List of United States Army four-star generals


List of United States Army four-star generals

This is a complete list of four-star generals in the United States Army. The rank of general (or "full general", or "four-star general") is the highest rank normally achievable in the U.S. Army. It ranks above lieutenant general ("three-star general") and below general of the Army ("five-star general").

There have been 210 four-star generals in the history of the U.S. Army. Of these, 196 achieved that rank while on active duty in the U.S. Army; 8 were promoted after retirement; 5 were promoted posthumously; and one was appointed to that rank in the Continental Army, the U.S. Army's predecessor. Generals entered the Army via several paths: 134 were commissioned via the U.S. Military Academy (USMA), 38 via Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at a civilian university, 16 via direct commission, 12 via Officer Candidate School (OCS), 7 via ROTC at a senior military college, one via the Army National Guard (ARNG), one via the aviation cadet program, and one via battlefield commission.

List of generals

Entries in the following list of four-star generals are indexed by the numerical order in which each officer was promoted to that rank while on active duty, or by an asterisk (*) if the officer did not serve in that rank while on active duty in the U.S. Army. Each entry lists the general's name, date of rank,Dates of rank are taken, where available, from the U.S. Army register of active and retired commissioned officers, or from the "World Almanac and Book of Facts". The date listed is that of the officer's first promotion to general.] active-duty positions held while serving at four-star rank,Positions listed are those held by the officer when promoted to general. Dates listed are for the officer's full tenure, which may predate promotion to four-star rank or postdate retirement from active duty.] number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank (Yrs),The number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank is approximated by subtracting the year in the "Date of rank" column from the last year in the "Position" column. Time spent between active-duty four-star assignments is not counted, nor is time spent on special duty as an unassigned general of the Army.] year commissioned and source of commission,Sources of commission are listed in parentheses after the year of commission and include: the United States Military Academy (USMA); Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at a civilian university; ROTC at a senior military college such as the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Norwich University (Norwich), Pennsylvania Military College (PMC), or Widener University (Widener); Officer Candidate School (OCS); the aviation cadet program (cadet); the Army National Guard (ARNG); direct commission (direct); and battlefield commission (battlefield).] number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank (YC),The number of years in commission before being promoted to four-star rank is approximated by subtracting the year in the "Commission" column from the year in the "Date of rank" column.] and other biographical notes.Notes include years of birth and death; awards of the Medal of Honor, Congressional Gold Medal, Presidential Medal of Freedom, or honors of similar significance; major government appointments; university presidencies or equivalents; familial relationships with other four-star officers or significant government officials such as U.S. Presidents, cabinet secretaries, U.S. Senators, or state governors; and unusual career events such as premature relief or death in office.]

The list is sortable by last name, date of rank, number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank, year commissioned, and number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank.

Timeline

1775–1799

In 1775, George Washington was appointed "General and Commander in Chief of the United Colonies" and all its forces. Although Washington ranked as a full general in the Continental Army, he resigned his commission prior to the establishment of the U.S. Army in 1784 and he is therefore considered never to have held the U.S. Army rank of general.citation
title = Washington Never a General of U.S. Army; Rank Created for Him, but Not Conferred
newspaper = The New York Times
date = February 2 1936
page = N8
url = http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70E14FF3E5F167B93C0A91789D85F428385F9&scp=1&sq=%22george+washington%22+%22u.s.+army%22+general+&st=p
] In 1798, Washington was commissioned lieutenant general in the U.S. Army and appointed Commander in Chief of the armies of the United States. The following year, Congress created the rank of General of the Armies of the United States, but Washington died before accepting it and the rank lapsed until 1866.citation
title = 45 U.S. Officers Outrank George Washington
date = September 27 1953
newspaper = The Associated Press
url = http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F30D12F93E5A107B93CAAB1782D85F478585F9&scp=1&sq=%22george+washington%22+outrank&st=p
] Washington was finally promoted to General of the Armies in 1976.

