As police officers, we talk a lot about being warriors. We’ve all heard members of the military talk about being warriors, but even other people describe themselves as “road warriors” or “weekend warriors”. Everyone from nurses to stock brokers describe themselves as “warriors” and you can even find a warrior diet, and a website where they list warrior names for baby’s.
There are warrior books, warrior companies, warrior games, warrior trucks and even warrior cats. I guess if you are a warrior, you know what you are.
Maybe the word is a little over used, or maybe we need to define ourselves as warriors, in the context of law enforcement.
As law enforcement officers, we certainly can describe ourselves as warriors because at times we may have to enter into a fight to the death, and many times our lives are threatened during the normal course of a day, but is that the whole picture?
I don’t think so. I think we define ourselves as warriors because of what the word symbolizes about our approach to life, work and the world around us. Does it mean that we are always at war? No, it means that we are always prepared to deal with violence if it comes to us, or the communities we protect. More importantly… it describes how we prepare ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually to be the best at what we do, so that we will have the strength to serve those in need, when we are called upon to do so.
If we defined ourselves in law enforcement specifically as “Blue Warriors” that should describe a code of honor, and a way of behaving that represents all of what we are, and what we do. It should be our reason to exist and the model by which we operate.
If you consider the way of the warrior, you might examine the influence of the native American Indian or the Bushido code of ancient Japan as models for that discipline.
Historically, the Native American warrior followed a code that ascribed to: Honesty, Justice, Polite Courtesy, Heroic Courage, Honor, Compassion, Complete Sincerity, Duty and Loyalty.
Similarly the Japanese samurai, followed a code of Bushido.
In Japanese, Bushido means the way of the warrior and it also describes a code of conduct used by the samurai warrior. According to William Scott Wilson, in “Ideals of the Samurai: Writings of Japanese Warriors” the Bushido code mandates compassion and a requirement to conduct oneself with calmness, fairness, justice, and propriety. Also according to Wilson the relationship between learning and the way of the warrior is clearly articulated, one being a natural partner to the other. Bushido upholds many values and among them are Justice, Benevolence, Love, Self-Control, Honesty and Sincerity. He was a true and complete warrior.
I propose you consider a code for law enforcement professionals to be known as the Code of the Blue Warrior:
The Blue Warrior Prepares for the Worst
By Training to Be the Best
The Blue Warrior Will:
Protect the weak and defenseless
Defend the innocent
Fight for the welfare of all
Speak the truth, always
Live one’s life so that it is worthy of respect and honor
Live for freedom, justice and all that is good
Exhibit calm and self-control
Exhibit courage in both word and deed
Destroy evil in all of its monstrous forms
Never abandon a friend, ally, or noble cause
Always keep one’s word of honor
Always maintain one’s principles
Always protect confidential information
Respect life and freedom
Be polite and attentive
Always support a teammate in need
Focus on Mission First, Team Second, Individual Third
Take personal responsibility
Train yourself to be the best in all you do
Speak and act in compassion, not anger
Seek to remove chaos and restore order
Work to create peace and lawfulness
Live a life of service
And, Cultivate personal courage
So that The Blue Warrior can both Serve and Protect!
To adopt this mindset, one must become familiar with the Way of the Blue Warrior. The Way of the Blue Warrior is a path that police officers can follow to strengthen their ability to protect and to serve.
The Way of The Blue Warrior
The Way of The Blue Warrior is the Way of Service
In the Face of Evil: The Blue Warrior Knows War
In the Face of Tragedy: The Blue Warrior Knows Compassion
In the Face of Uncertainty: The Blue Warrior Knows Truth
In the Face of Disorder: The Blue Warrior Knows Justice
In the Face of Corruption: The Blue Warrior Knows Honor
In the Face of Disaster: The Blue Warrior Knows Strength
In the Face of Fear: The Blue Warrior Knows Courage
It is the Way of The Blue Warrior to Serve and Protect
It is the Way of The Blue Warrior to Always be Prepared
It is the Way of The Blue Warrior to Always be Able
The Way of The Blue Warrior is the Way of a Leader
The Path of The Blue Warrior is one of Honor, Justice, Integrity and Truth
The Blue Warrior is Skilled, Proficient and Competent in the Craft of Law Enforcement
The Way of The Blue Warrior is the Way of Peace that is why they are called Peace Officers
The Blue Warrior knows that the battle must be fought on two battlegrounds: the first in the mind and then on the battlefield of the physical reality. In order to succeed, the Blue Warrior must prepare by conquering the battlefield of the mind with thorough and comprehensive training and commitment.
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Bruce Lee
“I cannot teach you, only help you to explore yourself. Nothing more.” Bruce Lee
If this article does nothing else, I would be happy if it started a discussion between you and the people you work with about what you are and what you stand for.
The Law Enforcement Survival Institute works to provide information and training to help law enforcement professionals plan for happy, healthy and successful lives on the job and beyond. We do this with our training programs (one of which covers this material) and through discussions on the internet like this one. I think the concept of the Blue Warrior is about who you are as an individual (over and above your job) and what you are prepared to do. It is about preparing yourself for the ultimate sacrifice and being the very best you can be both personally and professionally.
With these words I challenge you to work as hard as you can in all areas of your life: physically, mentally, emotionally and intellectually to become the essence of the Blue Warrior and to wear your badge and uniform with pride as you fulfill the oath of your office with distinction and valor.
Consider all the things that you feel you need to improve or strengthen to live up to this challenge and begin your training program today.
Blue Warrior Training
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Serve
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Know Peace
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to be Mentally Strong
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Shun Anger
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Embrace Fear
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Know Service
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to the Highest Level of Integrity
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Prepare for the Worst
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Know War
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Know Compassion
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Know Truth
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Know Justice
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Know Honor
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Be Strong
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Be Courageous
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Serve and Protect
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Always be Prepared
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Always be Able
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained in the Way of Leadership
The Path of The Blue Warrior is one of Honor, Justice, Integrity and Truth
The Blue Warrior Must Be Trained to Be Skilled, Proficient and Competent in all the Arts of the Craft of Law Enforcement
Remember, The Way of The Blue Warrior is the Way of Peace that is why we are called Peace Officers!
If you would like to download a PDF copy of The Code of The Blue Warrior CLICK HERE
If you would like to download a PDF copy of The Way of The Blue Warrior CLICK HERE
CopsAlive.com was founded to provide information and strategies to help police officers successfully survive their careers. We help law enforcement officers and their agencies prepare for the risks that threaten their existence.
We do this by Helping Law Enforcement professionals plan for happy, healthy and successful lives on the job and beyond. We think the best strategy is for each officer to create a tactical plan for their own life and career.
The Law Enforcement Survival Institute (LESI) works with individuals and organizations to help them create and sustain success in their lives and careers as law enforcement professionals. It is the primary goal of The Law Enforcement Survival Institute to become the preeminent source for training, resources and information about how to create and sustain a happy, healthy and successful life and career while providing superior law enforcement service to your community.
CLICK HERE if you would like to contact us to learn more about training for your organization.
Thanks to Shane Gorski of Shane Gorski Photography for his photo “Warrior Spirit” provided as a Creative Commons work on Flickr.com as country_boy_shane