The first duty of an Officer

Discussion in 'Military' started by RetiredGySgt, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    All Officers swear an oath to defend and protect the US Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. THEN they swear to obey the orders of Officers placed above them.

    The first duty of an Officer is NOT the protection of his men. It is Mission Accomplishment. Within the confines of Mission Accomplishment an Officer is to do his best for his men.

    The first and primary MISSION of any US Military Officer is to DEFEND and PROTECT the Constitution.
     
  2. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Me thinks a certain 0-5 will be checking in soon.

    :popcorn:
     
  3. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Where is Del with his claim that an Officer must protect his troops first.
     
  4. eots
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    "I, _____, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same
     
  5. JerkInTheBox
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    JerkInTheBox In the pipe, 5x5

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    -GySgt, first things first: Thank you for your service. I'll ask that you don't take any of what I'm about to say as belittling or patronizing to the honorable service of our enlisted men in uniform.

    -To address your post: You are absolutely right that officers swear an oath to the constitution and nothing else. However, I must disagree with your assertion that an officer's duty is to mission accomplishment alone. In truth, it's really difficult to accurately quantify exactly what an officer's duties are. The text of the officer's oath of office is as follows:

    I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

    -Note that there is nothing in the oath that requires an officer to follow the orders of anyone placed above him. The actual statement that requires an officer to follow orders is in their commission (the document that grants an officer their rank), and it is enforced by the UCMJ (articles 89 and 90). The officer's commission is given and has effect solely "at the pleasure of the president." You can look this up. What does this mean? The logical extension of these facts is that an officer is required to disobey an order he believes to be illegal or unconstitutional.

    There is an important difference to note between this and the oath of enlistment:

    I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

    -This specifically charges an enlisted member to follow orders. While they, like all service members, swear the oath to the constitution, enlisted members are given a narrower scope of judgment and responsibility upon swearing in. Now, a good officer will recognize when his men are Sierra Hotel and ensure that they are given the responsibility that their abilities, experience, and maturity warrant. There are, of course, shi@#y officers out there.

    -What does this mean? An officer is charged with determining the best course of action for himself, from day 1. This means determining both the best way to accomplish the mission and how he's going to do it while getting his men home. This is the most important thing. Not one or the other. It may be the largest part of an officer's duty to serve and protect the constitution, but it is his sacred charge to bring his men home as safely as possible. Officers and Staff Non-Commissioned officers alone understand the full weight of the burden that is the trust of a nation to both protect them and bring their children home alive after doing so. There is not one officer I have met who would choose a course of action that, while accomplishing the mission more efficiently, would also lead to getting more of his men killed or wounded. As the Marines say, "Mission first, people always."

    -As a retired Gunny, I expect that you've seen and have some understanding of the burden placed on any leader. But to imply that an officer's first duty is not to his men is tantamount to heresy in my opinion, and that of many other officers.

    respectfully,
    The Jerk
     
  6. Big Black Dog
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    Big Black Dog Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Don't you just love a sea lawyer....
     
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  7. JerkInTheBox
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    JerkInTheBox In the pipe, 5x5

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    -You're asking for it, buddy. No biscuit. BAD COUNT. BAD.
     
  8. CrimsonWhite
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    This is too funny. A retired NCO dictating what an Officer's duties are. :lol:
     
  9. JerkInTheBox
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    I think that as a retired Staff NCO, he would have an idea of what an officer should be doing. However, while he makes a point on a strictly legal level, there is far more to officership and military service in general than simple, rote law.
     
  10. CrimsonWhite
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    No shit?
     

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