Hundreds of soldiers and civilians on Fort Bragg gathered Tuesday to raise their right hands and swear an oath to their country.
They recited words that typically mark the beginning of careers in federal government.
Instead, the ceremony was a symbolic recommitment by members of two major Army commands to the United States a day before the nation pauses to honor military veterans.
The soldiers and civilians -- many of whom also were veterans -- lined the atrium at Marshall Hall, home to U.S. Army Forces Command and U.S. Army Reserve Command.
They recited four creeds, one each for soldiers, noncommissioned officers, warrant officers and Army civilians, then swore two different oaths, one for enlisted soldiers and the other for officers and civilians.
Officials said the reaffirmation was meant to demonstrate the commands' commitments to the nation ahead of Veterans Day.
"From FDA food safety supervisors and inspectors to Department of Justice civil rights attorneys to NASA astronauts to Forscom and USARC staff, we all swear or affirm an oath to support the Constitution," said Maj. Gen. Jimmie Jaye Wells, chief of staff at Forscom." No matter our role in government, we share this unique and significant responsibility."
Wells said he was humbled to see the mass recommitment and said the event would become an annual one for the four-star command.
Maj. Gen. Luis R. Visot, chief of staff at U.S. Army Reserve Command, shared Wells' pride.
"What a great day," he said.
Visot said the oath of office defines the commitment to the United States.
"It's a solemn oath we all take," he said. "It provides us, I like to believe, the foundation of which we can operate as servants and servant leaders of our great nation."
Visot challenged those who renewed their oaths to think about their commitments Tuesday night and today, when the nation celebrates its veterans.
"Think about, 'Why do I do what I do?'" he said.