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It’s an inspiring story! Care to learn more?

December 17, 2021, marks the 40th anniversary of the kidnapping of then Brigadier General James Lee Dozier in Verona, Italy by Red Brigade terrorists. Dozier was held captive for 42 days before being rescued by a special operations team—a news story that made front-page headlines around the world. At the moment news of his rescue broke, everyone was asking: How did he manage to survive this?

The source of that resilience is the compelling story that unfolds in Finding My Pole Star, an inspiring message as timely today as it was four decades ago.

Major General James Lee Dozier retired from military service after serving 35 years with the U.S. Army and NATO in the United States, Europe and Asia. In his new memoir, Finding My Pole Star, this American hero recalls the traumatic kidnapping, his military leadership career, his civilian life as a successful business executive and his active community volunteerism. He inspires us with the timeless values that have guided his life of duty, honor, country and faith—values that can help each of us as we thrive while facing our own fears. 

The foundational life-long strength and wisdom that runs throughout General Dozier’s life is what makes this memoir so compelling, say early reviewers. Lieutenant General Walter F. Ulmer, Jr., U.S. Army (retired) says, “Jim Dozier’s life represents that of the consummate, vigorous American. Courageous, thoughtful and determined in combat, capture and community, he adapted and won. Working with him as we led an Army Corps, or when he applied leadership techniques from the Center for Creative Leadership classroom to the harshness of captivity, he had the right stuff at the right time.”

Lieutenant Colonel Gary L. Bryant, U.S. Army (retired) praises the general as a leader throughout his lifetime and careers, “General Dozier had an outstanding military career, and later served his state and local community with distinction. He was a member of and chaired several not-for-profit organizations that made a real difference in the lives of many. Often, he took over struggling groups and turned them into highly productive organizations. His strongest impact was in fostering both good government and education in the local school system, and in particular with the 15 high school Army JROTC programs in Lee County, Florida. General Dozier has been a powerful leader in the community and a role model to us all.”

Over many years, General Dozier has shared these lessons in talks, seminars and in his mentoring of thousands of JROTC high school students. Now, through this memoir, he shares these timeless values of duty, honor, country and faith, with all of us.

“This book is a must-read account of a highly accomplished and effective leader in both military and community pursuits,” Rear Admiral A. Scott Logan, U.S. Navy (retired) writes in endorsing the book. “It provides a road map for all individuals who desire to develop and pursue their own life-long Pole Star as their guiding light for an ethical, meaningful and successful life of service to God, community and all mankind.”

“Rock solid integrity and common-sense advice, sprinkled with a sense of humor, define this superb soldier,” writes Brigadier General John “Doc” Bahnsen, U.S. Army (retired).

“In my ten years of assisting young U.S. combat veterans from the 21st century Middle Eastern conflicts, I have learned from them the critical importance of their developing a personally important vision for their lives as they returned. Therefore, it is very important that the latest generation of Americans have the chance to hear this story,” writes military sociologist and Florida Gulf Coast University professor Christine Wright-Isak, PhD.

Among the stories General Dozier tells in this book are his journey from a tiny high school and junior college eventually to the halls of West Point; his service in Vietnam with Col. George S. Patton III, the son of the famous World War II general; his appearance on the front cover of the inspirational magazine Guideposts; and his later-in-life career in agriculture as a citrus grower in Florida.

Through it all, General Dozier tells us, he was guided by his “pole star,” a reference to the ability of mariners since ancient times to navigate using the stars in the heavens to guide them. “As it gave comfort to the mariner, it is also a directional pointer to one’s life and … represents ethics, morality, and religious values and beliefs,” Dozier’s friend and editor Commander Douglas B. Quelch, U.S. Navy (retired) writes in the book’s opening pages.In his endorsement of Finding My Pole Star, Admiral Logan concludes simply “This is a book for these times!”

Click the cover to visit the book’s hardcover and paperback Amazon page. An eBook also is available now for Kindle.

Benefit the General James L. Dozier JROTC Support Fund

Author proceeds derived from the sale of this book will go into the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and will be be used for the General James L. Dozier JROTC Support Fund, which aids the 16 high school Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) units in the Lee County, Florida schools. Of note, the Lee County JROTC program, with over 8,000 cadets, is the largest in the nation. Read more.

Photo Gallery

Check out a selection of the historical photos included in Finding My Pole Star.

Get the book to see more than 100 additional images from General Dozier’s life and career.