An Officer's Code

(From the Alberta Military Institute Journal, 1925)

His Majesty the King has done me the honour of conferring upon me a Commission as an Officer. This is the greatest honour that can be conferred upon any man. It places me in a position of authority and responsibility in the service of my King and Country and in the most ancient and honourable profession in the world. Realizing that the faithful performance of my duty is a privilege and not a task, it appears that my most pressing business in my life is to show my appreciation and to try to attain to some measure of worthiness. Therefore I will adopt the following code:—

"I will always, in public and in private, in uniform and out of uniform, so conduct myself as to command respect for the Country and for the profession which I have the honour to represent.

"I will regard and treat all my superiors with the deference due their profession, their age, and their greater experience.

"I will regard and treat my subordinates with the courtesy and respect which is peculiarly due to every person who cannot defend himself against discourtesy and disrespect.

"I will never adopt any course of action for the purpose of obtaining personal distinction. If I am ever so fortunate as to be commended I will remember that this is the result of opportunity and of having been observed. I will remember that, given the opportunity, any other officer might have deserved commendation; I will remember that many other officers have deserved commendation but have been unfortunate in not having had their work observed.

"In my conduct with any civilian I will remember that I am dealing with one of my employers and that I must try to show him that I am a faithful servant in the highly responsible position in which he has employed me.

"I will always and unceasingly strive to live up to that condition of my profession which demands at the same time the deepest humility and the highest pride; that is, the requirement that I obey the orders–explicit or implied–of my superiors–immediate and ultimate–without question, argument, comment or hesitation, giving all my energy to the solution of the problem set before me.

"I will command the respect of my subordinates for my Country, my profession and myself by setting an example in this matter at all times and in all places. I will eliminate complaint from the speech and thoughts of my subordinates by refraining from complaint myself.

"I know that I shall, from time to time, fail in my attempt to live up to all the requirements of this code. Nevertheless, I will not allow myself to be discouraged, but will always try with all my might to adhere to it in letter and in spirit, and so, in some measure, become worthy of the honour of holding His Majesty's Commission and of the privilege of performing my duties."