What Big Stars You Have, General
One of my work colleagues, a serving officer, noticed something odd last night in General David Petraeus’ turn as Super Bowl coin flipper: Rather giant-sized stars on his beret:
I’ve had difficulty locating similar shots of other 4-stars, since most tend to be photographed either sans headgear or wearing a soft cap or service cap. But, for example, this 2-year-old photo of Petraeus’ CENTCOM predecessor, John Abizaid, shows four stars fitting almost entirely within the beret’s flash:
Has the Army come up with bigger rank insignia for its general officers? Or is Petraeus going George Patton on us?
UPDATE: A helpful commenter points out that,
“General officers are authorized three different sizes of stars–5/8″, 3/4″ and full 1” … Most GO’s choose the smaller insignia because, as you point out, the larger stars look outsized when you get enough of them. I think it’s more common to see Brigadier Generals and Lieutenant Generals with the full-sized stars. But General Petraeus is certainly within regulation.
At least it’s easy to know what the man’s rank is at a distance, something that’s not true of senior NCOs with recent uniform iterations.