Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oath of Office

I stood in front of the American flag, raised my right hand which was cramped from signing about a thousand forms first, middle, and last name and repeated:
"I, Colin David Brown (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of second lieutenant do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God." (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)
It seems as though every other week I am taking another oath. First the oath for medical school and now the oath for the military. As I was saying the oath I felt a little funny. I don't think it was because I did not agree or understand with what I was saying, but because I was now held to higher standard, and questions came through my mind like, "would I be able to fulfill this calling?" or "Defend the constitution, how do they expect me to do that?"

While this oath has not changed my day to day life yet, it does change who I represent and to who I am accountable. Now I am not only accountable to the profession of medicine but also the profession of one in the armed forces of the United States. I have a new found respect for those men and women, including my brother in the navy, who have also taken that oath.


Es said...

Yes we are very different yet both passionate about practicing medicine

Elisabeth said...

Congrats on becoming an officer and thanks for serving our country.