- US Air Force Oath of Enlistment
I, Zoomie, swear to sign away 4 years of my useless life to the United States Air Force because I’m too smart for the Army and because the Marines frighten me. I swear to sit behind a desk and take credit for the work done by others more dedicated than me who take their job seriously. I also swear not to do any form of real exercise, but promise to defend our bike riding test as a valid form of exercise. I swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, even though I believe myself to be above that. I promise to walk around calling everyone by their first name because I know I’m not really in the military and I find it amusing to annoy the other services. I will have a better quality of life than all those around me and will at all times besure to make them aware of that fact. After completion of my snicker “Basic Training,” I will be a lean, mean, donut-eating, lazy-boy sitting, civilian-wearing-blue-clothes, chairborne Ranger. I will believe I am superior to all others and will make an effort to clean the knife before stabbing the next person in the back with it. I will do no work unless someone is watching me (and it makes me look good), will annoy those around me, and will go home early every day. I consent to never getting promoted (EVER) and understand that all those whom I made fun of yesterday will probably outrank me tomorrow. So help me God.
- US Army Oath of Enlistment
I, Rambo, swear to sign away 4 years of my mediocre life to the United States Army because I couldn’t score high enough on the ASVAB to get into the Air Force, because I’m not tough enough for the Marines, and the Navy won’t take me because I can’t swim. I will wear camouflage every day and tuck my trousers in my boots because I can’t figure out how to use blousing straps. I promise to wear my uniform 24 hours a day even when I have a date. I will continue to tell myself that I am a fierce killing machine because my Drill Sergeant told me I am, despite the fact that the only action I will ever see is a court-martial for sexual harassment. I acknowledge the fact that I will make E-8 in my first year of service, and vow to maintain that it is because I scored perfect on my PT test. After completion of my sexual…er…I mean Boot Camp, I will attend a different Army school once every other month and return knowing less than I did when I left. On my first trip home after Boot Camp, I will walk around like I am cool and propose to my 9th grade sweetheart. I will make my wife stay home because if I let her out she might leave me for a smarter Air Force guy or a better looking Marine. Should she leave me twelve times, I will continue to take her back. While at work, I will maintain a look of knowledge while getting absolutely nothing accomplished. I will arrive at work every day at 1000 hrs because of morning PT and leave every day at 1300 to report back to the “company.” I understand that I will undergo no training whatsoever that will help me get a job upon separation, and will end up working in construction with my friends from high school. I will brag to everyone about the Army giving me $30,000 for college, but will be unable to use it because I can’t pass a placement exam. So help me God.
- US Navy Oath of Enlistment
I, Top Gun, in lieu of going to prison, swear to sign away 4 years of my life to the United States Navy because I want to hang out with Marines without actually having to BE one of them, because I thought the Air Force was too “corporate,” and because I thought, “hey, I like to swim…why not?” I promise to wear clothing that went out of style in 1976 and to have my name stenciled on the butt of every pair of pants I own. I understand that I will be mistaken for the Good Humor man during the summer, and for Waffen SS during the winter. I will strive to use a different language than the rest of the English-speaking world. using words like “deck, bulkhead, cover, and head” instead of “floor, wall, hat, and toilet.” I will take great pride in the fact that all Navy acronyms, rank and ensignia, and everything else for that matter, are completely different from the other services and make absolutely no sense whatsoever. I will muster (whatever that is) at 0700 hrs every morning unless I am buddy-buddy with the Chief, in which case I will show up around 0930 hours. I vow to hone my coffee cup handling skills to the point that I can stand up in a kayak being tossed around in a typhoon, and still not spill a drop. I consent to being promoted and subsequently busted at least twice per fiscal year. I realize that, once selected for Chief, I am required to submit myself to the sick, and quite possibly illegal, whims of my new-found “colleagues.” So help me Neptune.
- US Marine Corps Oath of Enlistment
I, state your name, swear… uuhhhh… high-and-tight… (grunt) cammies… uhh… ugh… Air Force women… OORAH! So help me Corps.
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Date (Y/N): _________________
Note: This is the original version, written by former Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt, stationed in Washington DC in 1986. The full version of the story behind this poem can be read at Snopes.com.
Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.
I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
and to see just who in this home did live.
As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.
With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I’d seen.
This was the home of a U.S. Marine.
I’d heard stories about them, I had to see more,
so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.
He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?
His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
I soon understood, this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night,
owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.
Soon around the Nation, the children would play,
And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
because of Marines like this one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.
He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more.
My life is my God, my country, my Corps.”
With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.
Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.
I didn’t want to leave him so quiet in the night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
said “Carry on, Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all secure.”
One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.