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Why are there not any modern 5-star generals?

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  • Why are there not any modern 5-star generals?

    Why are there not any modern 5-star generals? I'm curious. Is it that congress does not want to give someone the potential political clout that would come from it?
    As lord and master of your grill, you will welcome any opportunity to display your grilling prowess.
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  • #2
    Originally posted by dhuffjr
    Why are there not any modern 5-star generals? I'm curious. Is it that congress does not want to give someone the potential political clout that would come from it?
    There are none that are needed. I think the realm of a 5-star General is no longer necessary. Unless we have to team up with another country and they have Field Marshals......

    Kevin Kenneally
    Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
    Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

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    • #3
      After Gulf War I, there was some talk of promoting Generals Powell and Schwarzkopf to the Five Star rank.

      This site provides some history on the rank of "General of the Army".

      http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/faq/FAQ-5star.htm
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      • #4
        Thought it was a "war-time only" type of thing.
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        Hell is other people. -Jean-Paul Sarte

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BarcelonaBlom
          Thought it was a "war-time only" type of thing.
          Me, too. There really hasn't been any need for them after the full development of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by BarcelonaBlom
            Thought it was a "war-time only" type of thing.
            That may be part of it, but I think it may be tied to the size of today's armies. Nowhere near the amount of manpower is used today when compared to the size of the armies in WW II.
            Lance W.

            Peace through superior firepower.

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            • #7
              Actually, there are some 5-star generals today. Included are Don Maddox, Dr. Sinister....
              Nominated "Wing Nut" by Forum Staff member.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dhuffjr
                Why are there not any modern 5-star generals? I'm curious. Is it that congress does not want to give someone the potential political clout that would come from it?
                At least in the US, the five-star rank is authorized only in wartime. Despite our current operations in Iraq which are, as many can attest, quite real, this is not considered the sort of general war that would require a five star officer.
                Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
                (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by hogdriver
                  At least in the US, the five-star rank is authorized only in wartime. Despite our current operations in Iraq which are, as many can attest, quite real, this is not considered the sort of general war that would require a five star officer.
                  So it sounds like Congress has to declare war first....
                  Nominated "Wing Nut" by Forum Staff member.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Secret Agent
                    So it sounds like Congress has to declare war first....
                    That pretty much sums it up. If memory serves, Omar Bradley was our last 5-star until his retirement (sometime in the 1960's, I believe).
                    Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
                    (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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                    • #11
                      hogdriver,

                      Five star generals do not retire and are kept on full pay. Since Omar lasted into the 80s, he was in pretty bad shape before he died. Before World War 1, we only had generals up to 2 star rank (exception gens. Washington and Grant). Anything over was "brevet" where you wear the rank and bear the responsibilty, but don't get the permanent rank and pay. The surfeit of stars we have is due to the Pentagon Bureauracy. I think they had to create 4 star rank before they could design a 5 star rank. Lieutenant General was good enough for Grant.

                      Pruitt
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                      • #12
                        I think also there would be reluctance to have a 5 star general because of the situation where MacArthur was a five star officer in the Far East in 1950 and 1951 and the service chiefs were 4 stars.

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                        • #13
                          Holy necropost!!

                          I remember some of those members.
                          If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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                          • #14
                            Act of war and Congress

                            What I recall, and it's hard to verify because links are not opening for me on Government websites - but they want to run your health care - it takes both Congress to declare 'War' and then Congress has to authorize a person to get that 5th Star. Here's our last line up of 5 Stars:

                            The Army's Five-Star Generals:

                            General George C. Marshall

                            General Douglas MacArthur

                            General Dwight D. Eisenhower

                            General Omar N. Bradley



                            The Navy's Five-Star Fleet Admirals:

                            Admiral William D. Leahy

                            Admiral Ernest J. King

                            Admiral Chester Nimitz

                            Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey



                            The Air Force Five-Star General:

                            General Henry "Hap" Arnold



                            Everyone else since has just been given 'grand titles' i.e. Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Commander - Coalition Forces, instead of a 5th Star. Congress then just gives themselves a raise and takes a paid vacation.
                            "Never push the red button" Daffy Duck

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                            • #15
                              5 star ranking was reserved for theater commanders who could at any time because that rank call the president by his first name and make theater command decitions in the president's name advising him after the fact so basicly the 5 star ranking gives executive command power in the field equal to the pres war time initiative only.
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