Around 800 new U.S. Army Soldiers will be sworn in later this month by a Colonel currently serving aboard the International Space Station.
Army Colonel Andrew Morgan was selected by NASA to become an astronaut back in 2013, but he certainly hasn’t lost sight of his roots, even if they are about 250 miles below him right now. While Morgan is plenty busy with his space duties, he’ll be taking the time of out of his NASA schedule to broadcast his story (and deliver the oath of enlistment) to 100 different locations around the country, thanks to the U.S. Army Recruiting Command.
Swearing in is a momentous occasion for every enlistee, but this one will be particularly historic, as this will mark the first time in history enlistment oaths will be administered nation wide from an official in orbit above the earth.
“This is an incredible opportunity for us to partner with Space Center Houston to recognize future Soldiers across the nation with a truly unique experience,” said Brig. Gen. Patrick Michaelis, U.S. Army Recruiting Command deputy commanding general. Michaelis will facilitate the ceremony and question-and-answer session with Morgan on February 26.
“This is the first event of its kind and will allow us to show the nation the breadth and depth of opportunities the Army offers today’s youth.”
Morgan is a medical doctor and combat veteran, with both airborne credentials and an Army Ranger tab, placing him in the rare company of the likes of Jonny Kim, a recently minted astronaut with Special Operations experience as a Navy SEAL and time in a lab coat as a medical doctor.
Morgan, who has left the protection of the space station for seven space walks already, will be relating parts of his story to the new enlistees during a 20-minute live call that will coincide with the oath of enlistment.
According to Michaelis, that’s just the type of motivation young soldiers need as they begin their new lives in the military.
“We need qualified and innovative people to help us continuously adapt to the changing world,” the general said. “The young men and women who will begin their Army story with the incredible experience with Col. Morgan are part of our future.”
“They will perform the traditional jobs most people associate with the Army, like infantry and armor, but they will also take on roles many people don’t realize we do – highly technical and specialized careers in science, technology, engineering and math.”
While not a part of the newly minted Space Force, Morgan is a perfect example of how orbital operations inform every facet of the modern U.S. military. The Army’s press release on the matter points out that the U.S. Army relies heavily on “space-enabled” technologies for everything from communications to navigation and intelligence collection.
You can watch the entire ceremony live on February 26,
starting at 12:15 p.m. EST below:
What is the Oath of Enlistment?
Put simply, the oath of enlistment is a solemn vow each enlisted service member makes to their nation upon entering service. The language is fairly self explanatory: it’s a promise to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and to obey lawful orders given to you by superior officers.
The oath reads:
I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”