Topic: British Army
Values and Standards of the British Army, January 2008
The British Army is structured and trained for operations, not for the convenience of administration in barracks. On joining the Army soldiers accept a commitment to serve whenever and wherever they are needed, whatever the difficulties or dangers may be. Such commitment imposes certain limitations on individual freedom, and requires a degree of self-sacrifice. Ultimately it may require soldiers to lay down their lives. Implicitly it requires those in positions of authority to discharge in full their moral responsibilities to subordinates. Selfless commitment is reflected in the wording of the Oath of Allegiance which is taken on attestation. In it, soldiers agree to subordinate their own interests to those of the unit, Army and Nation, as represented by the Crown:
"I swear by almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend her Majesty, her heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of her Majesty, her heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over me."
(Those who do not believe in God "Solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm.")
Irrespective of private beliefs, this Oath embodies the context within which the British Army fights and operates. It expresses the loyalty of every soldier to the Sovereign as Head of State. These relationships find expression in the Colours, Standards and other emblems of Regimental and Corps spirit, which derive from the Sovereign. Personal commitment is the foundation of military service. Soldiers must be prepared to serve whenever and wherever required and to do their best at all times. This means putting the needs of the mission and of the team before personal interests.