June 4, 2007

New Oaths

Midway Six has blogged on Oaths for CAP officers before. Over at CAPTalk, the idea has created quite a stir. Although most of the discussion deals with the term "So Help Me God", I was mostly struck with one of the posters who raised the question of swearing an oath to corporate values over national allegiance. As it currently stands, new members have the following oath

I, (full name), having been accepted as a member of The United States Civil Air Patrol, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and comply with the Constitution, Bylaws and regulations of U.S. Civil Air Patrol; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge all duties and responsibilities as well as obey the orders of the officers appointed over me according to regulations, so help me God. (emphasis mine)

The other two oaths, promotion and Commander's follow a similar structure. The part I highlighted is what I would like to talk about. The poster said that s/he was uncomfortable with the idea of swearing to uphold corporate principals (as the highlighted part demonstrates). Although I understand this, it is important to point out that Collegiate and other Fraternal Organizations usually involve oaths of some kind that are similar. Those members pledge to follow the bylaws and rules of that organization as well. Are we any different in that regard? As members, don't we have the obligation to follow the rules and procedures of our own organization? Of course we do. This oath just makes up affirm it with ceremony, rather than nonchalantly signing one's name on a sheet of paper.

Therefore, although the oaths could be improved a little, swearing to follow the rules and orders of superiors serves the purpose it should.

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