I am an Army Cadet. Soon I will take an oath and become an Army Officer committed to DEFENDING the values which make this Nation great. HONOR is my touchstone. I understand MISSION first and PEOPLE always.
I am the PAST: the spirit of those WARRIORS who have made the final sacrifice.
I am the PRESENT: the scholar and apprentice soldier enhancing my skills in the science of warfare and the art of leadership.
But above all, I am the FUTURE: the future WARRIOR LEADER of the United States Army. May God give me the compassion and judgment to lead and the gallantry to battle to win.
The Cadet Creed emphasizes these concepts:
“Defending the values which make this Nation great.”
Upon being commissioned, cadets take an oath to defend, with their lives when necessary, the Constitution of the United States of America. This document, created more than two centuries ago after our nation’s valiant struggle for independence, is the keystone of our way of life. Our nation derives its strength from the consent of the governed. The basic tenets of our Constitution are that all people have certain natural inalienable rights and are born equal before the law. These are powerful words, but words that have meaning only as long as we as Americans are willing to defend our value system as embodied in our Constitution. This each Army cadet is honor bound to do, both as a cadet and later as a commissioned officer.
“Honor is my touch stone.”
Honor is used in two ways when referring to Army cadets. Serving the people of the United States as a commissioned officer is an honor afforded to only a small fraction of our young men and women. More importantly, “with honor” describes how an Army cadet will serve upon being commissioned. Honor is the bedrock upon which the Army officer builds a successful career. Honor is the thread that holds together the fabric of our Army as it discharges its critical mission of being the strategic force that maintains the integrity of our nation and peace in our world. Serving with honor begins in the cadet years and builds throughout a career.
“Mission first and people always.”
The Army cadet who lives by these five words will always get the job done, which is the essence of being an Army officer. A commissioned officer has a sacred obligation to take care of the men and women who are entrusted to the unit—to guide, train, teach, and counsel. The leader who cares for people will always command the respect and dedicated service of those commanded, assuring mission accomplishment.
“I am the past.”
The legacy of the Army cadet dates to the colonial Army that won our independence. It has been enriched by each generation that served in time of peace to safeguard our security and in time of war to secure victory through supreme sacrifice. The tradition of the Army cadet is to live up to the magnificent example set by our former comrades-in-arms both on land and overseas and as the guardians of liberty.
“I am the present.”
Army cadets are talented people molded into superior leaders through commitment to excellence by the officers and noncommissioned officers of the ROTC Cadre. The skills of the Army cadet are enhanced in the classroom, at field training exercises, and at Basic and Advanced Camp. The Army cadet dedicated to excellence can become an officer who is both a war winner and a respected leader.
“I am the future.”
Army cadets are indeed the Army’s future officer leadership, charged with the responsibility of leading the outstanding young Americans who fill the enlisted ranks of our Army. Our Army cadets will be challenged to maintain and strengthen our Army and to master the futuristic weapons systems being fielded. Being an officer and leader will be both a challenge and an opportunity. Each Army cadet must live up to his or her full potential to become a warrior leader with the “right stuff” to be a war winner.
“I will do my duty.”
Doing one’s duty encompasses all the traits inherent in being an Army cadet and an Army officer. In the words of one of America’s most respected Army commanders, General Robert E. Lee, “Duty is the most sublime work in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.”