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Alabama Guard Soldiers Reenlist Over Afghanistan

Alabama Soldiers from the 226th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade re-enlisted over Kabul province, Afghanistan, Sept. 29, 2013. Photo by SSG Sandra Lucas / Courtesy of DVIDS
Alabama Soldiers from the 226th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade re-enlisted over Kabul province, Afghanistan, Sept. 29, 2013. Photo by SSG Sandra Lucas / Courtesy of DVIDS

KABUL PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN Five Soldiers from Camp Phoenix, Afghanistan, re-enlisted Sept. 29 for a collective 27 years.

 Sergeant First Class Heath Harrison, Sergeant John Travis, Specialist William Bernos, Specialist Justin Mizell and Specialist Stephanie Buitron, are Alabama National Guard members with the 226th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) of Mobile, AL.



Captain Joe Farley, garrison access control officer in charge, 226th MEB, administered the oath. Farley said it was an honor.



The decision to re-enlist is a serious matter for consideration by Soldiers and their families. Soldiers who choose to continue their service begin planning their re-enlistment ceremony.



A request submitted to the operations section (S3) for a helicopter to accommodate the re-enlistment ceremony made its way through the chain of command. Master Sergeant Paul Barnes, operations sergeant major, received the request for action. “It took some doing, but we got it done,” said Barnes.



It was loud in the helicopter. The pilot signaled when they were at a safe altitude over Kabul. Farley’s voice was loud and clear, “Raise your right hand and repeat after me."

Taking the oath dates to the Revolutionary War, when the Continental Congress established different oaths for the enlisted men and officers of the Continental Army. According to the Center of Military History, the first oath under the Constitution was approved by an act of Congress on Sept. 29, 1789 (Sec. 3, Ch. 25, First Congress). It applied to privates, as well as commissioned and noncommissioned officers. The enlisted oath remained unchanged until 1950.



The words of the current Oath of Enlistment for commissioned officers 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." (Title 10, U.S. Code; act of May 5, 1960, replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective Oct. 5, 1962).

– By SSG Sandra Lucas / Courtesy of DVIDS