What is the Army Oath of Enlistment?


Quick Answer

The oath of enlistment is an oath that federal law requires anyone enlisting or re-enlisting in the Armed Forces of the United States to take, with the exception of the National Guard. Any commissioned officers can administer the oath.

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Full Answer

U.S. federal law requires anyone enlisting or re-enlisting into the Armed Forces take an oath of enlistment. A commissioned officer administers the oath of enlistment to any person preparing to enter a term of service into a branch of the military. Before the oath, the commissioned officer asks the person to raise his right hand and repeat the oath.

The oath of enlistment is traditionally done in front of the United States flag, although other flags may be present, including the state flag, military branch flag or unit guidon. The oath of enlistment was created during the Revolutionary War when the Continental Congress established different oaths for the enlisted men of the Continental Army.

The current oath of enlistment for the Armed Forces, excluding the National Guard, requires the oath-taker to swear to support the U.S. Constitution against all enemies, to obey orders from the President of the United States and appointed officers and to obey the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

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