A hidden message discovered 18 years later

It’s not often that you find hidden treasure… much less when it’s found within an item of clothing.

You may have noticed police officers wearing epaulettes with varying emblems adorning the shoulders of their uniforms, signifying their rank.

Police recruits also have these epaulettes on their uniforms while they are training at the Academy.

Recently, a neatly-folded note was discovered in the Queensland Police Service Academy in North Queensland, carefully tucked away inside the folds of the fabric of an epaulette.

The page-long, handwritten note offers advice to the recruit for their time at the Academy and for their early days as police officers, with the notable takeaway, “It’s a long hard slog and there are many difficult times ahead for you.

“Don’t give up, it will be the most amazing experience of your life.”

A hidden message found 18 years later

The officer who wrote the note 18 years ago is still within the QPS and wishes to remain anonymous.

“My intention was to provide anonymous support for someone who I thought could use it,” he said.

“When I wrote the note, I had finished my last assessment at the Academy, and we had been told to return our epaulettes.

“I decided to take the tradition of leaving a note in the dorms for the next recruit a step further and tucked my note into the lining of the epaulette.

“A lot of thought went into that note.

“I wanted the finder to know that Academy life was difficult, and that they would be tested.”

The mystery officer has risen through the ranks of the QPS since his time at the Academy, and is now a Sergeant in regional Queensland.

“If I were to speak to a recruit today, I’d tell them exactly the same thing.

“The journey continues to be arduous after the Academy, and will test you in ways you never believed possible – but you’ll get through it.

“Your family now numbers in the thousands and wears a blue uniform.

“Make the most of your time at the Academy – the friendships will last a lifetime.”

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