The Catholic Defender: Basic Training And Soldiers Under Command, Our Core Values
After nearly four years of college and then being in the work force, I caught one of those Army commercials calling us to be "All you can be in the Army". I made a dramatic career change that would change my life forever.
I am so thankful that I was strong in my Catholic Faith before I signed up because I would be tested many times through out my Military life. So much so that I do not know how anyone can go though this without have faith!
The foundation of the United States are clearly based from our Christian roots, even though the past several years we have deviated from those foundations. We are trying to use the same rhetoric but clearly changing the meaning behind that rhetoric.
Everywhere you see the suppression of the freedom of religion. The imposition of the Secular State by a few through Judicial Activism is knocking on the door to scandal, tyranny, and the take over of big government.
America, because of it’s Christian foundations, has been the leader in promoting freedom in the world, in fighting tyranny and brutal expansionism imposed by Communism. America was always seen as the good guys wearing the white hats. That was the America I was being raised in. But in recent decades, we have seen a deterioration trying to disrobe ourselves of our Christian foundations.
That means the attack on our Constitution which guarantees the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.
I first went on active duty in the Army on February 7, 1985. Our military training at that time was matched against the Russian threat because the Cold War was still in effect. So all of our training was in preparation for a war with the Soviet Union. The Vietnam War is a great example. We had to know the weaponry that the Russian back armies would use.
On one occasion, we were shown a video of how the Russian Soldiers trained. This was while the “Cold War” was still in effect, at the end of the video, the Drill Sergeant invited us to ask questions from what we saw.
After a number of troops asked their questions, I raised my hand to make a statement.
The Drill Sergeant gave me permission to speak. I then stood up and said, “Drill Sergeant, we have been watching how our counterparts train. One major reason why I prefer this uniform that I’m wearing now is because it protects our right to worship God in freedom and preserves our liberty to do so. On the other hand, these Russian Soldiers do not mind taking clubs and beating old men, women, and children because they were hiding in a barn to worship God. These people have to worship God in secret”.
At that point an immediate round of applause and cheering followed my words which surprised the Drill Sergeants. They was taken off guard with what I said and the response it got. This went on for another 30-40 seconds until the one Drill Sergeant regained his composure.
When he gave that look everyone went back to their sitting at attention leaving me standing their alone. The Drill Sergeant looked at me for a moment and said, “That’s all Private” and I sat back down.
I wonder what would happen if today somebody else had a similar statement? Would there be the support? Would the Soldier receive the positive response?
Would the Drill Sergeants respect such a position? In 1985, our faith had not been under the attack that it is now because of the politics of a few.
I would be given a new name while in Basic, they were calling me "Padre" because I was always exhibiting my faith in some way. Another example occurred when one of our Drill Sergeants was getting really frustrated with some members of the platoon. Sadly, some recruits just were not made for marching and we had a competition coming up. The Drill Sergeant yelled out who did we thing he was, Jesus Christ? I responded I am a representative of Jesus so if you need anything from him I can help! I ended up doing a little bit of low crawling.
I want to take a look at the Army values because this shows the basic heritage that our Christian culture has played in our foundations of who we are as a people. Our common values were what made America exceptional and why people have wanted to come from all over the world to America who dream of living free.
The Military has always been important in how it instilled the American values in it’s members. People are familiar with the words Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage but many times people coming in from society come from places that have lost the concept of these values. Soldiers learn these values in detail during Basic Combat Training (BCT), from then on we live them every day in everything we do — whether we on the job or off. In short, the Seven Core Army Values listed below are what being a Soldier is all about.
The Army Values with my commentary:
Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other Soldiers. Bearing true faith and allegiance is a matter of believing in and devoting yourself to something or someone.
A loyal Soldier is one who supports the leadership and stands up for fellow Soldiers.
By wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army you are expressing your loyalty. And by doing your share, you show your loyalty to your unit.
There is a lot to say from our Christian foundation that speaks of loyalty.
Romans 12:10 states, “love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor.” Bearing true faith, believing in and devoting yourself really means a great deal at the very core. The loyalty that a husband and wife share, the loyalty that teammates have on a playing field have, loyalty is closely aligned with faithfulness.
To be faithful to God is to be loyal to His teachings. What the Secularists attempt to do is transform the traditional culture of loyalty to a new direction imposing a loyalty to those who implants tyranny, the support of an oppressive government.
Fulfill your obligations. Doing your duty means more than carrying out your assigned tasks. Duty means being able to accomplish tasks as part of a team. The work of the U.S. Army is a complex combination of missions, tasks and responsibilities — all in constant motion. Our work entails building one assignment onto another. You fulfill your obligations as a part of your unit every time you resist the temptation to take “shortcuts” that might undermine the integrity of the final product.
1 Timothy 4:12 states, “ Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” As Christians, we have a code of conduct to seek to do what is right, to be moral, a good example, to be responsible. We are obligated to always do the right thing. Good Soldiers are those you can trust to always do the right thing even when unsupervised. The sense of duty is instilled in people at a very young age. Our Christian foundations foster such values.
2 Corinthians 5:20 states, “So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” This has been so foundational for me that when in other countries, I saw myself as an ambassador representing the United States. I always took that seriously because I represented what my Country represents, ultimately the freedom of serving God. The good guys wearing the white hats.
