Gold Stripe on a Jackass is a conceptually rich description of one naval officer's career journey. Author Stephen B. Sloane began his career in Annapolis, where the commandment of obedience holds sway, and finished in Berkeley, a place where questioning authority is woven deeply into the cultural fabric. Sloane rejects the conventional role of corporate, government, and military ideals by demonstrating that efficiency can be attained without sacrificing morality. He maintains that the person who dons the gold stripe of authority should reject the role of jackass and strive for moral efficiency by regarding the expenditure of human life as a cost rather than the utilization of a tangible resource. Inspired by Admiral James Bond Stockdale's experience as a prisoner-of-war in Vietnam, Sloane asserts that a man's ethical posture and philosophical outlook can enable him and others to survive even the direst conditions with honor. Gold Stripe on a Jackass provides readers with a guide to individual responsibility for leadership decision making that emphasizes the requirement to question authority and the need to speak truth to power. This is an original and enlightening contribution to scholarship and education as well as a moral compass for those who occupy positions of authority in the corporate and governmental sectors of society.
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