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1866–1941

The grade of general in the U.S. Army was revived in 1866 to honor the Civil War achievements of Ulysses S. Grant, the commanding general of the U.S. Army (CGUSA). When Grant resigned his commission to become President in 1869, William T. Sherman was promoted to fill the vacant grade. Congress specified in 1870 that the rank would expire upon Sherman's retirement, but made an exception in 1888 to promote an ailing Philip H. Sheridan. During this period, only one four-star general was active at a time, so he was referred to as the General of the Army, a title not to be confused with the later five-star rank of general of the Army.citation
last = Bell
page = 19–24
]

In 1917, the rank of general was recreated in the National Army, a temporary force of conscripts and volunteers authorized for the duration of the World War I emergency. To give American commanders parity of rank with their Allied counterparts, Congress allowed the President to appoint two emergency generals in the National Army, specified to be the chief of staff of the Army (CSA), Tasker H. Bliss and later Peyton C. March; and the commander of United States forces in France, John J. Pershing.citation
last = Public Law 65-12, Section 8
date = May 18 1917
; citation
last = Public Law 65-90, Section 3
date = October 6 1917
] When March replaced Bliss as chief of staff, Bliss was continued in four-star rank by brevet as the U.S. military representative to the Supreme War Council.citation
title = Rank Of General For Bliss And March; Former Gets Brevet Title for Services Abroad — Latter Becomes Chief of Staff
newspaper = The New York Times
date = May 21 1918
page = 6
url = http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9A0CE7DC163EE433A25752C2A9639C946996D6CF
] In contrast to the previous grade of general held by Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan, which was a permanent promotion, this new rank was a temporary appointment that was lost when the officer vacated the position bearing that rank, and while Pershing was ultimately advanced to General of the Armies in 1919, March and Bliss reverted to their permanent grades of major general in the Regular Army when the National Army disbanded in 1920.citation
title = March to Lose Two Stars on June 30; Going Back to Rank of Major General
newspaper = The New York Times
date = June 23 1920
page = 13
url = http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9407E6D6133AE03ABC4B51DFB066838B639EDE&scp=1&sq=march+revert&st=p
]

In 1929, the temporary rank of general in the Regular Army was reauthorized for the office of chief of staff, whose occupant reverted to major general at the end of his term but was allowed to retire as a full general. When the draft force was reconstituted for World War II as the Army of the United States in 1941, the President was authorized to appoint as many temporary generals in that organization as he deemed necessary. As with the National Army emergency generals, these appointments expired after the end of the war, although postwar legislation allowed officers to retire in their highest active-duty rank.citation
last = Officer Personnel Act of 1947 (Public Law 80-381), Sections 504(b,d)
date = August 7 1947
]

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1941–present

The modern rank of general was established by the Officer Personnel Act of 1947, which authorized the President to designate certain positions of importance to carry that rank. Officers appointed to such positions bear temporary four-star rank while so serving, and are allowed to retire at that rank if their performance is judged satisfactory.citation
title = Positions of importance and responsibility: generals and lieutenant generals; admirals and vice admirals
last = 10 USC 601
url = http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/10/subtitles/a/parts/ii/chapters/35/sections/section_601.html
] The total number of active-duty four-star generals in the Army is limited to a fixed percentage of the number of Army general officers serving at all ranks.citation
title = Distribution of commissioned officers on active duty in general officer and flag officer grades
last = 10 USC 525
url = http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/10/subtitles/a/parts/ii/chapters/32/sections/section_525.html
]

Within the Army, the chief of staff (CSA) and vice chief of staff (VCSA) are four-star generals by statute. Since World War II, the commanders of the Army formations in Europe (USAREUR) and East Asia (FECOM/USFK) have been designated four-star generals by reason of importance. Other designated four-star Army commands have included the various training, readiness, and materiel organizations.

The Army also competes with the other services for a number of joint four-star positions, the most prestigious of which are the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) and the NATO supreme allied commander in Europe (SACEUR). Other joint four-star positions have included unified combatant commanders; certain NATO staff positions; and the wartime theater commanders in Vietnam (MACV), Iraq (MNF-I), and Afghanistan (ISAF).

