Basic Camp

From civilian to Soldier: Embracing the Soldier’s Creed and Warrior Ethos

Delta Company Cadets live the Warrior Ethos through a Fitness Factory event that mimics rescuing a fallen comrade from the battlefield. Photo by Jeremy Aaron.

Delta Company Cadets live the Warrior Ethos through a Fitness Factory event that mimics rescuing a fallen comrade from the battlefield. Photo by Jeremy Aaron.

By Sydney Callis
Leader’s Training Course

Soldiers in the U.S. Army are encouraged to live by a set of standards. These standards, established in the Soldier’s Creed, are what separates Soldiers from civilians.

From their first day at the Leader’s Training Course, Cadets are introduced to these standards, moving one step closer to the transformation from civilian to Soldier. They are taught the importance of exemplifying the guidelines within the Soldier’s Creed in their Army life.

“We are learning how to be a Soldier,” said Cadet William Wilson of Christian Brothers University in Tennessee. “That may sound very typical. It may sound very simple, and it may sound very plain, but there’s actually a lot more in it than most civilians realize.”

The Soldier’s Creed encompasses the values of being in the Army life.

“The whole Warrior Ethos that we’ve learned is that you always put the mission first, you don’t let emotions or feelings get in the way,” Wilson said. “We’re relentless and dedicated. We’ll always look after each other and never leave a man behind.”

At the heart of the Soldier’s Creed, four lines stand out and are repeated daily to Cadets during the course, said Staff Sgt. Jason Krizov, a Charlie Company drill sergeant.

“The Warrior Ethos is four sentences that really encompass what a Soldier is,” Krizov said. “We all live by the Soldier’s Creed, and that is what it means to be a Soldier. In order to be leaders, they have to understand what it is to be a Soldier.”

The fourth line of the Warrior Ethos, which reads, “I will never leave a fallen comrade,” is exemplified daily by Cadets at the course through the execution of battle buddies. During their daily activities, Cadets always have a battle buddy with them.

Mere strangers before their arrival on Fort Knox, Cadets learn to rely on their peers for their own safety and to accomplish the different activities. Wilson said the emphasis on teamwork during the course prepares them for a career in the military because it introduces Cadets to having to depend on their fellow Soldier in sometimes life-threatening situations.

“Wherever we go, there’s always someone with you, someone watching your back and someone right at your side,” Wilson said. “That’s really the biggest thing that has been instilled in me. This is our sixth day, and we come here and it’s amazing.”

From belaying their peers to working together to tackle the Teamwork Development Course, Cadets have to depend on each other to be successful.

“One big thing you can take away from the Warrior Ethos is that you’ve got all different ethnicities and people in the Army, but in the military we look past that,” said Cadet David Sanders of North Greenville University in South Carolina. “Everything is green in uniform. If you’re going into battle, you know that person has got your back.”

Cadets are taught the words from the first day of their training and are expected to be able to recite them whenever asked. It becomes more than just a resuscitation of the creed, however.

“When you say the words, you don’t just say them, you really believe them,” Sanders said. “These are the standards that have to be kept.”

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