photo of a Joint Service Color Guard Unit

Upholding values is a vital service component of the military and veterans.

As we begin the new year, I thought reflecting on some of the values our military service members and veterans hold dear to their hearts might be helpful. These values are engrained in us as we begin our military duties as either officers or enlisted. Values are the common thread that binds military and veterans together. Each branch has different qualities it seeks to impart. Over the next few weeks, I’d like to reflect on the military’s core values, and perhaps we can look to these values to see what can help us become the best versions of ourselves in 2024.

The U.S. Army is the oldest branch of military service. A Congressional Resolution approved it on June 14, 1775, a year before the Declaration of Independence.

The Army’s core values are:
• Loyalty: To bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and other Soldiers.
• Duty: To fulfill your obligations.
• Respect: To treat people as they should be treated.
• Selfless Service: To put the welfare of the nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own. …
• Honor: 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.
• Integrity: Do what’s right, legally and morally. Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles.
• Personal Courage: This means to stand up for and act upon what you know are honorable daily.

The Congress called for the Navy to augment the war on October 13, 1775, and was formed by General George Washington to defend the American colonies from British attack, while the United States Marine Corps was established on November 10, 1775, to augment naval forces in the Revolutionary War. The Navy’s and Marine Corps’ values are the same.

They are:
• Honor: To be accountable for personal and professional behavior that abides by an uncompromising code of integrity in the highest ethical manner.
• Courage: the value that gives me the moral and mental strength to do what is right with confidence and resolution, even in the face of temptation or adversity.
• Commitment: To join daily with my shipmates as a team to improve the quality of our work, people, and ourselves.

Another word Marines use is Semper Fidelis, which in Latin means “always faithful.” Marines believe the words “Semper Fidelis” uphold their lifelong commitment to America and the Corps.

As we prepare for 2024, perhaps these core values can also be woven into the fabric of our lives.

Next week, we will turn to the U.S. Coast Guard, which in war can be transferred to the Department of the Navy, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Space Force core values.

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