Where are the Watchmen?

By Gary Wickham

“Reconnaissance is a military observation of a region to locate an enemy or ascertain strategic features.”

          We are at war again. The Afghanistan debacle and the heart-wrenching 20th anniversary of 9/11 have awakened America to the reality that we have enemies who want to kill us. Experts are now saying we are even more vulnerable to enemy attacks than before September 11, 2001.
          The botched Afghanistan retreat revealed major weaknesses in our military, particularly in our intelligence gathering capabilities and mission development and execution. The most powerful and feared military in the world was completely caught off guard and remained flatfooted and confused while the Taliban’s tribal forces took control of Afghanistan in just twelve days. Politicized Pentagon top brass and inexperienced State Department bureaucrats performed like amateurs. Their bewildering actions created a humiliating and chaotic retreat that cost thirteen soldiers their lives while leaving behind hundreds of American citizens and other “friendlies.” Unfortunately, those left behind will face severe consequences at the hands of the same Muslim extremists who were openly complicit and celebrated the terrorists’ great victory over America when the Twin Towers came down, murdering thousands of innocents.  
          Even during so-called “times of peace” a nation must shake off every bit of complacency and remain alert to enemy activities to avoid deadly surprises. We should never let down our guard. We must bravely stand and resist our adversary, who is prowling about, eager to destroy any prey of opportunity he finds weak and vulnerable (see I Peter 5:8).
          Sadly, much of the bedlam surrounding the “retreat” could have been avoided. The outcome would have been much different if the top leadership had reliable reconnaissance on the Taliban and al Qaeda capabilities and used that information to counter their swift advance into Kabul. A retired general said any lieutenant could have compiled a better exit strategy.
          In history, watchmen were responsible for the early detection of an enemy army approaching their city. These watchmen were strategically situated at the gates and on the walls with the highly important responsibility to survey the landscape for any enemy threat. When an enemy was spotted, the watchmen sounded a trumpet alert, giving the soldiers and citizens in the city valuable time and information to organize a lethal defense. The watchmen on the wall and today’s military reconnaissance have much in common. The church can learn from both.
          A growing number of churches, including MorningStar, have seen a need to implement watchmen reconnaissance to detect in advance the enemy’s’ destructive intrusion into churches, families, local communities, schools, America, as well as nations abroad. Within an organized setting and using giftings within the church, the adage “If you see something, say something” applies here. Leadership can process and prioritize what is emerging and can sound an alarm using various avenues of communication. Intelligence can come through intercessors as well as prophetic words, dreams, and visions, and researched news reports and articles. Intercessors can forcefully bombard specific targets or threats when the spiritual reconnaissance teams relay what is happening behind enemy lines.
          I believe it to be significant for current and future watchmen to read with an open heart and a patriotic mindset the Marine Reconnaissance Code below. Sent to me by my grandson, I was greatly impacted by the Recon Code’s ability to promote an inspiring, even emotionally rousing call to duty and professionalism. Also included with the Marine Code is a short rewriting imbedded in each paragraph specifically for Christian watchmen. Being a watchman is exciting, but it is also a serious and much needed responsibility within the body of Christ.  


Reconnaissance Marines And Watchmen on the Wall

Realizing it is my choice and my choice alone to be a Reconnaissance Marine, I accept all challenges involved in my profession. Forever I will strive to maintain the tremendous reputation of those who sent before me.
Watchmen: Realizing it was my choice and my choice alone to devote my life to Jesus Christ and to Him alone, I accept all challenges involved in this dedicated life and my assigned purpose as a watchman. I will strive to maintain the reputations of the many dedicated Christians who have gone before me.


Exceeding beyond the limitations set down by others shall be my goal, sacrificing personal comforts and dedicating myself to the completion of the reconnaissance mission shall be my life. Physical fitness, mental attitude, and high ethics—the title of Recon Marine is my honor.
Watchmen: I shall exceed the limitations set down for me by others and shall sacrifice comforts in order to dedicate myself to the calling to which God has called me. I treasurer the title of watchman.

Conquering all obstacles, both large and small I will never quit. To quit is to surrender, to give up, is to fail. To be a Reconnaissance Marine is to surpass failure: to overcome, to adapt and do whatever it takes to complete the mission.
Watchmen: Conquering all obstacles, with God’s help I will never quit, surrender, or give up my passionate love for the Savior and my devoted service to Him. I will be an overcomer and do whatever it takes to complete my mission.

On the battlefield, as in all areas of life, I shall stand tall above the competition. Through profession pride, integrity, and teamwork I shall be an example for all Marines to emulate.
Watchmen: During the struggles and battles of life, I stand strong and rise up against the accuser of the brethren. I will take pride in being a devoted and loyal follower of Christ and always maintain integrity in working with others. I will strive to be an example for others to emulate.


Never shall I forget the principles I accepted to become a Reconnaissance Marine. Honor, perseverance, spirit and heart, a recon Marine can speak without saying a word and can achieve what others can only imagine.
Watchmen: I will never forget the great responsibilities entrusted to me as a watchman on the wall that includes the characteristics of honor, perseverance, spirit, and heart. I understand that the highest achievements come from the unspoken righteous conduct.

Gary and Ann Wickham live in Fort Mill, South Carolina. They have been a part of Heritage International Ministries and Fort Mill MorningStar Church for over 10 years. Gary married his high school sweetheart and they have 4 grown children and 6 grandchildren. Gary’s passion is to shine light on the pressing issues of our day.