National Guard Soldiers Retake Oath Before Family, Friends

Army National Guard Lt. Erik Holloway (L) gives the oath of office Saturday to National Guard enlistees (L to R) Zachary Zumbrun, private first class; Thomas White, private second class; Natalie Buller, private first class; Christian Davis, private first class; and Elijah Yarber, private second class. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union

Five Army National Guard soldiers retook their oath of office Saturday in front of friends and family at the Warsaw armory.

Lt. Erik Holloway gave the enlistees the oath, which says, “I (their name) 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.”

National Guard recruiter SSG Michael Cole explained why the oath was given to the soldiers again at the armory Saturday.

“Today we had five of our newer soldiers come in so that they could resay the oath. They’ve already said the oath at MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station), however, since COVID, MEPS has been closed so the friends and family members haven’t been able to go and watch their loved ones swear-in to the National Guard, or any branch of service,” Cole said. “So one of the things that we wanted to do and provide was an opportunity for their family and friends to come in and actually see them take the next step in their life and their job and their journey within the National Guard.”

Cole said they, the families and friends, were invited to the armory during the soldiers’ drill weekend so they could witness the soldiers take the oath.

“So Lt. Holloway was actually kind enough to come in here and swear them in to show their friends and families and let them be able to take pictures with them and actually be a part of it. Since it is such a monumental thing that they’ve done – they’re volunteering to come and serve our country – it’s something that not only they’re doing, but their families also are sacrificing. So we wanted them to come in.”

MEPS is where all soldiers have to go to actually swear in to any of the armed branches, whether that’s the Army, National Guard, Marines, Air Force, Navy or Coast Guard.

“Regardless of what branch, you have to go through MEPS. They go through the testing, the ASVAB, the personality test, medical, physical and then they actually swear in with an officer there at MEPS. With that being closed, this just gives them an opportunity to do it with their friends and family,” Cole said.

The National Guard armory is at 315 W. CR 350N, Warsaw. If someone wants more information about joining the Guard, they can contact Cole by cell at 574-361-6403 or email at; or contact SSG Randy Jackson by cell at 574-526-0537 or email at Randy.O.Jackson