It’s Time For America’s Veterans To Take A New Oath

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“Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.”


Gen. Douglas MacArthur spoke these words as he accepted the Sylvanus Thayer Award at West Point in 1962. Speaking to a group of cadets, MacArthur expressed how soldiers stand out among all others with the enduring responsibility of protecting the three principles that should guide every American citizen: duty, honor, and country.

More than 50 years later, this sentiment remains true. Since 2001, U.S. service members have been fighting and protecting the core values that make the Unites States and its people exceptional. Millions of Americans raised their hands to serve, they did so voluntarily, and they joined the most advanced and professional military on earth. Whether in the mountains of Afghanistan, the deserts of Iraq, or islands in the Pacific, these Americans served in complex and dynamic missions. After years of service, they emerge with incredible skills and experiences.

These men and women, all volunteers, then come home. They remove the uniform, but that deep commitment to the oath they took when they first joined — the oath to protect the U.S. Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic — stays with them. It stays with us.  

As the future leaders of the United States, America’s new generation of veterans must fulfill a new mission: A mission to build courage where there is cowardice, restore faith where faith has been lost, and establish hope that the foundation on which our country was built remains strong.

Veterans have the power and experience to shape a legacy, and the skills to inspire others to take action. We're already rebuilding blighted cities through Mission Continues service platoons, and serving at the frontlines of disaster relief through Team Rubicon. We go on to become teachers, police officers, firefighters, run for political office, oversee community service projects, or mentor youth. At Task & Purpose, we give voice to these stories, but there are many more to be told; there is much more work to be done.

National service does not solely occur in a military uniform. But those who have served in the armed forces can be the guiding force for the rest of the country.

Help us create a movement of veterans, service members, and civilians who believe that service to our country never ends. Whether you have two weeks or two hours, you can make a difference.

Join Task & Purpose, The Mission Continues, and Team Rubicon in taking a Second Oath of service to your community and country.

How will you continue to serve?  

Visit the Second Oath pledge page to share your service commitment >>

U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Reed Knutson
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Moments before Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia went back into the house, journalist Michael Ware said he was "pacing like a caged tiger ... almost like he was talking to himself."

"I distinctly remember while everybody else had taken cover temporarily, there out in the open on the street — still exposed to the fire from the roof — was David Bellavia," Ware told Task & Purpose on Monday. "David stopped pacing, he looked up and sees that the only person still there on the street is me. And I'm just standing there with my arms folded.

"He looked up from the pacing, stared straight into my eyes, and said 'Fuck it.' And I stared straight back at him and said 'Fuck it,'" Ware said. "And that's when I knew, we were both going back in that house."

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(Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse)

Former Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn will plead not guilty to a charge of murder for allegedly shooting an unarmed Afghan man whom a tribal leader had identified as a Taliban bomb maker, his attorney said.

Golsteyn will be arraigned on Thursday morning at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Phillip Stackhouse told Task & Purpose.

No date has been set for his trial yet, said Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

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Taran Tactical Innovations

John Wick is back, and he's here to stay. It doesn't matter how many bad guys show up to try to collect on that bounty.

With John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, the titular hitman, played by 54-year-old Keanu Reeves, continues on a blood-soaked hyper-stylized odyssey of revenge: first for his slain dog, then his wrecked car, then his destroyed house, then ... well, honestly it's hard to keep track of exactly what Wick is avenging by this point, or the body count he's racked up in the process.

Though we do know that the franchise has raked in plenty of success at the box office: just a week after it's May 17 release, the third installment in director Chad Stahleski's series took in roughly $181 million, making it even more successful than its two wildly popular prequels 2014's John Wick, and 2017's John Wick: Chapter 2.

And, more importantly, Reeves' hitman is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest action movie heroes in recent memory. Few (if any) other action flicks have succeeded in creating a mind-blowing avant garde ballet out of a dozen well-dressed gunmen who get shot, choked, or stabbed with a pencil by a pissed off hitman who just wants to return to retirement.

But for all the over-the-top acrobatics, fight sequences, and gun-porn (see: the sommelier), what makes the series so enthralling, especially for the service members and vets in the audience, is that there are some refreshing moments of realism nestled under all of that gun fu. Wrack your brain and try to remember the last time you saw an action hero do a press check during a shootout, clear a jam, or actually, you know, reload, instead of just hip-firing 300 rounds from an M16 nonstop. It's cool, we'll wait.

As it turns out, there's a good reason for the caliber of gun-play in John Wick. One of the franchise's secret weapons is a professional three-gun shooter named Taran Butler, who told Task & Purpose he can draw and hit three targets in 0.67 seconds from 10 yards. And if you've watched any of the scores of videos he's uploaded to social media over the years, it's pretty clear that this isn't idle boasting.

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The Navy's electromagnetic railgun is undergoing what officials described as "essentially a shakedown" of critical systems before finally installing a tactical demonstrator aboard a surface warship, the latest sign that the once-beleaguered supergun may actually end up seeing combat.

That pretty much means this is could be the last set of tests before actually slapping this bad boy onto a warship, for once.

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(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

The Justice Department has accused Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) of illegally using campaign funds to pay for extramarital affairs with five women.

Hunter, who fought in the Iraq War as a Marine artillery officer, and his wife Margaret were indicated by a federal jury on Aug. 21, 2018 for allegedly using up to $250,000 in campaign funds for personal use.

In a recent court filing, federal prosecutors accused Hunter of using campaign money to pay for a variety of expenses involved with his affairs, ranging from a $1,008 hotel bill to $7 for a Sam Adams beer.

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