The first version of the Sailor's Creed came from an idea in 1986 by Admiral James B. Watkins, Chief of Naval Operations, to form a group that would create a Code of Ethics for the Navy. The result of this meeting at the Naval War College was the eight-point The Navy Uniform, and was later scaled down to a shorter version called the Sailor's Creed. The original text was as follows:
I have chosen to serve in the United States Navy. America depends on my performance for her survival, and I accept the challenge to set my standards high, placing my country's well-being above self-interest.
I will be loyal to my country, its Constitution and laws, and to my shipmates.
I will be honest in my personal and professional life and encourage my shipmates to do the same.
I will, to the best of my ability, do the right thing for its own sake, and I am prepared to face pain or death in defense of my country.
I will be a professional, wearing my uniform with pride and accepting responsibility for my actions.
I will set excellence as my standard and always strive for ways to make me a better sailor and my crew a better crew.
The current version of the Sailor's Creed was a product of many Blue Ribbon Recruit Training Panels in 1993 at the direction of AdmiralFrank B. Kelso II, Chief of Naval Operations. It has been revised twice; once in 1994 under the direction of Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jeremy Boorda, and again in 1997. These changes were made to make the creed inclusively descriptive of all hands. The creed is taught and recited in boot camp and, incorrectly, at some officer accession programs. (The line about "obey[ing] the orders of those appointed over me" is incompatible with an officer's oath, which is only to support and defend the Constitution.)