[This paper is a commentary on Exploring an Alternative Metaphor for Nursing: Relinquishing Military Images and Language by ail Mitchell, Mary Ferguson-Paré and Joy Richards.]

The article written by Mitchell, Ferguson-Paré and Richards reminds us of something that we as nurses often take for granted: that our roots in the military are enacted in our everyday practices. I appreciated the thoughtful way in which the authors led readers to reflect on the consequences of remaining unreflective about the impact of our early history as a profession. Until we are able to articulate the effect of such historical roots on how nurses shape their role identity and practice, the nursing profession is unlikely to fully achieve the goals of professionalism to which it aspires.