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Thompson" bar:kingston from: 1984 till: 1985 color:joint text:"Robert C. Kingston" bar:galvin from: 1985 till: 1987 color:joint bar:galvin from: 1987 till: 1992 color:saceur text:"John R. Galvin" bar:mahaffey from: 1985 till: 1986 color:joint text:"Fred K. Mahaffey" bar:merritt from: 1985 till: 1987 color:nato text:"Jack N. Merritt" bar:vuono from: 1986 till: 1987 color:general bar:vuono from: 1987 till: 1991 color:csa text:"Carl E. Vuono" bar:palastra from: 1986 till: 1989 color:general text:"Joseph T. Palastra Jr." bar:lindsay from: 1986 till: 1990 color:joint text:"James J. Lindsay" bar:wagner from: 1987 till: 1989 color:general text:"Louis C. Wagner Jr." bar:woerner from: 1987 till: 1989 color:joint text:"Frederick F. Woerner Jr." bar:menetrey from: 1987 till: 1990 color:fareast text:"Louis C. Menetrey" bar:arthurbrown from: 1987 till: 1989 color:vcsa text:"Arthur E. Brown Jr." bar:saint from: 1988 till: 1992 color:usareur text:"Crosbie E. 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Four-star positions

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ee also

*General (United States)
*List of United States four-star officers
*List of United States Navy four-star admirals
*List of United States Air Force four-star generals
*List of United States Marine Corps four-star generals
*List of United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps four-star admirals
*List of United States military leaders by rank

Notes

References

*citation
last = Air Force Association
journal = Air Force Magazine
volume = 89
issue = 5
title = USAF Almanac 2006
url = http://www.afa.org/magazine/may2006/0506structure.pdf
date = May 2006
year = 2006

*citation
first = William Gardner | last = Bell
title = Commanding Generals and Chiefs of Staff 1775-2005: Portraits & Biographical Sketches of the United States Army's Senior Officer
place = Washington D.C.
publisher = Department of the Army
url = http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/cg&csa/CG-TOC.htm
year = 2005

*citation
first = Ray S. | last = Cline
title = United States Army in World War II - Washington Command Post: The Operations Division
place = Washington D.C.
publisher = U.S. Government Printing Office
url = http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/wwii/WCP/AppendixB.htm
year = 1951

*citation
first = Ronald H. | last = Cole
first2 = Walter S. | last2 = Poole
first3 = James F. | last3 = Schnabel
first4 = Robert J. | last4 = Watson
first5 = Willard J. | last5 = Webb
title = The History of the Unified Command Plan, 1946-1993
place = Washington D.C.
publisher = Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
url = http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/history/ucp.pdf
year = 1995

*citation
first = Dean R. | last = Heaton
title = Four Stars: The Super Stars of United States Military History
place = Baltimore
publisher = Gateway Press
year = 1995

*citation
first = Edward C. | last = Meyer
first2 = R. Manning | last2 = Ancell
first3 = Jane | last3 = Mahaffey
title = Who Will Lead? Senior Leadership in the United States Army
place = Westport
publisher = Praeger Publishers
year = 1995

*citation
last = North Atlantic Treaty Organization
title = Senior officials in the NATO military structure, from 1949 to 2001
url = http://www.nato.int/cv/ace-k-p.pdf

*citation
last = United States Army Europe
title = USAREUR Commanders
url = http://www.history.hqusareur.army.mil/USAREURCommanders.htm

*citation
last = United States Army Materiel Command Historical Office
title = A brief history of U.S. Army Materiel Command and biographies of AMC's commanding generals
url = http://www.amc.army.mil/amc/ho/amc_cg/amccgbios.html

*citation
last = United States Department of the Army
title = United States Army Register
place = Washington D.C.
publisher = U.S. Government Printing Office
year = 1948-1970, 1972, 1974, 1976

*citation
periodical = World Almanac and Book of Facts
publisher = World Almanac Education Group, Inc.
place = New York
year = 1946-1947, 1977, 1981, 1984, 1988, 1990, 1992, 2004, 2006

*citation
first = Taeyoung | last = Yoon
title = The ROK-U.S. Combined Command and Control System and Crisis Management Procedures
journal = International Area Review
volume = 8
number = 1
date = Spring 2005
url = http://segero.hufs.ac.kr/library/iar/iar14-8.pdf


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