There are times when we need to be reminded of where the real greatness of America lies. It is not with politicians, political pundits, and prognosticators, and it is certainly not with those who seek to fundamentally transform the greatest nation the world has ever known. But what has made America this great nation? It is simple—the men and women whom we may never know who will stand guard on freedom’s ramparts and say, “sleep well, I am on watch.”
Last week, I had my first ever trip to Ft Jackson, South Carolina. My ROTC advanced training was at Ft. Lewis Washington and specialty training was at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma because I was an artilleryman…don’t give me that gender pronoun lecture. It was last week that my son-in-law, JD Durton, graduated from US Army Basic Combat Training. He left here a young man, and he is now an American Soldier, Private First Class. His unit was Delta Company, 3d Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment. His Battalion was commanded by a true American Soldier, LTC Mallincourt, Special Forces Green Beret. It was an honor to meet PFC Durton’s Drill Sergeants and thank them for his “fundamental transformation.”
At a time when everyone knows that the military, all branches, are not meeting recruiting and retention goals, proud families sat in the bleachers of Hinton Field on a hot and humid South Carolina morning. The banner on the field said, “Victory Starts Here” and 513 Soldiers marched onto the field (the cycle began with 560). They had completed 10 weeks of hard basic training.
But what almost brought me to tears was watching those newly minted American Soldiers, in unison, repeat the American Soldier’s Creed. The creed has been updated since 2003 and I wish this modern version was the one I had learned.
I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America, in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.
Those words capture what it means to be an American Soldier. It has nothing to do with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). As a matter of fact, all you had to do was sit in the stands and you could hear the diversity—multiple languages. The age of the graduating class ranged from 17 to 42. There were kids from all over the Nation, inner city, rural, various regions, and backgrounds. Diversity is not something that needs to be forced upon the military, especially the Army. Heck, Ft. Jackson is named after General, and former President Andrew Jackson, who commanded a highly diverse force during the Battle of New Orleans in 1814 as the War of 1812 drew to an end. Yes, since we do not teach history, many do not know we fought the British a second time.
The Army does not need to be taught cultural Marxism and equity. Those young men and women are equal in one thing—they are all American Soldiers. Some may go on to greater achievements such as Airborne, Air Assault, Ranger, or even Green Beret. However, on that day last week, there was only one Soldier of the Cycle, and Drill Sergeant of the Cycle. The Army does not need to become a part of the culture of participation trophy. As well, those Soldiers are all victors, we do not need cultural Marxists trying to divide them based upon delusional assertions of victimhood and oppression. And inclusion? Well, they are now members of the true one-percenters in America. As a matter of fact, only 23 percent of the recruiting age in our society are qualified to be American Soldiers.
I am a firm believer that we need more men and women who have worn the uniform of these United States and been in harm’s way to be elected officials. Those 513 new American Soldiers all took an oath to our Constitution, and sadly, there may be some on that field who will make the last full measure of devotion to our nation.
Our senior military leaders need to end the social engineering of our Armed Forces. No more embracing this derangement called gender dysphoria or rainbows. The only colors that matter to an American Soldier are Red, White, and Blue. They wear it on their right shoulder.
Here is my call to action. Find out if there is an Army, or any Service, Basic Training post near you — Ft. Sill, Ft. Benning, Ft. Jackson, Ft. Leonard Wood — and attend a graduation. Listen to those Troops shout out the Soldier’s Creed. It is one thing to say “Thank you for your Service” but it would be another thing to say that at their Basic Combat Training graduation. Go out of the way for them since they go above and beyond the call of duty for you.
Remember those final words of our National Anthem. You know, that song leftists love to take a knee on. We are the “Land of the Free” because we are the “Home of the Brave.” Francis Scott Key wrote those words as he watched the British bombardment of Ft. McHenry in Baltimore Bay during the War of 1812. Inside Ft. McHenry, American Soldiers were ensuring that the Star Spangled Banner did yet wave at the dawn’s early light.
My Dad, Father-in-Law, Myself, Nephew, and now Son-in-Law all are American Soldiers!
Steadfast and Loyal.