June 7, 2012

A Warrior Ethos

Three experiences that occurred within a week prompted this Parable.

First, I found a new book in the Penn Yan Library titled, The Warrior Ethos. It was written by Steven Pressfield who admits in the introduction that it is an attempt to answer the question, “What Is the Warrior Ethos?"

A few days later, Nancy and I toured the Gettysburg battlefield where we stood on Cemetery Ridge and envisioned 12,000 Confederate Warriors emerging from the woods on Seminary Ridge in the afternoon of July 3, 1863. We imagined ourselves as Union Warriors standing bravely watching the men of Lee’s Army march shoulder to shoulder over open ground, closing ranks as their Warrior Brothers fell wounded and dying.

The following Monday, Nancy and I, our daughter Tammy and our sons, Doug and Steve visited the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia where we were reminded of generations of Warriors who boldly went to “the sound of the guns” at Belleau Woods, Tarawa, Fallujah and many other conflicts throughout our nation’s history.

After our visits to Gettysburg and the Marine Corps Museum, I need no further definition of what constitutes a Warrior Ethos. The term is defined for me by the men who fought at Gettysburg and by the United States Marines.

All Marines are tied together with core values and traditions that have been passed on for generations. The Warrior Ethos provides guidance to all Marines, and the Corps Motto, “Semper Fidelis” pledges loyalty to God, Country and the Corps.

To be a member of the United States Marine Corps, whose values are honor, courage and commitment, means you are part of a brotherhood for as long as you live. I am proud to claim the title of United States Marine.