With All My Honor, and All I Am: What the Oath Really Means

NORTHERN LIGHTS, UKAHALA–Have you ever wondered what the oath really means?

Customizable plaque available for Bumble Bucks in the RFCP store

Most of us can recite the oath of the RFCP in our sleep. It’s never changed since its creation in June 2019, and it’s the same words each and every soldier who has ever joined our army has said. Some have declared it in Spanish to join the RFCP Marines, some have said it at the Cove around the fire, and a lucky few have been oathed in by Commander Prior Bumble himself.

But the oath connects us all. It is our common denominator as soldiers of the RFCP. Even the highest-ranking, most decorated Officers have said it once.

When something is recited over and over, it can lose its meaning, however. Let’s dive into what we are really promising when we say the initiation oath. We’ll take it line by line, but begin with restating the whole thing:

I, [full username], swear my allegiance to the RFCP, and to my brothers in arms. I will follow orders, defend, and serve with all my honor, and all I am.

  1. I, [full username]
    This is standard contractual language used to indicate that the person giving the oath is about to do so with full agency. Agency means you are aware of what’s going on and no one is forcing you to say something you don’t want to. We ask for full usernames (we never ask for real names, to keep you safe) so that the person reciting the oath cannot be confused with any other user. It is an important starting point to identify the oath-taking new recruit, or rather, for that new recruit identifying himself/herself.
  2. swear my allegiance to the RFCP
    This part means you promise to be loyal to the RFCP above any other army. Allegiance is a noun which means: “Loyalty or the obligation of loyalty, as to a nation, sovereign, or cause.” This part includes agreeing with our no dual-enlistment policy.
  3. and to my brothers in arms
    This means that you also promise to be your brother’s keeper, and to take all of our soldiers as your family, giving them your true and devoted support. This part comes after the line in #2, because all soldiers must first uphold RFCP as an army, and then uphold your brothers. We do not ask our soldiers to be caregivers to harmful individuals who may violate #2. Prior Bumble loves this part of the oath, as he says, “It means this really is a brotherhood, and we really are blood.” This part of the oath also has an interesting controversy, as there was a brief feminist push to revise the oath to say “brothers and sisters” in arms instead. The beseech was rejected by Prior Bumble, who said the word “brothers” is used generally and applies to all soldiers regardless of gender. But it is possible we haven’t heard the end of that petition!
  4. I will follow orders
    Here, new recruits promise to respect our chain of command. Ranks and hierarchal ladders only function if we agree to give credence to these ladders. RFCP thrives on order and autocracy and it has no chance of strengthening if our soldiers refuse to fulfill orders. Orders may also be given that soldiers don’t understand right away, but this part of the oath obligates us to trust our Commanders. If an order seems wrong or doesn’t seem in accordance with the positive values of RFCP, there are protections available to everyone in the Constitution.
  5. defend
    This is part of the oath that Prior never thought would be needed as much as it has proven to be. When we take the oath, we swear to defend RFCP and everyone in it from threats foreign and domestic. That includes standing by our army when it is hard, or when our name is defiled and welcomes haters. It includes showing up to battles. It includes providing emotional, technical, and even sometimes physical defense to our army, our Commander, and to each other.
  6. and serve
    Serve? But isn’t that culty?! No. By “serve,” we are not saying you consign your soul to servitude and submission to the RFCP. We use the word “serve” as a verb of love, charity, and goodwill. Service is a blessing to us and those we serve. Everyone in the army, no matter their rank, promises to serve generously and altruistically.
  7. with all my honor, and all I am
    By far, the most well-known, beloved, and sacred line of the oath. What does it really say, though? It says that whatever you bring to RFCP, you bring it in full honesty with your spirit and who you are as a human being. You are joining this army as YOU, all of what you are, to be loved and accepted as YOU. You promise to treat this army and this oath with seriousness, and your conduct and everything you said before this point is to be held accountable on your honor as an individual. This last line of the oath ties everything together, and it is the only part of the oath which is also included in the Officer Oath (we will cover that in another post!). “All my honor, and all I am” is therefore a staple of RFCP.

Oaths are important parts of any initiation ritual, and meant to both connect everyone in the tribe equally and to evoke the gravity of entering in to something greater than yourself–but only great because you are yourself. Not everyone who has taken this oath has succeeded to uphold it on their honor. But so many have, and we honor them and revere the shared experience that bonds us all as one.

What do YOU think of the RFCP oath? Did YOU learn anything about its implications? Would you add/change anything? Let us know in the comments!

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