(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that members of the U.S. military are "fighting on my behalf."
Obama used the expression while explaining to ABC News that he really does support same-sex marriage.
"When I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," said Obama.
The president, as commander in chief, is at the top of the military chain of command. However, the Constitution gives Congress the power to authorize the use of military force and members of the armed forces take an oath to defend the Constitution.
Enlisted personnel and officers take somewhat different oaths.
The Army version of the officer's oath reads:
"I, ___________, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of_____________ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God."
The oath for enlisted personnel reads:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.