(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Be All You Can Be
By standard or Active Duty?
By Zelda Dominguez
Have you ever been to a military training graduation? It is a culmination of rigorous months of hands on instruction. Civilian recruits will have learned basic tactical and survival skills. They learn the importance of team work; through training exercises, recruits learn new skills and develop the confidence it takes to become a Soldier. This is the day that their families and friends gather to watch them transform from civilians to soldiers.
The Soldier’s Core Values as Adapted from army.mil
The Soldier’s Core Values are listed online and described as follows:
Loyalty: The soldier is trained and sworn by oath to defend against all enemies, have faith, and believe in the Constitution of the United States.
Duty: There is no quitting, and duty means being able to accomplish tasks as part of a team. A soldier does not allow distraction from their mission and remains focused. You fulfill your obligations as a part of your unit every time you resist the temptation to take “shortcuts” that might undermine the integrity of the final product.
Respect: Treat people as they should be treated. Respect is what allows us to appreciate the best in others. Self-respect is a vital ingredient with the Army value of respect, which results from knowing you have put forth your best effort. The Army is one team and each one has something to contribute.
Selfless Service: Put the welfare of the Nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own. It’s the commitment of each team member to go a little further, endure a little longer, and look a little closer to see how he or she can add to the effort. Serving without recognition or gain
Honor: Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in everything you do.
Integrity: Do what’s right, legally and morally. Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles. It requires that you do and say nothing that deceives others.
Personal Courage: Face fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral). With physical courage, it is a matter of enduring physical endurence and at times risking personal safety. Facing moral fear or adversity may be a long, slow process of continuing forward on the right path, especially if taking those actions is not popular with others. You can build your personal courage by daily standing up for and acting upon the things that you know are honorable.
After discovering the army had core values, it was interesting to me that these fundamental principles were similar to Christian values which both help dictate our actions and behavior. It reminded me of how a soldier reads and considers what he’s about to accept; it’s like it says in Luke 14:25-34 about counting the cost of being a follower of Jesus.
If you are a Christian, you are a soldier too, a soldier in the army of the Lord. I also must add, I understand in today’s culture climate, this imagery may not be most popular. The military isn’t well looked upon by everyone as of yesteryear; nevertheless, many times in the Bible military terms and metaphors are used. Think of all the military imagery that Paul uses to describe the Christian life, when writing to young Timothy, who was being prepared and trained for leadership. Second Timothy 2:3-4 states, “Timothy, you must endure hardship, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.” Another version refers to the officer who enlisted him. Paul knew that the church needs good soldiers, people who are not afraid to step onto the battlefield.
We face a spiritual battle daily and the Bible says:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.”
– 1 Peter 5:8
“The thief (the enemy, Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
– John 10:10
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world.”
– Ephesians 6: 10-12
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
– 2 Timothy 3:17
We too can choose to faithfully live according to the words of our commander. A newly enlisted soldier is issued a uniform and tools to help him through his mission. We also are given the tools necessary to fight and accomplish the work we’re called to do. Ephesians 6:13 states, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”
There are Christians that go to church and want to do their duty of going and hearing a good message, but have no intentions of doing it. They don’t want to do the work or incur any of the responsibility. They want to do their own things, set up and justify their own standards. Hebrews 13:21 states, “May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him.”
Just as the soldier is trained we have been given ability and power. God will always provide the skills, ability, direction, and resources we need to carry out His will.
There are two kinds of soldiers in an army. There are faithful soldiers and there are unfaithful soldiers. Some soldiers will lay down their life for a fellow soldier, some will desert their unit. John 15:13 states, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus sacrificed his life for us.
A good soldier will obey orders. A disobedient soldier will not listen to authority. Obedience is a must! The Lord cannot do anything with anybody that is not willing to follow Him and do His will.