Fleet admiral (United States)

Fleet admiral (abbreviated FADM),[1] officially known as "Fleet Admiral of the United States Navy", is a five-star flag officer rank in the United States Navy. Fleet admiral ranks immediately above admiral and is equivalent to General of the Army and General of the Air Force. Although it is a current and authorized rank, no U.S. Navy officer presently holds it, with the last living U.S. Navy fleet admiral being Chester W. Nimitz, who died in 1966.

Fleet admiral
US Navy O11 insignia
Fleet admiral collar device, shoulder board, and sleeve stripes.
Flag of a United States Navy fleet admiral
Flag of the fleet admiral of the United States Navy
Country United States of America
Service branch United States Navy
RankFive-star
NATO rankOF-10
Non-NATO rankO-11
FormationDecember 14, 1944
Next higher rankAdmiral of the Navy
Next lower rankAdmiral
Equivalent ranks

Early superior admiral ranks

The United States Navy did not create admiral ranks until the American Civil War, and then only very hesitantly. David Farragut was the first admiral in the U.S. Navy and wore a variety of elaborate sleeve insignia to denote his rank and position. Farragut was succeeded by David Dixon Porter; after the deaths of these two men the United States Navy had no rank greater than rear admiral. The rank of Admiral of the Navy was then created in 1903 for George Dewey in recognition of his victory in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish–American War.

George Dewey held the authority of a modern-day fleet admiral while three permanent admiral positions also existed in the U.S. Navy for the Atlantic, Pacific, and Asiatic Fleets. Dewey died just prior to the U.S. involvement in World War I (16 January 1917) and, during that conflict, the Navy expanded its admiral billets allowing additional positions up to "four-star admiral" which was simply referred to as "admiral". Throughout the 1920s and 30s, the highest rank in the U.S. Navy was that of admiral, with Dewey's special rank Admiral of the Navy discontinued. In 1944 the Navy Department declared Dewey's rank to be senior to the then newly created five-star rank of fleet admiral.

Second World War

The proper rank of fleet admiral was created in 1944 in order to give United States military officers comparable rank to five-star officers of allied nations. The United States rank of fleet admiral was created by an Act of Congress for four officers to hold on a temporary basis under Pub.L. 78-482 on December 14, 1944.[2] The rank was made permanent for the four individual holders by Pub.L. 79–333 on March 23, 1946, but that law made no provision to establish the rank itself permanently.[3] Although Congress authorized the promotion of Omar Bradley to the five-star rank of general of the Army in 1950 while serving as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff so that he would be of the same rank as General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, the theater commander in Korea, there has been no new legislation authorizing the use of the rank of fleet admiral since 1946.

It was held during and after World War II by the following officers:

The timing of the first three appointments was carefully planned, such that a clear order of seniority and a near-equivalence between the services was established for the generals of the Army promoted at the same time. General Marshall was promoted to general of the Army on December 16, 1944; General MacArthur was promoted on December 18, 1944; General Eisenhower was promoted on December 20, 1944, and General Arnold was promoted on December 21, 1944. He would later be laterally promoted to general of the Air Force on May 7, 1949 after the Air Force was created as a separate service as part of the National Defense Act of 1947.

The insignia for a fleet admiral was composed of five silver stars in a pentagonal design. Worn on the service dress uniform sleeve was a gold stripe two inches wide surrounding the sleeve two inches from the cuff with four half-inch stripes placed at 1/4 inch intervals. The single gold five-pointed star, one ray down, worn above the top stripe was not part of the rank per se but indicated the wearer to be a line officer.

Post World War II

A close contender to receive the rank of fleet admiral was Admiral Raymond A. Spruance. However, U.S. Representative Carl Vinson, a strong supporter of Admiral Halsey, reportedly blocked the final promotion of Spruance to fleet admiral on several occasions. Congress then responded by passing an Act of Congress, unprecedented for an individual, that stated that Admiral Spruance would receive a full four-star admiral's salary during the remainder of his life.

The first fleet admiral to leave active duty was Ernest King who retired immediately after the conclusion of World War II. Chester Nimitz and William Halsey both retired two years later while William Leahy was the last fleet admiral to leave active duty in 1949. According to Public Law 78-482, fleet admirals on active duty receive the same pay as a rear admiral, upper half (two star) plus a $5,000 personal allowance, and upon retirement were to receive 75% of their active duty pay.[4] When Public Law 79-333 made the rank permanent for Leahy, King, Nimitz, and Halsey, it also provided for full pay and allowances once those officers retired.[5]

Fleet admirals of the United States Navy
Name Appointed Retired Deceased

William D. Leahy
Ernest J. King
Chester W. Nimitz
William F. Halsey, Jr.

