I Was Supposed to Commission Today

Posted by : Brian | On : March 22, 2014

It’s amazing how life changes so rapidly. One minute you think you’re headed in this direction and the next minute life is completely different.

A few months ago I made a decision that drastically changed my life and today was SUPPOSED to be a huge day for me. If I had not made that decision months ago, I would have been surrounded by friends and family congratulating me on being commissioned as an officer in the Marine Corps. I would pin on new shiny gold bars, which all non-military people thought was awesome (I’m sure my dad would half-jokingly tell all his friends I was promoted to General) while all military minded people would once again refer to me as “boot.”

I would be dressed in my officer dress blues, which come in at a close second in looks compared to enlisted dress blues. I would sit and listen to people probably talk about how great we are and how well we’ve done in college and how the Navy and Marine Corps will be in good hands with the newest Ensigns and 2nd Lieutenants in the military. They may have spoke of the military’s work in engagements overseas and they would praise us for leading men and women during a time of war. Maybe someone would even discuss how we reminded them of themselves when they were our age.

We would then stand and take the oath, which reads:

“I, [name], do solemnly swear to 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 on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

Everyone would clap, “Anchors Aweigh” and the “Marine Corps Hymn” would play, people would clap some more, we would shake some hands and give some hugs, then eat cake. I’d probably have 2 bites of cake then throw the rest away. I’m not much of a cake fan.

I missed out on all that.

Of course that oath a few lines up means very little anymore. The de facto version of this oath is often “I promise to do what I’m told.” I’ve asked multiple times to soon-to-be-commissionees if they have ever read the Constitution. If they had, it was usually back in 5th grade when they had to recite two lines from the Preamble at a school assembly. Now they’re devoting their lives to defending it with no recollection of what it says.

So why did I choose to not go through this ceremony? I’ll let you know in two years, one month, and 25 days (but who’s counting?).

Comments (6)

  1. SKH said on 22-03-2014

    I’ll let you know in two years, one month, and 25 days

    What a tease. Ha! Looking forward to it, then.

  2. Nick said on 22-03-2014

    I’ll be waiting. I just set an appointment in my calendar.

  3. Sandy said on 22-03-2014

    Sorry things didn’t quite work out as planned, I look forward to you being able to speak freely on this matter. As for the oath, people can get in a lot of trouble these days for upholding it and I believe our president took that same oath and he obviously doesn’t give a rip about the constitution!

  4. chuck said on 22-03-2014

    “It’s amazing how life changes so rapidly. One minute you think you’re headed in this direction and the next minute life is completely different.”

    Tis true. Life changes so quickly and there are times I wonder if the Potter started making a cup and then started completely over. But alas, He knows best and it’s His “constitution” that we are to defend.

    The joyful and free soldier in this corps will not be abandoned and our “General” will never do what is not best for all His troops.

    Thanks for standing up for what you believe, even at a cost that many will never comprehend. Principled men are almost extinct these days.

    “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
    ― William G.T. Shedd

  5. jeanette gagner said on 22-03-2014

    Brian n family – the words come to mind…”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and also “to thine own self be true” Our first obligation is to God, then family, then nation. the words also come to mind “Let not your heart be troubled” When God if first and the compass of your soul is pointed true north towards Him, then you are on the correct path. A bit of a soul sigh for what might have been, but a greater soul joy for following where God leads. Hugs from the Gagners. Jeanette

  6. Dave Light said on 22-03-2014

    Amen. Keep on keep’in on.

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