The Navy's Core Values

US Navy Core Values


Adopted in 1775, the Navy has emphasized its core values: Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Although all three values are quite different, they come together to show how one can be a good person at heart. The navy chose its core values to reflect the belief that everyone, whether in the military or not, should be morally and ethically responsible.

Cadet Responses

During an interview, C/PO3 S. Hedges questioned C/CPO J. Young, “Why do you think the Navy chose its’ core values?” In response to the question, Young explained the meaning of the three values and showed why they were all individually important.

“Honor plays a big role in most scenarios in life. If you have honor, it shows you’ve earned respect. I believe the Navy chose courage because it is a characteristic everyone can possess, but some need to unlock it. Courage is an excellent trait. Those who have courage can do much more than those without it. As for commitment, I believe that it was chosen because committing to something, whether it’s to a relationship, a deployment, or even just a diet, commitment is something that can improve yourself and everyone around you.”
- C/CPO J. Young

Even though the values are just words, Young emphasized that people can succeed if they gain respect and honor, consistently make the right choice no matter who is watching, never give up, even when they are scared, and commit to whatever it is.

Different Perspectives

Although many cadets have different opinions on the values’ meanings, these views are similar and correlate in many ways. For example, C/PO3 S. Hedges interviewed two other cadets who shared individual interpretations of the Navy’s core values.

C/LTJG S. Flemmer replied, “The dictionary definition of honor is having high respect or great esteem, but that is just an overview of what honor is. Honor can be making the right choice in a difficult situation or being able to uphold an agreement. Honor can also mean respecting another's wishes with the best intentions, even if it seems challenging. On the other hand, C/PO3 Praet replied, “Honor is being able to be proud of one’s self and sticking to your word and your values.”

Final Thoughts

Every person has their input on what they think is right and what is wrong; however, everyone can agree that honor, courage, and commitment can improve anyone, no matter who they are or what they believe.

Article written by C/PO3 Shelby Hedges
Edited by C/ENS Klaire Heller

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