These are the Navy Core Values: to be honorable in your dealings with others, to have the courage to do what must be done, and the commitment to your obligations and responsibilities. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But how many people are actually living those ideals in today’s society? Really, it depends upon where you look. Go to bars, street corners and rough neighborhoods and you may see that these ideals are in short supply. On the other hand, visit your local church, Masonic Lodge or military facility and you will see these ideals internalized and enacted in abundance.
The ideals of honor, courage and commitment all boil down to integrity, the quality of adhering to a high moral standard, even when it is difficult or life threatening. The Navy Core Values of honor, courage, and commitment are held in the highest esteem by all members of the United States Navy — and they have been since the Navy’s inception in 1775. Created by the Continental Congress, the Continental Navy adopted these three guiding principles and they are as valuable today as they were over 200 years ago.
Honor In Word And Deed
Honor has always implied integrity, honesty and fairness. An honorable person would never steal, lie, or do less than their best. Behaving honorably in the Navy means putting out honest effort, being willing to learn, treating others with respect, taking responsibility for one’s actions and handling oneself in an ethical manner at all times. Being honorable means being truthful and fulfilling one’s duties not out of necessity but out of personal pride and a true sense of right and wrong.
The Moral Fortitude Of Courage
Courage is not simply being brave in extreme circumstances. Courage means having the personal and moral fortitude to do what is right, even when it is difficult. As a Navy service man or woman, courage refers to defending American citizens, soil and property at any cost. It also refers to performing whatever tasks are required to support Navy missions and objectives. Courage also means handling military property with integrity and honesty, despite temptations to do otherwise. Courage means staying the course, unswayed by fear, pain or temptation, ensuring that jobs are performed as they were meant to be.
Commitments are obligations and loyalties. To Navy service men and women, commitment refers to their willingness to obey orders, their dedication to the welfare and well-being of American citizens and their loyalty to performing their duties in the best way possible. Commitment also encompasses a vow to maintain the integrity and respectability of the Navy by showing respect to all persons, regardless of religion, race or gender. The Navy requires a commitment to personal improvement, good moral character and technical expertise in the performance of one’s duties.
Living and working honorable in word and deed, the courage to do what is right in the face of obstacles and the commitment to the Navy mission as described in the Navy Core Values represent the Navy’s commitment to American citizens and American ideals: justice and liberty for all.