The Secularist are seeking to transform our sense of duty from bearing witness of who we are to something whom we are not. The Secularists have tried to import their ideology to other countries imposing their goals of world suppression of religious freedoms.
Treat people as they should be treated. In the Soldier’s Code, we pledge to “treat others with dignity and respect while expecting others to do the same.”
Respect is what allows us to appreciate the best in other people. Respect is trusting that all people have done their jobs and fulfilled their duty. And self-respect is a vital ingredient with the Army value of respect, which results from knowing you have put forth your best effort. The Army is one team and each of us has something to contribute.
Respect is instilled in us from an early age, Exodus 20:12 states, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”
Young people will imitate whom they admire and gravitate towards those whom they imitate. That is why role modals play an important part in shaping young people. That can be both good or bad. This has always been a positive that the Military develops Soldiers to elicit higher achievement, to instill qualities and abilities through training.
The verbiage in the Military has changed little in the guidelines and pamphlets, but the changing culture that is in the wind seeks to erode the foundations of respect. Deuteronomy 27:16 states, “Cursed be he who dishonors his father or his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.” If we throw God out the window, we have lost all sense of respect. The Secularist seek to pervert what is a family, what is a marriage, what is respect.
Put the welfare of the nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own.
Selfless service is larger than just one person. In serving your country, you are doing your duty loyally without thought of recognition or gain.
The basic building block of selfless service is the commitment of each team member to go a little further, endure a little longer, and look a little closer to see how he or she can add to the effort.
John 15:12-13 states, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” We do things simply because it is the right thing to do, to help others, to do things without expectation of a reward. We perform our lives out of the love that we have for God, for our families, our country, and for our way of life. This is taught to us from a young age through discipline.
Families that have standards, that live the gospel values hold to tighter commitment and selfless service than those who come from broken homes. It is tougher to learn this important value.
1 Peter 3:8 states, “Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love of the brethren, a tender heart and a humble mind.” The family the prays together, stays together is very important. The Secularist seek to place man at the help and toss God out of his Sovereign place. This is ludicrous. ”He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:18-19
Live up to Army values. The nation’s highest military award is The Medal of Honor. This award goes to Soldiers who make honor a matter of daily living — Soldiers who develop the habit of being honorable, and solidify that habit with every value choice they make. Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in everything you do.
Honor is very important to the culture we have inherited, Psalms 22:23 states, “You who fear the LORD, praise him! all you sons of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you sons of Israel!” We are to see Christ in others, even to the point of showing honor and respect to those who do not follow God. In the warriors code we are to show high respect, even esteem to our leaders. We are taught to give honor first to God, then our parents, and then to those we hold high importance.
James 1:27 states, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
We are to show honor to all people due to their human dignity. The Secularist seek to deviate from the honor due to God and seek the honor for themselves. That is clearly the breaking of God’s Commandments.
Do what’s right, legally and morally. Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles. It requires that you do and say nothing that deceives others.
As your integrity grows, so does the trust others place in you. The more choices you make based on integrity, the more this highly prized value will affect your relationships with family and friends, and, finally, the fundamental acceptance of yourself.
Proverbs 28:18 states, “He who walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is perverse in his ways will fall into a pit.” Perhaps you have heard that honesty is the best policy, well, that holds true. Integrity is about being honest with yourself and with others. Our Faith demands that we hold fast to high moral principles, to be upright in the eyes of God and man.
Titus 2:7-8 states, “Show yourself in all respects a model of good deeds, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us.” Integrity is central in our Christian faith, this is such a part of us that that people know us by what we say, by what we do, and by what we love.
We all make mistakes, but the Lord has given us His Catholic Church that gives us His means of cleansing. The Secularist attempts to use their cunning to take the wording of respect, honor, and integrity and to transform them with new meaning that is not godly, even deceptive.
Face fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral). Personal courage has long been associated with our Army. With physical courage, it is a matter of enduring physical duress and at times risking personal safety. Facing moral fear or adversity may be a long, slow process of continuing forward on the right path, especially if taking those actions is not popular with others. You can build your personal courage by daily standing up for and acting upon the things that you know are honorable.
2 Timothy 1:7 states, “for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.”
Courage is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, it is very important at different levels. From having fear overcoming goals that might define who you are, to admitting making mistakes, letting go of all pride, to know your limitations and recognize your need to grow.
To remain strong on all the Godly values that completes a person and their identify in Christ. To have the courage to hold on to your personal values and ethics. To show courage in the face of danger and hostility.
That is something that is instinctive as well as taught. It is something that God gives this give that shapes the person.
Heroes are people who sometimes faced great adversity, they responded heroically as most people would under the same situation. Sometimes it is being in the right place at the right time.
Our hope is that all Soldiers would react heroically when their nation calls upon them. This is instilled in us through faith in God.
Romans 8:18 states, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” We grow up idolizing our childhood heroes. The Secularist seek to transform courage to mean something that is opposite to the original intent. It is not courageous to stand for abortion for example, but it is truly courageous to stand for life.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are Soldiers under God’s Command, we are to utilize the very values that the Military wants to employ, but know that the meanings are changing and so it is very important that we instill that God is Sovereign and the very source for which all the Army values are derived.
Basic Training was an opportunity that I hoped to have made a difference not only for myself, but anyone whom I was in contact with. That included the Drill Sergeants that I encountered. By trying to keep a sober mind, by being competent, I always strived to do the best that I could for God and for Country.