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Meh.

5_star.jpgWhile I actually am very supportive of Chief Craig of Detroit, who has a near-impossible job and is willing to buck the conventional wisdom trying to accomplish it, I admit I am always bemused at the ego of LEOs when it comes to rank for the top cop of a jurisdiction.

Counting all the variants, there have been 12 officers of flag rank to hold a "5 Star or better" position since the Founding:

• Admiral of the Navy George Dewey 24 March 1903
• General of the Armies John J. Pershing 3 September 1919
• Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy 15 December 1944
• General of the Army George Marshall 16 December 1944
• Fleet Admiral Ernest King 17 December 1944
• General of the Army Douglas MacArthur 18 December 1944
• Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz 19 December 1944
• General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower 20 December 1944
• General of the Army & Air Force Henry H. Arnold 21 December 1944 & 7 May 1949
• Fleet Admiral William Halsey, Jr. 11 December 1945
• General of the Army Omar Bradley 20 September 1950
• General of the Armies George Washington 4 July 1976, with an effective appointment date of 4 July 1776

We've not had one since General Bradley died in 1981.

We've had thousands of police chiefs and sheriffs who hold "5 Star" rank.

I just find it kind of amusing.

9 Comments

Almost as ridiculous as the array of current general officers wearing more meaningless ribbons than a championship ROTC drill team. Are their egos really that fragile?
 
Based on personal observation, for many of them... yes.
 
 They kept promoting Washington even though he resigned his commission after the war ended. I seem to remember he was promoted General of The Armies when they promoted some one else to that rank and didn't feel they could leave Ol' George behind.

The fragility of the ego is directly proportional to the 4th power of the number of stars they wear.

 
 
When Craig was chief of police in Cincy, the highest rank he was allowed to wear was "full bird" colonel. He tried to change that to a set of Stars, of course the police union would have non of it.
Then it turned out that Chief Craig wasn't even a peace officer in the state of Ohio, and wasn't able to pass the test. 
He moved on to Detroit, where I guess he gets his stars and still doesn't have to really be a peace officer.
 
But he had been a long time cop in Los Angeles, then was a CoP somewhere in Maine, at which point his LAPD "civilians don't get to carry" attitude changed for the better.
 
I am slightly surprized that none of them have made a try for six or seven stars.
 
Here's another ego for you. Went from detective to county sheriff and pinned on five stars (on a uniform of his design). Sad thing is, I wouldn't trust him to lead a Boy Scout patrol. http://www.claytonsheriff.com/History_Sheriff_Hill.html
 
HNWIC insignia, in this case.
 
klr, I guess he's in the Navy, but I've never seen a narrow stripe "5 striper" before.