Learning the JROTC Creed guides us to become better

I begin by saying, “I am an Army Junior ROTC Cadet.”

These words are the first line in the US Army JROTC Cadet Creed are few and simple, but they spring from the very core of my soul and hold truth and power whenever I speak them.

They speak of the honor and accountability that drives me forward in a manner as to compel me to “always bring credit to my family, country, school, and the Corps of Cadets.” “I am loyal and patriotic.”

These words ignite my patriotism and spark my belief and fervent loyalty to my country.

“I am the future of the United States of America.” I am the past, present, and future of this great nation, because I am a living legacy of what this world is and will become.

“I do not lie, cheat or steal and will always be accountable for my actions and deeds.”

In my everyday life, I will always take responsibility for each and every action I take.

“I will always practice good citizenship and patriotism.”

To become a good citizen requires continual practice. Patriotism and loyalty to the red, white and blue are easy, because my heart beats steadily for this country.

“I will work hard to improve my mind and strengthen my body.”

Every day in my life, I work hard to learn something new. I seek new knowledge to become smarter and intelligent.

Every Friday, cadets conduct physical training to strengthen our mind and our bodies.

“I will seek the mantle of leadership and stand prepared to uphold the Constitution and the American way of life.”

I will take the responsibility to stand, face, and protect our wonderful country, no matter what.

“May God grant me the strength to always live by this creed.”

The reason we ask God to grant us strength is because it isn’t easy to live up to the standards of the creed. But, with God’s help we can do it.

This is the US Army Cadet Creed and what it all means to me. The cadet creed did not come from Cadet Command Headquarters, but from high schools across the nation. It is student driven, conceived, and executed.

In Major General James M. Lyles first year as ROTC chief, he encountered many units who wanted to come up with a creed. To the Commanding General, it felt as if there was a deep need for a statement of purpose for the cadets. He had a vision of excellence, and looked towards the High School Directorate to draft a creed that would embody his inner revelation. If it wasn’t for schools across the nation, Major General Lyles, and the High School Directorate we may not have the creed we have today.

During the first semester of being a cadet, there are certain requirements that must be completed in order to earn the rank of Private. One of the requirements is that the cadet has to memorize the cadet creed and stand before the class to recite it. By doing this, the cadet immediately understands what is expected in this program.

As a cadet, we strive to be a walking manifestation the creed. We are to be honest, patriotic, and loyal. Is it very hard? Of course! We are human, and I believe that making mistakes is ingrained in our DNA. However, our mistakes do not define us if we are willing to learn from our missteps and place progressive footsteps towards a brighter future. I believe that this is what the creed is about.

We should wake up every day and attempt to be a better version of who we were the day prior. We should fashion ourselves into a beacon of hope for the future.

The General Lyles said that he thought cadets needed a creed for a statement of purpose, and he is correct. This creed gives every cadet a roadmap that is based in morality, and geared towards a successful existence.

It shows what cadets do and how we live life the JROTC way.

Without this creed, our battalion would not be what it is today. It wouldn’t give us something in which to commit and to make sure we, as cadets, are doing the right thing. I believe the creed has made not only JROTC, but also the world, a better place.

- Kaitlyn Roe is a cadet Second Lieutenant Platoon Leader in the Fort Payne High School JROTC Wildcat Battalion. She is responsible for training and managing 35 cadets. Kaitlyn also serves as a member of the battalion staff. She is tasked with writing newspaper articles highlighting key aspects of Army JROTC at Fort Payne High School.

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