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Culture.Mil - Warrior Ethos

Written by Jenifer Chrisman on December 2, 2015.

Warrior Ethos
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.


“Every organization has an internal culture and ethos. A true Warrior Ethos must underpin the Army’s enduring traditions and values. It must drive a personal commitment to excellence and ethical mission accomplishment to make our Soldiers different from all others in the world. This ethos must be a fundamental characteristic of the U.S. Army as Soldiers imbued with an ethically grounded Warrior Ethos who clearly symbolize the Army’s unwavering commitment to the nation we serve. The Army has always embraced this ethos but the demands of Transformation will require a renewed effort to ensure all Soldiers truly understand and embody this Warrior Ethos.”

– GEN Eric K. Shinseki


Written by members of the Warrior Ethos Team Task Force Soldiers, the current version of the Soldier’s Creed, which includes the Warrior Ethos, was approved on November 13, 2003, by then Army Chief of Staff Peter Schoomaker. The ‘Warrior Ethos’ program, to whom the Task Force Soldiers belonged, was created in May of 2003 by the previous Army Chief of Staff, Eric K. Shinseki.

The Warrior Ethos demands a commitment to stand prepared and face all challenges by the Soldiers of the U.S. Army. Based on the pyramidal Building Blocks, the Warrior Ethos defines the beliefs and professional attitudes of the American Soldier and is the foundation of their total commitment to victory, whether in peace or at war:

Soldiers (top level)
• Adaptive • Competent • Confident • Physical & Mental Toughness
Warrior Ethos Tenets (third level)
• Mission First • Never Accept Defeat • Never Quit • Never Leave a Fallen Comrade
Army Values (second level)
• Loyalty • Duty • Respect • Selfless Service • Honor • Integrity • Personal Courage
Commitment to Serve the Nation (foundation)

The commitment of every Soldier is the desire and willingness to serve the nation. It is the foundation of who they are and the foundation of the Warrior Ethos pyramid. On the second level is LDRSHIP. These are the universal Army Values and they enable Soldiers to see the right and the wrong in any situation. The tenets of the Warrior Ethos, on the third level, are the motivation for comradeship and action. At the pinnacle are the Soldiers, who are the heart and soul of these tenets and values.

The Warrior Ethos is who the Soldiers are and who they aspire to become. Its principles bind those who serve with selfless dedication, not only with those who have served in the past, but those who will serve in the future. It strengthens and maintains. It is the commitment to overcome all obstacles. It is the embodiment of the Army Values, discipline, learning and training.



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