How to Perform an Oath of Enlistment

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To perform an oath of enlistment is to supervise an enlisted recruit’s commitment to the U.S. military. This oath is also used for service members who are re-enlisting after their commitment is completed. Any active duty, reserve or retired officer from any branch of the U.S. military can conduct the ceremony. An enlisted recruit may ask a family member, mentor or commanding officer to administer the oath of enlistment. If you have been asked to conduct this ceremony, be prepared to do so with the dignity it deserves.

Call the recruit(s) enlisting for the first time or service member(s) re-enlisting to attention.

Speak any remarks about the recruit(s) or re-enlisting service member(s) that you feel are appropriate considering your relationship and those in attendance.

Ask the to raise their right hand(s). Raise your right hand.

Ask the recruit(s) or service member(s) to repeat the oath after you.

Speak the words of the oath of enlistment, stopping every 5 to 10 words, allowing those enlisting or re-enlisting to repeat the oath. The words are as follows: "I, 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."

Shake the hand of the recruit(s) or service member(s) and sign the official military document(s).

Tiffany Silverberg has written grants and copy materials for over three years. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a degree in linguistics. Silverberg has conducted research regarding language development in deaf children and worked as the lead reporter at the Kingsville Record and Bishop News in Texas.