. You must serve wholeheartedly. If you have any reservations, resolve them before committing to an appointment to USAFA and before taking this oath."​

    Perhaps he even took the time to look up 32 CFR 901.26 that provides the Cadet's Oath of Allegiance:
    "Cadet's oath of allegiance.

    On admission, each appointee (except foreign cadets) will be required to take the following oath of allegiance:
    I (name), having been appointed an Air Force cadet in the United States Air Force, do solemnly swear (or affirm) 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 reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of which I am about to enter. So Help Me God.

    If an appointee refuses to take and subscribe to the oath, the appointment is terminated."
    Perhaps he is concerned that he has to say "So help me God" or he will have his appointment terminated.

    Perhaps he didn't Google and find The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers that addresses this exact question on its Website and provides references that are Service specific and that he does not have to say the "So help me God" part.

    I'm just saying . . .
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I'm not concerned whether you want to say it or not. Either way, in the end, the help comes from God, whether you believe it or not.

    What I will say is, beyond that, I would tread lightly with the "what I want to do" kinds of things.

    It can become a very painful process when you feel it's your "right" to protest whatever you don't want to do. "I don't think it's right for us to all do push ups because only one person screwed up."

    That's just a side-bar, it may not be directly related to your issue here.
     
  9. stvblm

    stvblm Member

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    I think Stelmack accomplished what he set out to do. Get a heated discussion going.
     
  10. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    I'm an atheist and have always just said "so help me God," mostly so as not to rock the boat. I did the same crap at USNA by standing at parade rest and thinking about other stuff during the noon prayer...it's annoying, but it's not the hill I want to die on and guess other people find comfort there or something.
    If someone asked me why, I would tell them it was because I don't pray, but it was never something I made a big deal about...and, really, neither should the OP (but the wanking about political correctness is unwarranted as well, IMO).

    What I don't think people are understanding is that the phrase is completely meaningless to me and other atheists. I may as well say "Praise Cthulhu" at the end.
     
  11. BelowRadar

    BelowRadar Member

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    Thank you for that information. Is the note part of the AFI?
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I want to believe that, but I'm not sure if I do. It's a rallying cry for some. If it was entirely meaningless, this wouldn't come up. If it was completely meaningless, some other group out there would nitpick other words "I don't like the word THE".
     
  13. FromRVa15

    FromRVa15 Member

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    If you are worried about the Oath of Office, then maybe you should worry about the Code of Conduct as well. IF you get in here, you will only say the Oath of Office once, but I guarantee you will be saying the CoC over and over again till you start repeating it in your sleep.

    My advice: don't think too much about it. I am not religious in anyway shape or form, and I have no trouble saying the pledge of allegiance, oath of office, article 6 of the code of conduct, the honor oath, etc
     
  14. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    I think it would be cooler if when you came to that part of the Oath, you simply split the second and third fingers of your up-raised right hand apart into a "V" and say 'Live Long and Prosper".

    But that's just me, a geek at heart.... :biggrin:
     
  15. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    You and your Jedi Mind Meld.....
     
  16. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    Ruh roh, Lits... I think you may have to have your Geek Club status revoked.

    Isn't the "mind meld" a Vulcan thing? Jedi do "mind tricks".

    Now the really sad part of this post is that I know that... lord!
     
  17. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Someone hasn't watched the news in a while.:biggrin:
     
  18. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I was waiting for a "don't make fun of the Commander in Chief" comment from someone.


    I was sitting with my boss as the President said it, and I turned and said "Boom, that's going to get some play...." and then Twitter exploded.
     
  19. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Evidently he s/he has, but even if s/he has not should that restrict their ability to ask a question on this forum? Future applicants, candidates and appointees should probably know when it is acceptable to ask certain questions.
     
  20. NighthawkBandit

    NighthawkBandit New Member

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    Yes, everything following the colon after the first line is copy/paste from the AFI, btw which is not the academy regulation and oath the cadets take, but I am sure the same principle will apply and the academy reg should be updated.
     

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