Friday, November 2, 2012

Of Faith, Trust, and Honor

"I am an American Soldier...
I will never leave a fallen comrade..."
from "The Soldier's Creed"

A creed is a statement of faith, an authoritative statement of the chief things one believes. A creed sets forth what one believes in statements that are easy to recite and remember. The statements of a creed are compromised only with risk. Holding to a creed is a matter of faith, a matter of trust, and a matter of honor.

As a soldier, I hold to the soldiers' creed, which sets forth the following articles of faith:  
  • I will always place the mission first
  • I will never accept defeat
  • I will never quit
  • I will never leave a fallen comrade.
These statements are embedded in the blood and bones of those who have and continue to serve. They are the bedrock of our character.  

Those who have never served will neither consider nor understand the dedication required to live these four simple statements. Those who have, consider them minimum standards of acceptable behavior. 

Those who presume to command would do well to know and act in accord with these four simple statements. Credibility as a leader demands it. Regardless of other accomplishments, failure to act in accord with these statements marks one as an object of everlasting contempt.

As more becomes known of the details surrounding the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, of the murder of a US Ambassador and the deaths of three other Americans, it becomes increasingly apparent that the core statements of the Soldiers' Creed ring hollow in the higher echelons of the Department of Defense and the National Government.

To state that the murder of Americans "is not optimal" denigrates their sacrifice. To refer to the incident as "a bump in the road" shows callous disregard for those left behind. And to deny available support to those fighting for their very lives shows extreme cowardice in the face of the enemy.

Americans don't abandon Americans in combat or mortal danger. Americans go after and bring out their own.  

It's the right thing to do. 

To an American, such actions are an article of faith. 

They are a sacred trust. 

They are a matter of honor. 

It's how we live.

What core beliefs form your being?

How do you live because of them?