Principles of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

Sgt. Bill S., used a one word summary to describe the basic principle (as he saw it) behind each of the 12 Steps, when he was giving talks to military personnel about alcoholism at Lackland in San Antonio, Texas, during the 1950’s and later on in California.

In the following, quoted from Sgt. Bill S., ‘On the Military Firing Line in the Alcoholism Treatment Program’, Chapter 18, "Recovery through the Twelve Steps"

The twelve steps lead people through a necessary therapeutic sequence involving;

  1. insight,
  2. surrender,
  3. positive goals,
  4. introspection,
  5. confession,
  6. submission
  7. humility,
  8. amendment,
  9. restitution,
  10. reorganization,
  11. spirituality, and
  12. love

The 12-Steps and principles are therefore;

  1. INSIGHT: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. SURRENDER: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. POSITIVE GOALS: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. INTROSPECTION: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. CONFESSION: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. SUBMISSION: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. HUMILITY: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. AMENDMENT: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. RESTITUTION: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. REORGANIZATION: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. SPIRITUALITY: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. LOVE: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

On the Military Firing Line in the Alcoholism Treatment Program: The Air Force Sergeant Who Beat Alcoholism and Taught Others to Do the Same. By Sgt. Bill S., Glenn Chesnut.

Brief-TSF addresses the first 3 Steps and principles.

On the Military Firing Line in the Alcoholism Treatment Program: The Air Force Sergeant Who Beat Alcoholism and Taught Others to Do the Same