Constitution and Oath of Enlistment

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Civilians control the battle-hardened warriors of the most lethal fighting force in the world. The President of the United States and Congress are in charge of the military. Members of the United States military swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Ordinary civilians, “We The People”, wrote the Constitution that provides us with a military. Therefore when it comes to matters of going to war, it should be up to the civilians to make that decision. We rightfully elect leaders with our interests in mind to make those decisions, those elected leaders know how the military’s actions effect the nation as a whole, and they ensure that the military is a service to the people, by acting in the interest of the people, and not impose their will on the people.

One of our rights as United States citizens is to vote for our leaders. Whichever candidate the majority feels has the nation’s best interest in mind, wins. Under provision of the Constitution, articles I and II, the President and Congress can raise and command a military. The President, which is the Commander in Chief of the military, commands and directs the military how he sees fit by having the best interest of the civilian population in mind as their leader. Civilians do not get to vote for military leaders. By having a leader that they did not choose commanding our fighting forces may lead to decisions being made that did not take into account the interests of the citizens or the nation as a whole. The leaders that we do elect also know how the actions of the military can impact the nation.

The President and Congressmen are able to make the decisions governing and directing the military because they understand the impact the military can have.

From their political experience with other countries, to knowing what their fellow citizens want, they are able to make the best decision to achieve the best outcome for the United States and our allies. “I know that a strong national defense that protects this nation and defends liberty is the most important function of our federal government,” wrote Senator James Inhofe. He goes on to say, “I have also worked to build global partnerships with allies throughout the world.”1 Congress and the President are up to date on the current world problems and know the needs of the nation. They must first approve military action before any action is taken. Allowing the military to run rabid imposing its will on others, unquestioned and unbridled, could lead to serious conflict. These elected leaders are more than capable of forming and commanding the U.S. military on behalf of the nation, as well as ensuring that the military is able to carry out those orders effectively, and with the nation’s interest in mind.

In order for the military to truly act in service to the U.S., the key leaders must be chosen carefully. Congress or the President can make not every decision, so they have to put the right military leaders in place at the right time that are capable of making those decisions. Certain military promotions, assignments, and separations have to be approved by Congress and signed by the President. It is their responsibility as our elected officials to ensure that the military has competent leaders in place that will support and defend the Constitution, and to get rid of those unfit to lead.

The U.S. is right to use our elected leaders to govern and command our military. The President and Congress are capable of determining military course of action, keeping military interests in line with those of the nation, and ensuring that the military remains a service to the people that are able and willing to “…support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic… .”


  1. Senator James M. Inhofe, National Security,
  2. Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962.
  3. Lawrence Kapp, General and Flag Officers in the U.S. Armed Forces: Background and Considerations for Congress, Congressional Research Service, 2016.
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Constitution and Oath of Enlistment. (2020, Jun 17). Retrieved February 26, 2024 , from

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