15 Dec 1944
17 Dec 1944
19 Dec 1944
11 Dec 1945

March 1949
December 1945
December 1947
March 1947

20 Jul 1959 (84)
25 Jun 1956 (77)
20 Feb 1966 (80)
16 Aug 1959 (76)

Three of the four fleet admirals died in the late 1950s and, by 1960, Chester Nimitz was the sole surviving U.S. Navy fleet admiral. He held a ceremonial post as Navy adviser to the Western Sea Frontier with his quarters based in San Francisco. Nimitz died in 1966 with no further fleet admirals appointed since. The current policy of the United States Navy is that fleet admiral remains a rank within the promotion tier and could be appointed to an active duty officer at the discretion of the United States Congress.

Ranks senior to fleet admiral

When the rank of fleet admiral was created, the Navy declared that George Dewey was senior to the newly promoted five-star officers, but did not state that Admiral of the Navy was a six-star rank. Since there was never a scenario where fleet admiral and Admiral of the Navy were active ranks concurrently, the Navy drew no equivalence or relationship of seniority between the two. The Department of the Navy did briefly consider the possibility of a "six-star rank" during World War II, mainly in the event that Douglas MacArthur was promoted to General of the Armies, and the need to provide a similar rank to a Navy officer. However, as MacArthur's promotion was never approved, the Navy dropped the idea for a new version of Admiral of the Navy with no such proposals issued since.

The only officially recognized United States military rank senior to fleet admiral is General of the Armies. In 1981, an unofficial insignia for "six-star admiral" was created after Congress requested clarification as to what procedure would occur should a Navy officer ever be promoted to an equivalent rank of General of the Armies.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ s:Public Law 78-482 Pub.L. 78-482 – To establish the grade of Fleet Admiral for the United States Navy; to establish the grade of General of the Army, and for other purposes.
  2. ^ "An Act to establish the grade of Fleet Admiral for the United States Navy; to establish the grade of General of the Army, and for other purposes". 14 December 1944. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
  3. ^ "Public Law 333, 79th Congress". Frequently Asked Questions. Naval History & Heritage Command. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  4. ^ s:Public Law 78-482 Pub.L. 78-482 – To establish the grade of fleet admiral for the United States Navy; to establish the grade of general of the Army, and for other purposes.
  5. ^ "Public Law 333, 79th Congress". Frequently Asked Questions. Naval History & Heritage Command. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
  6. ^ Congressional Record 1981, Cong. 97 Sess. 1 – Part 8, "Promotion of other service branches to General of the Armies of the United States".
Admiral of the fleet

An admiral of the fleet or fleet admiral (sometimes also known as admiral of the navy or grand admiral) is a military naval officer of the highest rank. In many nations the rank is reserved for wartime or ceremonial appointments. It is usually a rank above admiral (which is now usually the highest rank in peacetime for officers in active service), and is often held by the most senior admiral of an entire naval service.

It is also a generic term for a senior admiral in command of a large group of ships, comprising a fleet or, in some cases, a group of fleets. If actually a rank its name can vary depending on the country. In addition to "fleet admiral" and "admiral of the fleet", such rank names include "admiral of the navy" and "grand admiral".It ranks above vice admiral, rear admiral and usually full admiral, and is usually given to a senior admiral commanding multiple fleets as opposed to just one fleet. It is often classified in NATO nations as a five-star rank.Admiral of the fleet is equivalent to an army field marshal. It is also equivalent to a marshal of the air force which in many countries has a similar rank insignia to admiral of the fleet.

History and traditions of Harvard commencements

What was originally called Harvard

Colledge

(around which Harvard University eventually grew) held its first Commence­ment in September 1642, when nine degrees were conferred.

Today some 1700 under­grad­uate degrees, and 5000 advanced degrees from the university's various graduate and professional schools, are conferred each Commence­ment Day.

Each degree candidate attends three ceremonies: the Morning Exercises, at which degrees are conferred verbally en masse; a smaller midday ceremony (at the candidate's professional or graduate school, or undergraduate House) during which actual diplomas are given in hand; and in the afternoon the annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association's, at which Harvard's President and the day's featured speaker deliver their addresses.Several hundred Harvard honorary degrees (which with few exceptions must be accepted in person) have been awarded since the first was bestowed on Benjamin Franklin in 1753.

In 1935 playwright George Bernard Shaw declined nomination for a Harvard honorary degree, urging instead that Harvard celebrate its three-hundredth anniversary by "burning itself to the ground ... as an example to all the other famous old corrupters of youth" such as Yale.

The ceremonies shifted from late summer to late June in the nineteenth century,

and are now held at the end of May.

A number of unusual traditions have attached to them over the centuries, including the arrival of certain dignitaries on horseback, occupancy by Harvard's president of the Holyoke Chair (a "bizarre" sixteenth-century contraption prone to tipping over) and the welcoming of newly minted bachelors to "the fellowship of educated men and women."

