5 star rank
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An officer of 5 star rank is the most senior commander in the armed services holding a rank described by the NATO code of OF-10. The term is also used by some armed forces which are not NATO members.
The phrase originates from the US practice of denoting their most senior generals with insignia carrying five stars. However, the actual insignia of many "5 star ranks" do not contain 5 stars. For example: the insignia for the French OF-10 rank Maréchal de France contains 7 stars; the insignia for the Portuguese Marechal contains 4 gold stars; and the insignia for British and Commonwealth Field Marshals / Admirals of the Fleet / Marshals of the Air Force contain no stars at all.
Typically, 5 star officers hold the rank of Admiral of the Fleet, Grand Admiral, Field Marshal, General of the Army, Marshal of the Air Force, General of the Air Force and several other similarly named ranks. Five-star ranks are extremely senior - usually the highest ranks - and thus are very rare; as an active rank, the position only exists in a minority of countries and is usually only held by a very few officers during wartime. In times of peace, it is usually only held as a ceremonial rank.
Australian 5 star ranks
RAAF O11 rank.png
Marshal of the RAAF sleeve/shoulder insignia
Indian 5 star ranks
United Kingdom 5 star ranks
RN Admiral of the Fleet
RN Admiral of the Fleet
British Field Marshal
Marshal of the RAF
United States 5 star ranks
Nine Americans have been promoted to five star rank, one of them in two services.
US Navy O11 insignia.svg
Fleet Admiral collar device, shoulder board and sleeve
US Army O11 shoulderboard.svg
General of the Army shoulder board
US Air Force O11 shoulderboard with seal.svg
General of the Air Force shoulder board
- ^ Oxford English Dictionary (OED), 2nd Edition, 1989.
- ^ a b c The Australian insignia for "Admiral of the Fleet", "Field Marshal" and "Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force", depending on the era, are either identical to, or very similar to, the British insignia. Currently, HRH Prince Philip is the only holder of these Australian ranks.
Also, although the highest active New Zealand rank is 3 star, (there are no 4* New Zealand rank holders), Prince Philip holds 5* ranks in the New Zealand Armed Forces.
- ^ With the exception of Thomas Blamey and the Englishman William Birdwood, who both held the rank of Field Marshal, all other holders of Australian 5 star ranks have been ceremonial.
- ^ The following Americans have been promoted to five star rank:
The timing of the first seven appointments was to establish both a clear order of seniority and a near-equivalence between the Army and Navy services. In 1949, Arnold was honored by being made the first, and to date only, General of the Air Force. He is the only American to serve in a five-star rank in two of its military services.
• Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy 15 December 1944 • General of the Army George Marshall 16 December 1944 • Fleet Admiral Ernest King 17 December 1944 • General of the Army Douglas MacArthur 18 December 1944 • Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz 19 December 1944 • General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower 20 December 1944 • General of the Army & Air Force Henry H. Arnold 21 December 1944 & 7 May 1949 • Fleet Admiral William Halsey, Jr. 11 December 1945 • General of the Army Omar Bradley 20 September 1950