Tag Archives: oath

The Oath of Enlistment

By Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana
Air Force Social Media

When you join any branch of the U.S. military, you take an oath of enlistment. Sometimes this oath is conducted in a private ceremony with only a handful of individuals, but other times it is performed in front of sold-out stadiums. I’ve gathered a few photos highlighting our Delayed Enlistment Program enlistees who are taking their first steps toward enlisting in the Air Force.

The first time someone has the opportunity they will resemble their civilian side. The second time they say the oath will be at basic training graduation, which signifies their transformation from civilian to Airman.

DEPer takes oath of enlistment
Ruben Gawan, son of Chief Master Sgts. Lori and Phillip Gawan, takes the oath of enlistment Nov. 2, 2013, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. After 19 years of traveling around the globe with his parents as a military dependent, Ruben decided to enlist in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Chase Hedrick/Released)

The oath of enlistment can be performed anywhere, and sometimes there are opportunities to perform it in front of huge audiences.

Thunderbird officers performs the oath of office.
Maj. Tyler Ellison, Air Force Thunderbirds pilot, administers the Oath of Enlistment to enlist Florida’s newest Airmen during the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo Air Show at Lakeland, Fla., April, 25, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez/Released)

Many people have seen it conducted before baseball, football and even NASCAR events.

DEPers take oath at a minor league baseball game.
Members of the 331st Recruiting Squadron Delayed Enlistment Program take the Oath of Enlistment at the Montgomery Biscuits annual Military Appreciation Night baseball game June 13, 2015. Maj. Gen. Maury Forsyth, Spaatz Center commander, administered the oath. (U.S. Air Force photo by Donna Burnett/Released)

One great aspect of taking the oath after your first enlistment is someone can make it memorable.

Oath taken under water.
Tech. Sgt. Robert Barnes, 325th Communications Squadron quality assurance NCO in charge, prepares to take the Oath of Enlistment June 26, 2015. His re-enlistment was done 70 feet under water. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sergio A. Gamboa/Released)

These Airmen reenlisted during their deployments. Not only are they honoring our country, they are making an added commitment to protect it while deployed.

Deployed Airmen take the oath of enlistment
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. LaMarcus Molden, 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force-Iraq personnel manager, recites the oath of enlistment along with 125 other service members during a re-enlistment ceremony at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Oct. 5, 2011. Molden was deployed from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and is originally from Albany, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo/Released)

Sometimes you have those people who like to add a little flair to their oath. This Air Force PJ performed the ceremony and then jumped from a C-130! Go big or go home.

Jumping from a C-130
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Kristopher Tomes, a pararescueman with the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, re-enlists aboard a HC-130 minutes before jumping near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Nov. 19, 2013. Tomes is deployed from the 308th Rescue Squadron and has performed more than 150 jumps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Staci Miller/Released)

If you’ve ever taken the oath of enlistment, feel free to share your story with us!

Taking the oath

Tech. Sgt. Steve Grever
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Re-enlisting in the Air Force is an honorable and celebrated occasion for many Airmen. It signifies their continued commitment to serve and protect the nation from all enemies who threaten our democracy. Federal law actually requires all service members who enlist or re-enlist to take the Oath of Enlistment, which states:

I, (name), 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.)

I spoke these words for the first time in 1997. I was going through the Military Entrance Processing Station, or MEPS, in Salt Lake City, Utah, just before I made my journey to basic military training. Over the course of my 16-year career in the Air Force, I’ve re-enlisted four times, and each time I took the oath and reflected on its meaning and on my commitment to serve.

These photos of deployed pararescueman Senior Airman Kristopher Tomes re-enlisting aboard a HC-130 really impacted me because he took that same oath. It is what sets us apart as military members. Taking the oath instills a sense of pride and camaraderie for everyone who wears the uniform. We understand what it’s like to serve something greater than ourselves, and it’s our privilege to be a part of the world’s greatest Air Force.

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PHOTOS: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Kristopher Tomes, a pararescueman with the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, re-enlists aboard a HC-130 minutes before jumping near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Nov. 19, 2013. Tomes is deployed from the 308th Rescue Squadron and has performed more than 150 jumps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Staci Miller/Released)