Four-star rank


Four-star rank
A US general's rank insignia[1]

Four-star rank is a term used to describe a very senior commander in many of the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO OF-9 code. The term is also used by some armed forces which are not NATO members. Typically, four-star officers would hold the rank of admiral, general or in the case of those air forces with a separate rank structure, air chief marshal.

Contents

Australia

Australian admiral's shoulder board
Canadian Admiral's shoulder board
Indian Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major wearing four-star insignia
Pakistan Air Chief Marhsal Anwar Shamim with 4 stars visible on his head-dress

The four-star rank is reserved in Australia for the Chief of the Defence Force, the highest position in peace time.

In times of major conflict, the highest ranks are the five-star ranks: admiral of the fleet, field marshal, and marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force.

Canada

Four maple leaves appear with St. Edward's crown and crossed sabre and baton on epaulettes and shoulder boards. In Canada and when referring to Canadian officers, it is sometimes referred to as the "4-leaf" rank, rather than "four-star".[citation needed]

This is the highest rank that is defined in the Canadian Forces under the current National Defence Act Schedule.[2] Usually, only one officer carries the rank of full Admiral/ General at any one time: The Chief of the Defence Staff (Canada). In exceptional circumstances, from time-to-time, the minister may authorize additional officers at that level, for instance, Canadian officers in the position of Chairman of the NATO Military Committee are usually former Chiefs of the Defence Staff seconded to NATO for that duty.

The Head of State holds the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces, bearing no rank.[3] Likewise, the Minister of National Defence, since they are not a member of the Canadian Forces, nor in the chain-of-command, also bears no rank. Prince Philip holds the four-star rank of admiral in the Royal Canadian Navy in an honorary capacity.

Before unification in 1968, the rank of air chief marshal was the four-star equivalent for the Royal Canadian Air Force.

India

Pakistan

United Kingdom

United States

See also:

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Note: This rank insignia is not worn by all NATO officers.
  2. ^ Canada - Department of Justice "Laws of Canada: National Defence Act, Schedule I"
  3. ^ Canada - Department of Justice "Constitution Act, 1867, Part III, Section 9, Executive Power."
  4. ^ http://www.army.mod.uk/structure/23155.aspx
  5. ^ RAF Glossary, "Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation", rafweb.org

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