[March 26, 2021] “Provide for the common defense.” One of the most well-known parts of the U.S. Constitution is its Preamble that contains this phrase. The idea of defense for all is as ancient as human beings inhabiting our planet. It is no surprise that an ancient foot soldier command would be Lock Shields, meaning essentially the same.
To lock shields means to provide mutual protection for everyone who is a part of that particular foot soldier group. For the United States, the defense of the country is the responsibility of the federal government. There is an expectation that everyone capable will participate in its defense.
Lock shields, or mutual defense, is not an option. Survival of the group is paramount. Those who fail to achieve a common, mutually supported defense will cease to exist. The Framers of the U.S. Constitution realized that an armed force was necessary to protect the sovereignty and interests of the United States. It was also a way to protect the individual citizen.
“United we stand, divided we fall.” – Aesop
To “lock shields” or “stand united” or “common defense,” each have as its core meaning that members of a group work as a team, instead of as individuals. In the U.S. military, the priority of any unit will always be to set up security. In this way, the unit is protected against unexpected events that may prevent the mission’s accomplishment.
Likewise, private and public organizations prioritize the protection of their business. Threats are everywhere. Whether it be cyber-attacks, terrorism, resurging international enemies, natural disasters, or the rise of militant Islam, chaos is only a step away. Recognizing the threats and being prepared are the first steps to ensure survival. Those who fail to prepare will ultimately fail.
Roman soldiers practiced the tactic of interlocking shields. The success of their armies is legendary. Their success is a lesson that no leader should ignore. And, to lock shields will always mean that survival is possible when teamwork is used.