Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars.
Those stars weren’t so big. They were really quite small.
You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.
Soldiers, as Dr. Suess’s classist characters once did, wear our rank on our chest. The Army wants people to know who they are talking to, and that’s a good thing. But it’s not exactly the best way to facilitate good communication.
Once, as a young substitute teacher at a high school, I had parked my car in the faculty lot. The school’s principal stopped me and said I couldn’t park there. Annoyed, I politely informed him that I was a teacher, not a student.
As an older teacher told me at that moment, “he’s such a doofus.”
The Army doesn’t like doofuses, so they identify everybody clearly and boldly.
With rank so prominent in the equation, they forget the other two identifiers, the Soldier’s name and the US Army label on every single uniform. Aren’t these more important?
But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches
Would brag, “We’re the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches.”
With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort
“We’ll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!”
And, whenever they met some, when they were out walking,
They’d hike right on past them without even talking.
The rank insignia becomes an impediment to communication and an excuse for arrogant leaders to look down upon juniors and remind the latter to take it from the former.
Thank goodness we have civilian lives. After a deployment or drill, most Soldiers will go back home and back to work where artificial castes don’t prohibit good communication, cooperation, and respect.
Back to that place where all the Sneetches forget about stars
and whether they had one, or not, upon thars.