Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Army General Understands Everyone Is Accountable

Military policeman Danny Brown was working at the massive Fort Jackson Army Base in Columbia, South Carolina when late at night he saw a truck going 13 miles over the speed limit. He pulled it over and asked the driver, dressed in civilian clothes, for ID. He didn’t recognize the driver, who said nothing as he handed over his ID.

Brown had already decided to give the driver a 1408 warning ticket, which doesn't go on the offender's record but does go right to the company commander. To his surprise, the ID indicated the driver’s rank was "07"—a one-star general. Brown writes:

I'm a Pfc - private first class, the third lowest rank in the Army. My primary job is to carry out orders by commanding officers. And here I am writing a ticket to a general. I decided to treat him as I would anyone else and hold him the same set of rules. I walked up to the truck and saluted him. “I didn't recognize you, sir,” I said. Then I handed him the ticket. “Sir, that ticket is going back to the highest command in your unit, which is, well, you. So, when you get back tomorrow, you're going to explain to yourself why you were speeding.”

The general laughed and thanked him, but early the next morning Brown is suddenly worried and stressed. Two MPs in full uniform entered his room and told him that the colonel, who was the police chief of the base, wanted to see him right away. Brown told them he'd be there in a minute, but the MPs insisted, "You're coming with us right now."

Brown was certain he would get chewed out for giving a ticket to a general. "It happens all the time - someone of higher rank trying to intimidate, talk down, or lay into me for doing my job."

At the military police station, in the colonel's office, Brown saluted the colonel and stood at attention. “The general sent this for you,” the colonel said, and handed him a military coin. It had the general's name and rank. It is a coin of appreciation.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Cricketer’s Humble Beginning Produces Gratitude

Sis Vivian Richards is a legendary cricketer who represented the West Indies in their years of undisputed cricket dominance from the late 1970’s to the mid 1990’s. He is ...

[Read More]

Mandela's Eight Lessons of Leadership

In honor of Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday, Richard Stengel, managing editor of Time magazine, put together Mandela's eight lessons of leadership. Stengel writes: "[The ...

[Read More]