Those Bugles Ought to Be Heavy 

Burn BuildingWhen you really think about it, the role of company officer is a stupidly difficult, never-ending, generally thankless position.

At least, when it’s done well, it is.

You’re responsible for the mistakes of everyone who works for you, yet you defer praise to your team.

You can no longer truly be “one of the guys”.  You sacrificed that part of the camaraderie when you took the oath to keep them safe at all costs.

Your job is to enable them, to teach them, to help them, to remove any obstacles and take any bullets so that they can focus on their jobs.

You are duty bound to look out for the people in your care, emotionally, mentally, physically.  You must guide and help them in their work and their home lives as best you can.

You, more than anyone, must put the team before the individual, and the mission before the team.  You must make and live with hard decisions, on a scene or in the station.

Lately, I’ve noticed that most guys like the idea of having a bugle on their collar a lot more than they like the idea of actually doing this job.  They’re more committed to the inflated ego associated with promotion than they are to accepting the enormous responsibility of servitude that comes with leadership.

If the bugles don’t feel heavy, you don’t understand what they mean.

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