The Full Wiki

6 star rank: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Six star general redirects here. For the 1973 record album by that name, see Vinegar Joe (band).

Six-star rank holders hold a rank superior to five-star rank. Such ranks might include:

Dae Wonsu is superior to Wonsu, and might thus be considered a seven star rank.

Historically these military officers lead an entire army or the entire armed forces.

There is currently no NATO code for the six-star rank; An officer of five-star rank is the most senior commander in these armed services, holding a rank described by the NATO code of OF-10.


United States Military

Dewey's Admiral of the Navy insignia

The United States Military has never explicitly endorsed a six star rank. Two ranks, Admiral of the Navy and General of the Armies, are senior to the five star ranks but have not used a six star insignia.



George Dewey was promoted to Admiral of the Navy on March 24, 1903, retroactive to March 2, 1899. In 1944 the Navy Department declared the newly created 5 star rank rank of Fleet Admiral to be junior to George Dewey's rank.


Pershing's General of the Armies insignia
MacArthur in 1945, wearing the five-star insignia and his distinctive hat

The rank of General of the Armies has been awarded to John Pershing and, posthumously, to George Washington. It was proposed for Douglas MacArthur on several occasions. It has never been held by an officer on active service at the same time as the five star rank of General of the Army.

John Pershing was promoted to General of the Armies in 1919, from what was then the highest rank, the four-star rank of General. Under the regulations of the time he was permitted to choose his insignia, and he chose four gold stars, instead of the traditional silver used for almost all other Army insignia.

George Washington's rank was awarded in 1976 as part of the American Bicentennial celebrations. Public Law 94-479 defines the rank of General of the Armies of the United States as having "rank and precedence over all other grades of the Army, past or present", making it distinctly superior in grade to General of the Army. During his service career he wore three stars on his epaulets as the first Commander in Chief, and later as the first Lieutenant General. The highest ranking officers to serve under him held the two-star rank of Major General.

General Pershing was still alive in 1944 when the five-star rank of General of the Army was created. It was explicitly stated that he remained senior to the new five-star appointments.

In preparation for the invasion of Japan in 1945 it was proposed that general MacArthur be promoted to General of the Armies. As a result, the Institute of Heraldry prepared a conjectural insignia which would incorporate a sixth star into the five-star design for General of the Army. Japan surrendered and so the MacArthur promotion and insignia design never got past the planning stages.[1]

In 1948 when Pershing's funeral was being planned, it was suggested that his uniform should bear a six-star insignia. This was rejected in favor of his chosen insignia.[2]

North Korea

The North Korean military rank of Dae Wonsu is equivalent to the U.S. General of the Armies. The insignia is similar to the immediately lower rank of Wonsu but with an added crest rather than a star. North Korea also maintains a rank of Chasu, literally "Vice Marshal" which, if included in the "star system", would place Wonsu as a six star rank and Dae Wonsu as a 7 star rank.

See also


  1. ^ Service Record of Douglas MacArthur -- 1945 Promotion Proposal Package.
  2. ^ Mossman, B. C., and Stark, M. W., 1991. The Last Salute: Civil and Military Funerals 1921-1969, published by the Department of the Army, and accessed from on 27 February, 2009.


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address