United States armed forces take an oath to support and defend a piece of paper – the Constitution. The British military take an oath of allegiance to the monarch. German forces swear to defend the law and liberty of the people. The Japanese vow to maintain the nation’s independence and peace. Russians swear loyalty to the Fatherland. Perhaps not surprisingly, the French armed forces, after fi ve republics, two empires, numerous monarchies and several attempted military coups, take no oath.