Basic Training Knowledge: The Soldier's Creed and Army Values
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Basic Training Knowledge: The Soldier's Creed and Army Values

The Soldier's Creed is a motto of all American Soldiers.

In Basic Training, Soldiers must memorize a short creed known as The Soldier's Creed. The text of the creed is below. Within The Soldier's Creed is the Warrior Ethos, which consists of four lines of general conduct both on and off the battlefield. In the text of the creed, I have outlined the Warrior Ethos to make it plainly visible.

"I am an American Soldier.

I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.

I will always place the mission first.

I will never accept defeat.

I will never quit.

I will never leave a fallen comrade.

I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.

I am an expert and I am a professional.

I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.

I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.

I am an American Soldier."

 Basic Training Soldiers spend long hours memorizing the above creed, which means that the words turn nearly to mush after weeks of repeating it. The creed is recited first on an individual basis, then as a unit. This is apporpriate, because Soldiers in Basic Training learn to forget individual boundaries in favor of the team effort. The Soldier's Creed is just one way in which drill sergeants and NCOs attempt to instill these values in new Soldiers. Another motto often utilized in Basic Training is the Army Values, a seven-letter acronym designed to summarize core values of an American soldier. Together, the acronym spells the word "Leadership" (at least, phonetically: LDRSHIP).

Loyalty

Duty

Respect

Selfless Service

Honor

Integrity

Personal Courage

Upon entering Basic Training, new Privates and Specialists are given a knowledge sheet and expected to memorize everything on it. Though some items vary slightly, the general idea is the same. Besides memorizing the two creeds above, Basic Trainees must also be intimately familiar with Army rank and insignia of enlisted, officer, and warrant officer, know the basic statistics of the weapons system they carry (usually an M-16A2/A3/A4 or M4A1), and memorize their chain of command and NCO support chain. Though the previous two pieces of knowledge are identical on the national level, they vary from post to post and depend upon whether soldiers fall under TRADOC or other commands. Failure to accurately memorize knowledge leads to more pushups or other forced exercise.

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