You can hear it echoing in military bases, it’s cited throughout history, the spelling is debated (hooah, hoo-ah, hoorah, etc…), but it’s definition rings clear! It’s the battle cry of those who protect our country. HOOAH!
I attended a varsity volleyball game tonight. Whenever they got a kill (when they attack and the ball goes down for a point) they chant, “AHHH KILL, KILL, KILL (pound, pound, pound), HOOAH!” As I listened to this chant, it reminded me of a retreat that our youth group had. We did a military theme and “HOOAH” was our battle cry. When you look at the meaning of hooah, you will see that this term is not something to be used lightly! I Googled the phrase and the results where plentiful! 27,700 results for “hooah definition” and each site I clicked on rang the same resounding chant!
“No matter how one might spell the word… [it] is still an expression of high morale, strength and confidence. And, when powered by an overwhelmingly proud, and usually loud, tone of voice, hooah seems to stomp out any possibility of being bound…”. (U.S. Army Infantry Home Page)
“Former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan has his interpretation. ‘I don’t know how exactly to spell it, but I know what it means,’ Sullivan said. ‘It means we have broken the mold. We are battle focused. Hooah says ‘Look at me. I’m a warrior. I’m ready. Sergeants trained me to standard. I serve America every day, all the way.’ ‘” (U.S. Army Infantry Home Page)
As I watched the first game tonight, HOOAH was definitely a battle cry of a team who was battle focused! They were pumped and determined, and no one was going to stand in their way. It was a close defeat, and after that, hooah just became a word. The passion slipped away as the night continued and they didn’t seem to regain their focus.
The same thing happens to us. We are like race horses in the gate, we bolt out at the sound of the gun. Our day begins and we are gung ho and ready to go! As we become subject to moments of defeat, our battle cry dwindles to a mere whisper. Our faces hang low, and the bounce in our step all but fades. Those of us who know Christ, know where we must turn in moments like these. When defeat knocks at our door and temptation lurks around the corner, we must remember who we work for. Paul is very encouraging in this and is somewhat of a “drill sergeant” to our dedication to our Lord:
“…my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 – MSG)
“So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:26-27 – ESV)
We should be facing each days challenge with a roaring HOOAH! Each battle that comes our way should be met with a resounding BOOM that could only come from God Himself, and why? Because it does. When we rely on Him, we can be confident that we will gain victory through Him who lives in us.
“Ye (you) are of God, little children, and have overcome them (evil spirits who try to lure us away from Christ) : because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4 – KJV) [parenthesized words are mine]
Let’s us look back at 1 Corinthians and take a glance at the context. Verse 15:58 was one of our key verses for our retreat and when you look at the what comes before that, it ties it all together.
“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’
‘Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57 – NIV)
We are the perishable who are clothed with the imperishable! We are the mortal clothed with the immortal! And all this through Christ! So we could say “Donuts in the lounge, you have been swallowed up in victory!” Or “Where, O foul mouth, is your victory?” “Where, O lying heart, is your sting?” ALL of our struggles will be swallowed up in the victory of Christ! Our part (yes, we have to make a choice, as usual) is to wail a deafening HOOAH!
IL Volleydogs, stand up and say HOOAH! Look at the definition, sense the pride, feel the burning passion to complete the task that you have set out to achieve! Defeat has no hold on you! Grab hold of this battle cry and mix it with the adrenaline that runs through your veins as you hear the whistle that signals the serve. Execute your play with the skill that you have acquired from the discipline gained in practice. Beat your bodies to make them the tool used to turn defeat in the other direction. Lean on each other as you conquer together the adversaries that you face!
Christians, stand up and say HOOAH! Look at the definition, sense the pride, feel the burning passion to complete the task that you have set out to achieve! Defeat has no hold on you! Grab hold of this battle cry and mix it with the strength that has been granted you through your precious Savior! Execute the tasks set before you by your Heavenly Father with the discipline gained from study and prayer. Beat your bodies to make them the tool used to turn defeat in the other direction. Lean on your brothers and sisters in Christ as you conquer together the adversary we all face!
TAKE THE STAND!
“Christ has broken the mold! I am battle focused. Look at me! I’m a warrior! I’m ready! I have been trained to standard! I serve God every day, ALL THE WAY… HOOAH!!!!”
[Suggested Reading: Psalm 91 (The Soldier’s Psalm)]
(The picture above and the quotes where taken from the U.S. Army Infantry Home Page )