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Naval officer ranks
Flag officers:

Admiral of the fleetFleet admiralGrand admiral
AdmiralGeneral admiral
Vice admiralSquadron vice-admiralLieutenant admiral
Rear admiralCounter admiralDivisional admiral
CommodoreFlotilla admiral

Senior officers:

CaptainCapt at seaCapt of sea and warShip-of-the-line Capt
CommanderFrigate captain
Lieutenant commanderCorvette captain

Junior officers:

Captain lieutenantLieutenantShip-of-the-line lieutenant
Frigate lieutenantLieutenant (junior grade)Sub-lieutenant
Corvette lieutenantEnsign
Midshipman

Commodore admiral was a short lived military rank of the United States Navy that existed for less than 11 months during the year 1982.[1] The rank of commodore admiral was established as the Navy's one-star admiral rank after nearly forty years of all Navy captains receiving promotion directly to the two-star position of rear admiral.

The new rank of commodore admiral was created both as a means to appease other branches of the military (who felt promoting O-6s to O-7, yet entitling them to wear the insignia of an O-8 was unfair) and also as a means of distinguishing that Navy one-star admirals were in fact flag officers. This had been a major problem in World War II when cultural mistakes had led to several Navy commodores being regarded as senior captains by members of foreign militaries and in turn denied honors due to a U.S. admiral grade officer.

Upon its establishment, many in the leadership of the US Navy felt that the rank of commodore admiral violated over a century of tradition and there were numerous petitions to the Chief of Naval Operations to eliminate the rank. As a compromise, the rank of commodore admiral was changed simply to "commodore" at the start of 1983, which itself was abolished as a rank in 1985. It was replaced by the new rank of rear admiral (lower half).

The rank of commodore admiral is one of the rarest ranks in the history of United States Navy. Only a handful of officers, mainly those captains promoted to O-7 during the year 1982, have ever held the position, such as Admiral Leon A. Edney, when promoted while serving as the Commandant of Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy.

References[]

  1. United States Code, p. 202.

Bibliography[]

  • Office of the Law Revision Counsel, United States. Congress. House. United States Code, Washington: The Office, 2001.
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