The Rifleman’s Creed
What else is new? But I came across this today and couldn’t hardly believe what I read. Here’s my question: If what is being said below is true (and I have no reason to doubt it, though maybe a current or former Marine can correct me), is it in any way possible to be (1) a biblical Christian, (2) a Marine, and (3) a person who has integrity in what they say they believe?
I realize that even posing that question is going to ruffle some feathers, but I honestly don’t know how to square what I read (below) with the clear teaching of Scripture.
I’m not trying to reopen the gun/non-resistance question again. In fact, I hope it doesn’t go there, because this really has nothing to do with guns, but with allegiances. This is an honest question, and there are pastoral implications to it. That is, I assume that at some point someone I pastor is going to ask me what I think about their son or daughter or they themselves joining the Marines, and what I read is forcing me rethink the answer I would have given until now. Help me out here.
From Heritage Press International, an apparently reputable website in the U.S. Marine Corps community:
In boot camp at Parris Island or San Diego, and in the Basic School at Quantico, no one escapes from the Rifleman’s Creed. Every Marine is trained, first and foremost, as a rifleman, for it is the rifleman who must close with and destroy the enemy. The rifleman remains the most basic tenet of Marine Corps doctrine. All else revolves around him. Marine Aviation, Marine Armor, Marine Artillery, and all supporting arms and warfighting assets exist to support the rifleman. It is believed that MGen. William H. Rupertus, USMC, authored the creed shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. It is commonly known as the Rifleman’s Creed, but it has also been called “My Rifle: The Creed of a United States Marine.” Every Marine must memorize this creed. And, every Marine must live by the creed.
This is my rifle. There are many like it but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life. My rifle, without me is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than any enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will….
My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit…
My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weakness, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will…
Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until victory is America’s and there is no enemy, but Peace.