- Rear admiral (United States)
The uniformed services of the
United Stateshave two grades of rear admirals.
Rear admiral (lower half)
United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corpsand the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, rear admiral (lower half) (RDML) is a one-star flag officer, with the pay grade of O-7. Rear Admiral (lower half) ranks above captain and below rear admiral (upper half). Rear admiral (lower half) is equivalent to the rank of brigadier general in the other uniformed services.
Rear admiral (upper half)
United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corpsand the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, rear admiral (upper half) (RADM) is a two-star flag officer, with the pay grade of O-8. Rear admiral (upper half) ranks above rear admiral (lower half) and below vice admiral. Rear admiral (upper half) is equivalent to the rank of major general in the other uniformed services.
In 1981, Pub. L. 97-86 abolished the rank of commodore and created the one-star rank of
commodore admiralin its place [http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode10/usc_sec_10_00005501----000-notes.html] 10 USC 5501 Notes] . After only 11 months, the rank was reverted back to just commodore but kept the one-star insignia. Then in 1985, Pub. L. 99-145 renamed commodore to the current grade of rear admiral (lower half) . Up until 1981, all rear admirals wore two-stars on their shoulder bars and rank insignia. Since then, rear admiral (lower half) wear one-star while rear admiral (upper half) wear two; verbal address remains "rear admiral" for both ranks. On correspondence, where the rear admiral's rank is spelled out, an (LH) and (UH) follows the rear admiral's rank title to distinguish between one and two stars. The uniform service abbreviations for the ranks are RDML (one-star) and RADM (two-stars). Upper half used to be abbreviated as RAUH however the all four uniformed services have adopted the current RADM abbreviation for it. The flags flown for rear admirals have one and two white, single point up stars on blue fields for the lower half and upper half.
Note: UnitedStatesCode|10|5501 officially lists the two-star grade as rear admiral and not rear admiral (upper half). However, the four uniformed services lists the rank as rear admiral (upper half) to help distinguish between the two grades [ [http://www.navy.mil/navydata/navy_legacy_hr.asp?id=266] Navy.mil Rank Insignia of Navy Commissioned and Warrant Officers] .
U.S. Code of law explicitly limits the total number of flag officers that may be on active duty at any given time. The total number of active duty flag officers is capped at 216 for the Navy. [ [http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/10/subtitles/a/parts/ii/chapters/32/sections/section_526.html] 10 USC 526. Authorized strength: general and flag officers on active duty.] Some of these slots are reserved or finitely set by statute. For example the Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy [ [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode10/usc_sec_10_00005149----000-.html] 10 USC 5149. Office of the Judge Advocate General: Deputy Judge Advocate General; Assistant Judge Advocates General.] [http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?tab=main&bill=h110-4986] H.R. 4986: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008] [http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-4986] H.R. 4986: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 full text] is a rear admiral (upper half) in the navy; in the coast guard, the Chief Medical Officer [http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode42/usc_sec_42_00000207----000-.html] 42 USC 207. Grades, ranks, and titles of commissioned corps.] is also rear admiral (upper half); in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, at least half of the Assistant Surgeons General are rear admiral (lower half) and no more than half are rear admiral (upper half). Officers serving in certain intelligence positions are not counted against statutory limit. [ [http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/10/subtitles/a/parts/ii/chapters/32/sections/section_528.html] 10 USC 528. Officers serving in certain intelligence positions: military status; exclusion from distribution and strength limitations; pay and allowances.]
Promotion / appointment and tour length
To be promoted to the permanent grade of rear admiral (lower half) or rear admiral (upper half), officers who are eligible for promotion to these ranks are screened by an in-service promotion board comprising other flag officers from their branch of service. [ [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode10/usc_sec_10_00000611----000-.html] 10 USC 611. Convening of selection boards] This promotion board then generates a list of officers it recommends for promotion to flag rank. [ [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode10/usc_sec_10_00000616----000-.html] 10 USC 616. Recommendations for promotion by selection boards] This list is then sent to the service secretary and the joint chiefs for review before it can be sent to the President, through the defense secretary for consideration. [ [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode10/usc_sec_10_00000618----000-.html] 10 USC 618. Action on reports of selection boards] The President nominates officers to be promoted from this list with the advice of the Secretary of Defense, the service secretary , and if applicable, the service's chief of staff or commandant. [ [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode10/usc_sec_10_00000624----000-.html] 10 USC 624. Promotions: how made.] The President may nominate any eligible officer who is not on the recommended list if it serves in the interest of the nation, but this is extremely rare. The Senate must then confirm the nominee by a majority vote before the officer can be promoted. Once a nominee is confirmed he or she will be promoted to that rank once he or she assumes a position of office that requires an officer to hold that rank. For positions of office that are reserved by statute, the President nominates an officer for appointment to fill that position. For the navy and the coast guard, because the one-star and two-star grades are permanent ranks, the nominee must still be screened by an in-service promotion board before the nominee can be sent to the Senate for approval; for the two commissioned corps, they normally go directly to the Senate. The standard tour length for most rear admiral positions are three years but some are set four or more years by statute.
All rear admirals must retire after five years in grade or 35 years of service, whichever is later, [ [http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/10/subtitles/a/parts/ii/chapters/36/subchapters/iii/sections/section_636.html] 10 USC 636. Retirement for years of service: regular officers in grades above brigadier general and rear admiral (lower half).] and all flag officers must retire the month after their 64th birthday. [ [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:h5122:] 10 USC 1253. Age 64: regular commissioned officers in general and flag officer grades; exception.] However, the Secretary of Defense can defer a flag officer's retirement until the officer's 66th birthday and the President can defer it until the officer's 68th birthday. Flag officers typically retire well in advance of the statutory age and service limits, so as not to impede the upward career mobility of their juniors.
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