This appeared in AOL News today. It's sad that his spot on OpEd isn't being printed in every major media outlet in the land.
My sincerest and most enthusiastic cheers to Bob.
P.S. But then for every step forward, there comes someone who wants to take two steps back!
Might I add the words of an Officer's Commission from the President.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES of America
To all who shall see these presents, greetings:
Know ye that reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity
and abilities of _____________________________, I do appoint (him/her) a ____________________ in the United States Army.
To rank as such from the ______________ day of ____________, two thousand and _____________This officer will therefore carefully and diligently discharge the duties of the office to which appointed by doing and performing all manner of things thereunto belonging.
And I do strictly charge and require those officers and other personnel of lesser rank to render such obedience as is due an officer of this grade and position. And, this officer is to observe and follow such orders and directions from time to time; as may be given by the President of the United States of America or other superior officers, acting in accordance with the laws of the United States of America.
This commission is to continue in force during the pleasure of the President of the United States of America, under the provisions of those public laws relating to officers of the Armed Forces of the United States of America and the component thereof in which this appointment is made.
Done at the City of Washington this ____________ day of ___________ in the year of our Lord, two thousand and _____and of the Independence of the United States of America the _________________________
By the President: (Signatures of the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army)
A lot is written about our Oath of Office, but ever so little about the Presidential Commission that makes us officers in the US Military. Without the above, issued by the President and signed by his duly authorized representative and with the concurrence of Congress, no one is an officer in the US Armed Forces. In fact, the Oath of Office is just one of the requirements to receive a Commission. A very important and solemn requirement, but the Oath alone is insufficient to be an officer.
After six years in the Marine Corps, where every promotion was done in a public formation, and included reading the Commission (for Officers) or a very similarly worded Warrant (for Enlisted) for each person being promoted, I found the Army practice of typically just reading the brief promotion order sorely lacking. Why? Because if one carefully reads the Commission above, it is a public proclamation, not just to the Officer/Enlisted person being appointed, but to every service member senior and junior to him or her. I also found the practice of "private" promotions ceremonies quite odd, as no promotion is private. It effects the entire military.
Once I rose to company command, I would have a DD Form 1A (Commission) prepared for every officer receiving a promotion, or an equivalent Warrant for Warrant Officers (prior to the time where they became Commissioned Officers). Fully appropriate and authorized by law and regulation, but a practice that was not done. The Forms were always on hand at our servicing publications office, complete with the current Sec Army and Chief of Staff signatures, and never issued, except for "souvenirs" at initial commissioning. Since the Army did not have "Appointment Warrants" for enlisted personnel, I simply had a modified version of a Marine Enlisted Appointment Warrant read in lieu of simply the promotion order. I continued this practice through to retirement whenever I commanded or as a subordinate, could influence my commander. Further, I never conducted a "private" promotion ceremony, nor allowed subordinate commanders to do so. A few of my subordinate commanders continued the practice through their careers. Further, I made a review and discussion of our Oath and Commission a part of my regular mentoring of my subordinate officers, and expected them to do the same.
The Oath of Office and Commission tell the Officer and all service members quite clearly what their service is all about. Sadly, they seem to be seen, at least in the Army in which I served, as one time inoculations, simple job requirements or souvenirs. Every Marine I served with was able, after a year of service, to recite the words of a Commission or Warrant from memory. They were a part of our very existence. And important words they are.
Obviously, Bob Bateman agrees, at least in concept, and LTC Terrence Lakin does not.