To make sure they understand the oath they are being sworn to,
have them do the following:
• Review it: Have them read it and understand it—understand
what it means to them and what it means to the organization
and understand the sanctity of the oath.
• Report on it: Have them write a short report on what the oath
is and what it means to them. With this document, you can get
a clearer understanding of their perception of the oath and how
they interpret it. It provides clarity of their understanding of
the expectations the words they repeat and swear to will impose
• Use as part of their ongoing evaluation: Use the oath and their
reports as an ongoing part of their feedback process to deter-
mine if they are living up to the oath as well as their perception
of what the document expects of them.
MORE THAN WORDS
The oath is not just a few words toward an indoctrination ritual.
It is not a procedural checkbox. The words in an oath are not to be
taken lightly. They are a commitment of service to others. They are
a commitment to integrity, honor, and trust.
So, when you step up to the podium and raise your right hand in
front of family, friends, and the community that put its trust in
you, know the words you swear to are a solemn commitment to all
those you stand before. Don’t let them down.
Anthony Correia is a 40-year veteran of the fire service, having risen through the
ranks to various emergency service leadership positions. He is the retired director
of the Burlington Township (NJ) Fire Department. Before that, he was fire chief in
Warrensburg, Missouri. Correia is currently an active paramedic in Pennsylvania
as well as a volunteer firefighter in New Jersey. He has completed the Executive
Fire Officer Program as well as the Certified Public Manager program. Correia
served as a chief officer in both fire and EMS organizations. He is actively involved
in many emergency services related organization, both locally and nationally.
Correia has experience in volunteer, combination, and career organizations. He has
been an active educator for more than 35 years. Correia is an active blogger and
has two millennial sons with different views on life, which required him to learn
more about the whole generation.
The oath is not just a few words toward an
indoctrination ritual. It is not a procedural checkbox.
The words in an oath are not to be taken lightly.