Warrior Ethos

What is it?  The Warrior Ethos is a set of principles by which every Soldier lives.  In a broader sense, the Warrior Ethos is a way of life that applies to our personal and professional lives as well.  They define who we are and who we aspire to become.

What has the Army done?  The Army has worked to instill the Warrior Ethos in all our Soldiers by the way we train, live, and fight.  Every Soldier that has entered into the Army Family has been taught that the Warrior Ethos, rooted in Army values, and founded on the premise that service to our Nation is an honor and a responsibility that requires self-sacrifice.  The very notion of SERVICE is founded on the premise that you give more than you get.  This ethos has enabled our Soldiers to endure the rigors of combat and distinguish our Army on the battlefield by the character of our service.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?  As the Army continues to grow and fight the long war against terror, the principles outlined in the Warrior Ethos will continue and be passed on to individuals ready and willing for warrior service. Bound to each other by integrity and trust, the young Americans we welcome to our ranks will learn that in the Army, every Soldier is a leader, responsible for what happens in his or her presence regardless of rank.  They will value learning and adaptability at every level, particularly as it contributes to initiative: creating situations for an adversary, rather than reacting to them.  They will learn that the Army’s culture is one of selfless service, a warrior culture rather than a corporate one.  As such, it is not important who gets the credit, either within the Army or within the joint team; what’s important is that the Nation is served.

Why is this important to the Army?  These principles bind us to those who served before us. The Warrior Ethos was present at Cowpens, Lundy’s Lane, Chapultepec, Little Round Top, San Juan Hill, Montfaucon, Krinkelt, Chipyong-ni, Dak To and Iraq. By adhering and holding fast to these principles, our Soldiers will maintain this ethos for those who will come after us.

“I will always place the mission first; I will never accept defeat; I will never quit; and I will never leave a fallen comrade.” That Warrior Ethos has been the common thread that ties us as Soldiers together for the last 229 years. From Valley Forge, to the battlefields of Gettysburg, to the Argonne Forest, to the shores of Normandy, to the mountains of Afghanistan, the streets of Baghdad -- that Warrior Ethos is a fiber of which we as Soldiers live by, and for all of us that wear the uniform.”

Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston