YAL @ Texas State Goes to Basic Combat Training

This summer Joseph Sadler of Young Americans for Liberty at Texas State went to Basic Training. At a time when most people would be focusing on making it day to day, he was still thinking about ways to spread liberty. Here is his report about what happened:

This summer was my second time going through basic training. The first time was in 2002 for the Navy. This time I was a E5 (Sergeant) going through Basic Combat Training for the Army Reserves. In addition to my rank and the branch of service, there was something else that was different.

When I first went through basic, I knew nothing about the Constitution (the document that all service members swear and oath to defend from all enemies both foreign and domestic). As a result, I was an absolute, Bush-loving neocon for the first two years of my initial enlistment.

The thing that changed me into a freedom-loving libertarian was when I started looking into and studying the Constitution out of boredom. Many libertarians I have talked to have told me that the wish that they were introduced to liberty sooner than they were. Thinking about this gave my YAL chapter president and I an idea.


Fast forward two months. I received a package in the mail and opened it up to find 60 YAL pocket Constitutions. I was very curious to see the kind of reception they would get from the Privates and the Drill Sergeants.

I walked up to one of my Drill Sergeants with one of the Constitutions. He looked at it and asked “What ya got there, Sergeant?” I handed it to him and told him that it was one of 60 pocket Constitutions that I got from my student organization back home. He excitedly took it from my hand and said that that was outstanding. “In fact,” he said as he thumbed through it and faced the bay, “Let me read this right here.”

He then shouted to get the attention of the Privates and began reading the Second Amendment. Afterwards he spoke fervently about the importance of always keeping arms. He told them that he expects all of them to keep and bear arms even after they are out of the service; adding that they should always stand guard against those that would strip us of our rights. I then passed the Constitutions out to the Privates, reminding them that it is to the Constitution, first and foremost, that they swore an oath.


From then on it was not at all uncommon for me to see the Privates reading them when there was down time during training. This even lead to a few Privates from other platoons (who described themselves as libertarians and “Ron Paul Republicans”) coming up to me and asking me if I had extras. Over all, I would say that the Constitutions were very well-received — and that we helped to spark the light of liberty in the hearts many of the Privates there.


I asked Joe to get pictures as proof of this experience. As you can see they were not shy about showing off their new constitutions. Good Job, Joe!

Published in

Post a comment