Fidelis ad Mortem
“Faithful until Death”
Most of us who served in the military, para-military or some kind of law enforcement capacity know of the brotherhood and sisterhoods that develop within the rank and file when it comes to unity, loyalty and commitment. One could not possibly understand what Fidelis ad Mortem means but it is likely to be deeply misunderstood unless they are or were once a member of such an organization that thrived on such motivating metaphors to incite an adrenalin rush or emotions when faced with difficult challenges.
There are two important personal properties required to fully understand the concept of brotherhood and sisterhood in dealing with such organizations and its respective cultures – professionalism and having common sense should prevail under all conditions. It’s a narrow road but a path nevertheless.
Professionalism because you have to remember that 90 percent of them are good decent people who show loyalty to each other till the end and common sense because going against the grain creates conflict with your moral and ethical values that guide us in our relationships and work performance. Although each person is different, the baseline of loyalty is unquestionably the strongest.
There is very little room for coward hence the 10 percent of those who are bad and morally corrupt people. Generally speaking, those cowards are the ones who hid behind the badge, the rank, the authority and just don’t have the mental and emotional strength and capabilities to put their fear aside and do what they have to do under dangerous conditions or situations.
In time, their deeds sort them out and identifies them as weaklings. Certainly, some were never cut out to be soldiers, Marines, sailors or warrior as well as police officers and other law enforcement positions that serve and protect us as guardians of justice and liberty. I will never hold it against someone who finds that they don't have what it takes the first time they fail to act in a frightening situation. I do hold it against someone when they continue to work in law enforcement knowing that they cannot do all of the job.
Speaking from my own experience, there are times when everyone is scared in law enforcement. Being able to suppress that fear and do the job is a non-negotiable component to working in law enforcement. Without a doubt, there will be situations where they will be asked to place their own safety and lives on the line for fellow officers, friends or LEO agents or the public, and then, sadly, it is then when they start to realize just exactly what they have signed up for.
Some “cowards” are those who don't fight (physically) when a fight is necessary, those who don't help victims of crime or accidents when they can, it's a long list. Bravery is part of a public servant’s occupation or job. One can understand being scared as fear is a natural condition under certain terms but fear can be controllable and should be done so to prevent panic of self or others.
Some “cowards” lack the emotional strength to conduct themselves morally straight when approached with a confrontational situation where they have to choose between good or evil – one should always have the moral strength to reject corruption and accept the challenge of denying anyone the pleasure of soiling their name, moral character or reputation.
What is most important to remember is your name, character lives and dies with your deeds. How you are remembered and how you are honored is based on the fact you did what you had to do in order to maintain your ethics and integrity without a doubt, one of the hardest things to do as a person.