Ceremonial oath of the Bundeswehr
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There are two types of soldiers serving in the Bundeswehr (Federal Defence Forces): regular units and conscripts. Consequently, there are also two types of oaths. That for conscripts is a pledge, since the latter may bind soldiers against their own will. The oath for regular units is an oath in the word's proper sense.
- "Ich gelobe, der Bundesrepublik Deutschland treu zu dienen, und das Recht und die Freiheit des deutschen Volkes tapfer zu verteidigen."
- "I pledge to faithfully serve the Federal Republic of Germany and to bravely defend the right and the freedom of the German people."
- "I pledge to faithfully serve the German Federal Republic and to defend the law and the freedom of the German people bravely."
Any conscripted soldier is allowed to deny taking the pledge. In this case, however, he will forfeit any chance of promotion during his service (this refusal is not to be mistaken for the conscientious objection to military service, which allows German conscripts to render a social alternative service).
Professional soldiers and Soldiers for a Time
- "Ich schwöre, der Bundesrepublik Deutschland treu zu dienen, und das Recht und die Freiheit des deutschen Volkes tapfer zu verteidigen, so wahr mir Gott helfe."
- "I swear to faithfully serve the German Federal Republic, and to bravely defend the right and freedom of the German people, so help me God."
The religious adjunct used with the oath is optional, the replacing of "ich gelobe" (I pledge) with "ich schwöre" (I swear) is not.