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Stars in Your Eyes

Stars in Your Eyes

I’ll begin by saying that I respect all people in uniform who put their lives on the line every day to protect us. My brother-in-law was “on the job” for 30 years and retired as a police captain.

Within that context, what is happening with this outburst of stars on the collars or police chiefs I see being interviewed the media? Most have four stars on their uniforms, but I saw one yesterday with five. The commander of the Rhode Island State Police is a colonel, with the eagle on his collar.

In the entire US armed forces, there are 42 active duty four-star generals among the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. We’ve had only five, five-star officers in our history, but none since 1981 when Omar Bradly died well into retirement.

Do you need stars hanging from your shirt to command leadership and respect? Does rank have to be so out-of-proportionately represented? Does one really need multiple stars to gain the respect of the department and the community? These are police forces, not military forces.


Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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