National Flag Week was authorized by Congress in 1949 during the administration of President Harry S. Truman; each year the Week is started on June 14th, designated as National Flag Day. Earlier today I attended the Houston D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution) Flag Day luncheon. As a Texas A&M graduate I took special pride in that the keynote was by an Aggie, but more importantly, a 15 year Army veteran including deployment to Iraq.
His talk covered an amazing military journey and revealed his high regard for leadership, duty and preparation. He spoke passionately with such a love for country and respect for every one of his assignments … it reminded us of the power and symbolism of the stars and stripes. That was Roy L May, Jr.
During his 12 year tour, prior to enrollment at Texas A&M at age 34, he was a member of the Old Guard and Continental Color Guard participating in ceremonial events in Washington, D.C. including command of the honor guard when Ronald Reagan lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda. The emphasis of his talk, however, was his tour of duty at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Attired in his official Army Dress Blues including spit polished shoes complete with “horseshoes” embedded in the heels, you could hear the sharp “click” as he roamed the stage during his remarks.
Of particular interest to me was his sharing of the Sentinel Creed:
My dedication to the sacred duty
is total and wholehearted.
In the responsibility bestowed on me
never will I falter.
And with dignity and perseverance
my standard will remain perfection.
Through the years of diligence and praise
and the discomfort of the elements,
I will walk my tour in humble reverence
to the best of my ability.
It is he who commands the respect I protect,
his bravery that made us so proud.
Surrounded by well meaning crowds throughout the day,
alone in the thoughtful piece of night,
this soldier will in honored glory rest
under my eternal vigilance.
Simon – 1971
The Creed caused me to think about the potential power of an expression that locks-in a code of conduct and esprit de corps. Sgt. May, with deep reverence, talked about “Line 6” which reads: “my standard will remain perfection”. Those five words, routinely exchanged between Sentinels, reinforced a camaraderie, belief and accountability to each other and to the Society.
The example of this bond in the military has direct application to business employee crafts, teams, departments … or divisions. The opportunity in business is to craft a meaningful description of the desired result or mission … even a heartfelt ‘reverence” for the collective work of each ( soldier ) employee. Make it easy for all to remember and even better if coalesced into your own “line 6”!
Creed. Mantra. Noble cause … all have the power of elevating the purpose of work by all who enroll.