What is a Soldier for Life?

What does it mean to be a Soldier for Life?  A Soldier for Life is a resilient and fit leader of character committed to a lifetime of service to the Army and our nation.  A Soldier for Life is a trusted professional who serves honorably on cohesive teams and remains connected with the Army team long after hanging up his or her uniform.  Our Soldiers, these Soldiers for Life, are invaluable members of their civilian communities. When they return to those communities as full-time civilians, they bring with them attributes gained though Army service that make them great leaders, professionals and team members in any organization.

Soldier for Life is more than a phrase.  It is more than a mindset or culture change.  It is inspiring an identity shift, a feeling of pride in being a Soldier and a sense of belonging to your Army family.  From the moment someone earns the title Soldier, throughout their military career, through transition and after reintegrating into civilian communities, that individual carries with them the intangible, invaluable skills the Army teaches: leadership, resiliency and commitment among so many others.

Being a Soldier for Life is more than saying that you are.  It is BELIEVING that you are.  It is knowing that no matter how you came into the Army, how long you stayed, if you are an officer or enlisted, West Point or ROTC, infantry or intelligence, that you are and will always be a member of a valued team, America’s greatest team.  It is knowing that the people you served with you, whether in combat or garrison, are a band of this country’s most elite citizens who you are now bonded to by service, and who you should always love, protect and keep faith with, in and out of the uniform.  It is the Army’s commitment to ensuring Soldiers are aware of all educational, credentialing and healthcare services while in uniform and actively engage with those entities who can provide those services to our Soldiers. It is the Army’s enduring connection with all Army family members after service to keep them informed of available and current Army policies, information, programs and resources, instilling in them what it means to be a Soldier for Life.

America's Soldiers, our Soldiers for Life, epitomize courage, commitment and character.  They are the most skilled, trained and selfless Army in our nation's history. Whether they serve for three years or 30, our Soldiers and their Families who support them are the crown jewels of the nation, and they are forever part of a noble profession immersed in the Army Values, Soldier’s Creed and career skills that will prepare them for exceptional service during and after their Army service. Now…what does it mean to YOU to be a Soldier for Life? 

By Crystal X. Boring, Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army Director of Communications Soldier For Life