Oaths of Office (A-3)

Title

Oaths of Office (A-3)

Description

"The duty imposed upon him [the president] to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, follows out the strong injunctions of his oath of office, that he will 'preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.' The great object of the executive department is to accomplish this purpose; and without it, be the form of government whatever it may, it will be utterly worthless for offence or defense; for the redress of grievances or the protection of rights; for the happiness, or good order, or safety of the people."

- Joseph Story, (1851). “Commentaries on the constitution of the United States”

When an individual pledges himself or herself to the oath of office, he or she is affirming a commitment to a set of ideals and obligations transcending themselves. Be it an oath to provide equal opportunity to students, to ensure public safety, to treat everyone with compassion, or to uphold the duties of public office, oaths of office are meant to symbolize the individual's ascendance to a higher cause. The individual is acknowledging that he or she is not loyal to an appointee or a figure of power, but rather an intangible spirit to protect the public from a government distorted by private whims and interest. The oath of office is meant to convey that the individual is in service to the public, because the public represents the common good of society. An oath is also not just an affirmation to the loyalty of the public, but also a pledge to exceed the requirements of his or her position. The oath is a promise to fulfill the duties of a position, but also to be the strongest representative one can be for the general public. When oaths are disregarded, the public suffers as well.

In the following gallery, you will see oaths from all sectors of society, including school boards, police departments, fire departments, emergency medical services, human resource organizations, and elected officials. The commonality of an oath of office across differing positions underscores the country's understanding that a public position is not one to be taken lightly, but with the utmost seriousness and dedication. Without oaths, our understanding of what it means to serve the people risks decay and ultimately non-existence.

Collection Items

Illinois Association of School Boards
This law requires that school board members, before taking their seats on the board, take an official oath that is in substantially the form presented below. "I, (name of member or successful candidate), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will…

Ohio School Boards Association
Before beginning his or her duties, a member shall take the oath of office, which may be administered by the treasurer, any member of the board, member of the General Assembly, judge of a court or any notary public (Revised Code Section 3313.10,…

Iowa Association of School Boards
Take the Oath of Office at the organizational meeting. Each new board member must qualify to serve by taking the oath of office. "I, (name), do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state…

Houston Police Department
Article XVI, Section 1, of the Texas Constitution outlines the official oath of office as follows: "I, _______________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will faithfully execute the duties of the office of ___________________ of the State…

Baton Rouge Police Department, Louisiana
Section 1: Public official taking the oath of office completes and signs this section. STATE OF LOUISIANA, PARISH OF "I, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I (blank) will support the constitution and laws of the United States and the constitution and…

Virginia Beach Police Department
"The Law Enforcement Oath of Honor", developed by the International Association of Chief's of Police, Committee on Police Ethics, "On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character, or the public trust. I will always have the…

Crestwood, Missouri – Assistant Fire Chief
Oath of Office ASSISTANT FIRE CHIEF "I [blank] as the Assistant Fire Chief of the Crestwood Fire Department, swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Missouri; and I will faithfully,…

City of Boston - EMS
Boston EMS Oath I (name) do solemnly swear; "That I will support the Constitution of the United States; The Constitution and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and of the City of Boston; "That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the…

Society for Human Resource Management - President
President's Oath and Charge of Office "(Officer's name), will you please rise and approach the podium? You have been constitutionally elected president of this chapter of the Society. It will be your duty to preside at meetings, to enforce…

Massachusetts Governor
Section 10. All officers of such institutions, before entering upon the performance of their official duties, shall take and subscribe the following oaths:"I, A.B., do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the commonwealth of…
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