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Integrity Or Career


YDOAPS
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My ceremony to make third class Petty Officer is coming up in a few weeks(March 16th). We had to attend one during our first few weeks in school, but our turn is soon approaching. In the one we had to watch, there was a prayer. I assume there will be one at ours. Should I stand for the Constitution and risk non-judicial punishment, or should I set aside my integrity? The first sentence in the Sailor's Creed is "I am a United States Sailor; I will support and defend the constitution of the United States of America and obey the orders of those appointed over me." If it comes down to it, do I support and defend the Constitution(specifically the 1st Amendment) or should I obey the orders of those appointed over me? I'm pretty sure orders that go against the Constitution aren't lawful orders, but I'm also pretty sure they won't see it that way. The Navy(and especially the Nuke program) is all about integrity. Should I risk my job by keeping with the Sailor's Creed and not compromising my integrity? I feel as though if I have to make the choice, I should stand up, but I'm not sure. What do you guys and gals think?

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I certainly don't feel qualified to tell you what you should do, but I can tell you what I would do.

 

Religious symbols and practices are all over this country. There are hills worth dying on and some issues that just aren't worth the aggrevation. I don't like that my money says that I trust God, but I still spend it when I have it and, while I might support an effort to remove it, I wouldn't do so if it had any ramifications on my career.

 

I would say, "Fuck it," and not make any waves.

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Congratulations on earning your crow, YDOAPS!

 

It's been a long time ago for me, but I can't recall any religious aspect to the ceremony at all when I made PO3. What I CAN recall is all the punches I got on my left arm from all the other petty officers, from senior third classes right up to the chiefs. Gad, was my arm ever bruised. I don't see a conflict with swearing to uphold the Sailor's (Petty Officer's) Creed and Constitution, that's not a religious oath. Lawful orders are those that conform to not only the Constitution but the UCMJ. Again, no religion there. If there is a prayer, I can't recall anything that requires a serviceman to pray. You can simply stand quietly. Does your unit have a Senior Enlisted Advisor you can confide in?

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Does your unit have a Senior Enlisted Advisor you can confide in?

We have a Section Leading Petty Officer, but he's not really a nice guy. The closest thing I can think of is the Chaplain(yes, THE chaplain. only Christian)

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YO...

 

Just play along amigo.. UCMJ isn't the Constitution, and you have little defence on what might be a minor charge.

 

"Right way, Wrong way, Navy way" my Old Man, the Senior Chief was often heard saying after getting orders from "High Above". Often the "Navy way" was the most bizzare and obtuse set of directions after they got sent to his Division (ET, Land and Sea Warfare).

 

Gonna advise this, get the Crow (and fuckin' congrats man!!), play the Game, and try to divorce the "pay the bills" gig from your "lack_of_spiritual_life" thinking.

 

Thing is in the wartime Service, tons of folks wantin' that coveted Crow, and I'm sure they'll find someone who will gladly take it and not make too many waves.

 

This ain't a fight to play, or a hill to take that is worth your time..

kL

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I'd love to tell you to be an idealist, but that would just be my own selfishness kicking in. You have to choose your battles in life. I'm not sure you will win more than you would lose by, as Nivek said, just playing along.

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I, too, would not make waves over something this size, esp. given the consequences it would have. I think this mindset of having to profess or stand up for our beliefs is a residual thought pattern from religious days. We're talking about survival in an alien world. I've been "playing along" for years and I don't see myself doing otherwise in the future. "When in Rome do as the Romans do."

 

The way I see it is that all of us believe in reality. Some people organize their concept of reality differently from others. All of us have that right. Live and let live.

 

If it makes them feel better to talk to an invisible Big Boss, so be it. You don't have to consent in your heart of hearts.

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We have a Section Leading Petty Officer, but he's not really a nice guy. The closest thing I can think of is the Chaplain(yes, THE chaplain. only Christian)

Then I'd just simply play it out, don't attract attention, and bask in the glory of your achievement. No compromise there, you know what's in your own innards, and that's what counts. No need to do battle here.

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I think part of wisdom comes from knowing what battles to pick. I think it all depends on the situation. This seems to me like one of those battles not to pick, but each to their own.

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A fundie relative took be to tour the Air Force acadamy, and I was taken aback by all the references to "faith" scattered through their presentation.

 

It would be a wonderful world if you could freely express your ideals without fear, but it ain't this world (at least, not this country). So keep it to yourself and think about lunch if they get into a religious part.

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