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Cadets of the German navy in formation for their ceremonial oath in front of the German naval academy (Marineschule Mürwik)

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 be soldiers against their own will. The oath for regular units is an oath in the word's proper sense.

Conscripted personnel[edit | edit source]

Soldiers speaking the oath for conscripted personnel

Conscripts' pledge:

"Ich gelobe, der Bundesrepublik Deutschland treu zu dienen, und das Recht und die Freiheit des deutschen Volkes tapfer zu verteidigen."

Translation:

"I pledge to faithfully serve the Federal Republic of Germany and to bravely defend the right and the freedom of the German people."

Alternative translation:

"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[edit | edit source]

Oath for other enlisted personnel, non-commissioned officers and officers serving for a period of more two years and above (Soldiers For a Time) or for lifetime (professional soldiers):

"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."

Translation:

"I swear to serve the Federal Republic of Germany loyally, and to defend the rights and freedom of the German people bravely, so help me God."

The religious adjunct used with the oath is optional.

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