Foot Soldiers …  Lock Shields

By | March 26, 2021

[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.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

18 thoughts on “Foot Soldiers …  Lock Shields

  1. Wendy Holmes

    Great article, Gen. Satterfield. I just love your website; clean and easy to read. Plenty to think about.

  2. Tom Bushmaster

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the thumbnail picture Gen. S. is using is from the movie Gladiator. It’s when Marcus Arellius and other gladiators are about to take on the unknown attackers in the arena.

  3. The Kid 1945

    LOCK SHIELDS, great title on this article. One of the many common commands that leaders have given. Today, its probably something like TAKE COVER (but that doesn’t quite have the connotation I want here). But you get the idea.

    1. Army Captain

      Yes, I cannot think of any other term or phrase that would do the same. Lock shields implies both protection against an imminent threat to the group. Anybody else figure out a new term for this?

    2. Kenny Foster

      How about “stand ready.” I’m not so sure this one works but implies, IMO, that one is about to go on the offensive. Now that I think about it “stand ready” is not the same but I like it nonetheless. Gen. Satterfield you can use this as another article subject. It’s okay with me.

      1. corralesdon

        Good recommendation, Kenny. I’m sure Gen. Satterfield will appreciate the recommendation from you and as well from anyone taking the time to think thru new ideas.

        1. Yusaf from Texas

          corralesdon, yes, true enough. How about “on my command …” Thoughts?

          1. Anya B.

            Yes, Yusaf, that’s a preparatory command. I like it. 😊

          2. Dennis Mathes

            Sounds good. Great suggestions for Gen. Satterfield. I’m sure he will take these under consideration. How about “draw swords”? In other words, be prepared. But, of course, Gen. Satterfield already has the idea of being prepared as part of his rucksack of leader ideas.

  4. Jeff Blackwater

    Aesop, got it all in a simple 6 word sentence. Fail to be part of a team, and you fall.

  5. Randy Goodman

    TEAMWORK, that is what this is all about. Of course, they should lock shields.

    1. Rev. Michael Cain

      Straight forward. The old days, way way back hundreds of years ago, warfare was the norm. Peace was the exception. To survive, you had to work as a team or die. Simple.

    2. Karl J.

      Had to deny this simple piece of advice. Work as a team or be destroyed. “Lock Shields” is a great title for this short article by Gen. Satterfield. Well done. Keep ’em coming our way, Gen. S. We are those who want to get our daily dose of leadership. What’s great about this site is that you can get that dose in only a few minutes.

      1. JT Patterson

        You got that right. That’s why I’m one of the long-standing fans of Gen. Satterfield. 👍


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