List of Chiefs of Naval Operations educated at the United States Naval Academy

The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) is the highest-ranking active duty member of the United States Navy and is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The CNO reports directly to the Secretary of the Navy for the command, utilization of resources and operating efficiency of the Navy. Of the 29 CNOs, 27 were graduates of the United States Naval Academy (USNA). The Academy is an undergraduate college in Annapolis, Maryland, with the mission of educating and commissioning officers for the Navy and Marine Corps. The Academy is often referred to as Annapolis, while sports media refer to the Academy as "Navy" and the students as "Midshipmen"; this usage is officially endorsed. During the latter half of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th, the United States Naval Academy was the primary source of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps officers, with the Class of 1881 being the first to provide officers to the Marine Corps. Graduates of the Academy are also given the option of entering the United States Army or United States Air Force. Most Midshipmen are admitted through the congressional appointment system. The curriculum emphasizes various fields of engineering.This list is drawn from graduates of the Naval Academy who became CNOs. The Academy was founded in 1845 and graduated its first class in 1846. The first alumnus to graduate and go on to become a CNO was William S. Benson, who graduated from the Class of 1877. The current CNO, Jonathan Greenert, is also an Academy graduate. Four graduates subsequently became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, three became ambassadors, three were recipients of the Navy Cross, and one was a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Over 990 noted scholars from a variety of academic fields are Academy graduates, including 45 Rhodes Scholars and 16 Marshall Scholars. Additional notable graduates include 1 President of the United States, 2 Nobel Prize recipients, 52 astronauts and 73 Medal of Honor recipients.

List of United States Naval Academy alumni

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is an undergraduate college in Annapolis, Maryland with the mission of educating and commissioning officers for the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The Academy was founded in 1845 and graduated its first class in 1846. The Academy is often referred to as Annapolis, while sports media refer to the Academy as "Navy" and the students as "Midshipmen"; this usage is officially endorsed. During the latter half of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th, the United States Naval Academy was the primary source of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps officers, with the Class of 1881 being the first to provide officers to the Marine Corps. Graduates of the Academy are also given the option of entering the United States Army or United States Air Force. Most Midshipmen are admitted through the congressional appointment system. The curriculum emphasizes various fields of engineering.The list is drawn from graduates, non-graduate former Midshipmen, current Midshipmen, and faculty of the Naval Academy. Over 50 U.S. astronauts have graduated from the Naval Academy, more than from any other undergraduate institution. Over 990 noted scholars from a variety of academic fields are Academy graduates, including 45 Rhodes Scholars and 16 Marshall Scholars. Additional notable graduates include 1 President of the United States, 2 Nobel Prize recipients, and 73 Medal of Honor recipients.

Order of Boyaca

The Order of Boyacá (Spanish: Orden de Boyacá) is the highest peacetime decoration of Colombia. The order is awarded for exceptional service to distinguished Colombian military officers and civilians as well as foreign citizens of friendly nations. Established in 1922, the Order of Boyacá traces its origin to a Cruz de Boyacá that was awarded to the generals who led their forces to victory in the Battle of Boyaca in 1819. Reestablished in 1919 as an award for military personnel the order has undergone revisions and expansions into its current form, with the biggest change happening in 1922 where civilians became eligible to be awarded the Order of Boyaca.

Order of Naval Merit (Cuba)

The Cuban Order of Naval Merit (First Class) was a medal of special merit. The Cuban Order of Naval Merit was a state order of chivalry or merit. Its medals, awarded by the Cuban government from the 1920s through the 1950s, were made by the Cuban firm Dator Plus Altra and were made of sterling silver and enamel.

William Halsey Jr.

Fleet Admiral William Frederick Halsey Jr., KBE (October 30, 1882 – August 16, 1959), known as Bill Halsey or "Bull" Halsey, was an American admiral in the United States Navy during World War II. He is one of four individuals to have attained the rank of fleet admiral of the United States Navy, the others being Ernest King, William Leahy, and Chester W. Nimitz.

Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Halsey graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1904. He served in the Great White Fleet and, during World War I, commanded the destroyer USS Shaw. He took command of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga in 1935 after completing a course in naval aviation, and was promoted to the rank of rear admiral in 1938. At the start of the War in the Pacific (1941–1945), Halsey commanded the task force centered on the carrier USS Enterprise in a series of raids against Japanese-held targets.

Halsey was made commander, South Pacific Area, and led the Allied forces over the course of the Battle for Guadalcanal (1942–43) and the fighting up the Solomon chain (1942–45). In 1943 he was made commander of the Third Fleet, the post he held through the rest of the war. He took part in the Battle for Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle of the Second World War and, by some criteria, the largest naval battle in history. He was promoted to fleet admiral in December 1945 and retired from active service in March 1947.

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