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5 star rank: Wikis

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The insignia used by US Generals and Admirals of OF 10 rank.

An officer of 5 star rank is a phrase used in US military parlance to describe the most senior commander in the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO code of OF-10. The term is also used by some armed forces which are not NATO members.

The phrase originates from the US practice of denoting their most senior generals with insignia carrying five stars.[1] However, the actual insignia of many "5 star ranks" do not contain 5 stars. For example: the insignia for the French OF-10 rank Maréchal de France contains 7 stars; the insignia for the Portuguese Marechal contains 4 gold stars; and the insignia for British and Commonwealth Field Marshals / Admirals of the Fleet / Marshals of the Air Force contain no stars at all.

Typically, 5 star officers hold the rank of Admiral of the Fleet, Grand Admiral, Field Marshal, General of the Army, Marshal of the Air Force, General of the Air Force and several other similarly named ranks. Five-star ranks are extremely senior - usually the highest ranks - and thus are very rare; as an active rank, the position exists only in a minority of countries and is usually held by only a very few officers during wartime. In times of peace, it is usually held only as a ceremonial rank.

Contents

Australian 5 star ranks

Only one Australian born officer (Thomas Blamey) has held an Australian 5 star rank (Field Marshal).[3]

Indian 5 star ranks

United Kingdom 5 star ranks

United States 5 star ranks

Nine Americans have been promoted to five star rank, one of them in two services.[4]

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary (OED), 2nd Edition, 1989.
  2. ^ a b c The Australian insignia for "Admiral of the Fleet", "Field Marshal" and "Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force", depending on the era, are either identical to, or very similar to, the British insignia. Currently, HRH Prince Philip is the only holder of these Australian ranks.
    Also, although the highest active New Zealand rank is 3 star, (there are no 4* New Zealand rank holders), Prince Philip holds 5* ranks in the New Zealand Armed Forces.
  3. ^ With the exception of Thomas Blamey and the Englishman William Birdwood, who both held the rank of Field Marshal, all other holders of Australian 5 star ranks have been ceremonial.
  4. ^ The following Americans have been promoted to five star rank:
          •   Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy 15 December 1944
          •   General of the Army George Marshall 16 December 1944
          •   Fleet Admiral Ernest King 17 December 1944
          •   General of the Army Douglas MacArthur 18 December 1944
          •   Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz 19 December 1944
          •   General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower 20 December 1944
          •   General of the Army & Air Force Henry H. Arnold     21 December 1944 & 7 May 1949
          •   Fleet Admiral William Halsey, Jr. 11 December 1945
          •   General of the Army Omar Bradley 20 September 1950
    The timing of the first seven appointments was to establish both a clear order of seniority and a near-equivalence between the Army and Navy services. In 1949, Arnold was honored by being made the first, and to date only, General of the Air Force. He is the only American to serve in a five-star rank in two of its military services.
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