List of United States Army four-star generals

This is a complete list of four-star generals in the United States Army, past and present. The rank of general (or full general, or four-star general) is the highest rank normally achievable in the U.S. Army. It ranks above lieutenant general (three-star general) and below General of the Army (five-star general).

There have been 242 four-star generals in the history of the U.S. Army. Of these, 222 achieved that rank while on active duty in the U.S. Army; eight were promoted after retirement; five were promoted posthumously; and one (George Washington) was appointed to that rank in the Continental Army, the U.S. Army's predecessor. Generals entered the Army via several paths: 155 were commissioned via the U.S. Military Academy (USMA), 47 via Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at a civilian university, 16 via direct commission (direct), 13 via Officer Candidate School (OCS), seven via ROTC at a senior military college, one via ROTC at a military junior college, one via direct commission in the Army National Guard (ARNG), one via the aviation cadet program, and one via battlefield commission.

List of generals

Entries in the following list of four-star generals are indexed by the numerical order in which each officer was promoted to that rank while on active duty, or by an asterisk (*) if the officer did not serve in that rank while on active duty in the U.S. Army. Each entry lists the general's name, date of rank,[1] active-duty positions held while serving at four-star rank,[2] number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank (Yrs),[3] year commissioned and source of commission,[4] number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank (YC),[5] and other biographical notes.[6]

# Photo Date of rank [1] Position [2] Yrs [3] Commission [4] YC [5] Notes [6]
*George Washington 15 Jun 1775   8 1775 (direct)0(1732–1799) [7] Promoted to General of the Armies, July 4, 1976. U.S. President, 1789–1797. Awarded Congressional Gold Medal, 1776.
1Ulysses S. Grant 25 Jul 1866   5 1843 (USMA)23(1822–1885) [8] U.S. President, 1869–1877. Awarded Congressional Gold Medal, 1863. Married great-aunt of Navy four-star admiral U. S. Grant Sharp Jr.
2William Tecumseh Sherman 04 Mar 1869   14 1840 (USMA)29(1820–1891) Superintendent, Louisiana Seminary of Learning and Military Academy, 1860–1861. Brother of U.S. Secretary of State John Sherman.
3Philip Sheridan 01 Jun 1888   0 1853 (USMA)35(1831–1888) Died in office.
4Tasker H. Bliss 06 Oct 1917   2 1875 (USMA)42(1853–1930) [9][10] Governor, U.S. Soldiers' Home, 1920–1927.
5John J. Pershing 06 Oct 1917   7 1886 (USMA)42(1860–1948) Promoted to General of the Armies, 03 Sep 1919. Chairman, Tacna-Arica Plebiscitary Commission, 1925–1926. Awarded Pulitzer Prize for History, 1932; Congressional Gold Medal, 1946.
6Peyton C. March 20 May 1918   2 1888 (USMA)30(1864–1955) [10]
7Charles Pelot Summerall 23 Feb 1929   1 1892 (USMA)37(1867–1955) [11] President, The Citadel, 1931–1953.
8Douglas MacArthur 21 Nov 1930   15 1903 (USMA)27(1880–1964) [12] Promoted to general of the Army, 18 Dec 1944. Superintendent, U.S. Military Academy, 1919–1922. Awarded Medal of Honor, 1942; Congressional Gold Medal, 1962. Relieved, 1951.
9Malin Craig 02 Oct 1935   8 1898 (USMA)37(1875–1945) [13]
10George C. Marshall Jr. 01 Sep 1939   6 1901 (VMI) [14]38(1880–1959) [15] Promoted to general of the Army, 16 Dec 1944. Special Representative of the President in China, 1945–1947; U.S. Secretary of State, 1947–1949; President, American Red Cross, 1949–1950; U.S. Secretary of Defense, 1950–1951. Awarded Congressional Gold Medal, 1946; Nobel Peace Prize, 1953.
*John L. Hines 15 Jun 1940  
  • (retired)
0 1891 (USMA)49(1868–1968) [16] Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, 1924–1926.
11Dwight D. Eisenhower 11 Feb 1943   6 1915 (USMA)28(1890–1969) [17] Promoted to general of the Army, 20 Dec 1944. President, Columbia University, 1948–1953; U.S. President, 1953–1961.
12Henry H. Arnold 19 Mar 1943   3 1907 (USMA)36(1886–1950) [18] Promoted to general of the Army, December 21, 1944; to general of the Air Force, May 7, 1949.
13Joseph W. Stilwell 01 Aug 1944   2 1904 (USMA)40(1883–1946) Died in office.
14Walter Krueger 05 Mar 1945   1 1901 (direct)44(1881–1967) [19]
15Brehon B. Somervell 06 Mar 1945   1 1914 (USMA)31(1892–1955) [20]
16Joseph T. McNarney 07 Mar 1945   7 1915 (USMA)30(1893–1972) [18]
17Jacob L. Devers 08 Mar 1945   4 1909 (USMA)36(1887–1979)
18George Kenney 09 Mar 1945   6 1917 (cadet)28(1889–1977) [18]
19Mark W. Clark 10 Mar 1945   8 1917 (USMA)28(1896–1984) [21] President, The Citadel, 1954–1966.
20Carl Andrew Spaatz 11 Mar 1945   3 1914 (USMA)31(1891–1974) [18]
21Omar Bradley 12 Mar 1945   8 1915 (USMA)30(1893–1981) Promoted to general of the Army, 22 Sep 1950. Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1977.
22Thomas T. Handy 13 Mar 1945   9 1916 (VMI)[14]29(1892–1982)
23George S. Patton 14 Apr 1945  
  • Commanding General, Third Army, 1944–1945.
  • Commanding General, Fifteenth Army, 1945.
0 1909 (USMA)36(1885–1945) Died in office. Father-in-law of Army four-star general John K. Waters.
24Courtney Hodges 15 Apr 1945   4 1909 (direct)36(1887–1966)
25Jonathan M. Wainwright 05 Sep 1945   1 1906 (USMA)39(1883–1953) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1945.
26Lucius D. Clay 28 Mar 1947   2 1918 (USMA)29(1897–1978) Special Representative of the President in Berlin, 1961–1962. Son of U.S. Senator Alexander S. Clay; father of Air Force four-star general Lucius D. Clay Jr.
27J. Lawton Collins 24 Jan 1948   7 1917 (USMA)31(1896–1987) U.S. Special Representative to Vietnam, 1954–1955.
28Wade H. Haislip 01 Oct 1949   2 1912 (USMA)37(1889–1971) Governor, U.S. Soldiers' Home, 1951–1966.
*Walton Walker 02 Jan 1951  
  • (posthumous)
0 1912 (USMA)39(1889–1950) [22] Died in office. Father of Army four-star general Sam S. Walker.
29Matthew Ridgway 11 May 1951   4 1917 (USMA)34(1895–1993) Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1986; Congressional Gold Medal, 1990.
30Walter Bedell Smith 01 Jul 1951   2 1917 (direct)34(1895–1961) U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1946–1949; U.S. Under Secretary of State, 1953–1954.
31John E. Hull 30 Jul 1951   4 1917 (direct)34(1895–1975)
32James A. Van Fleet 31 Jul 1951   2 1915 (USMA)36(1892–1992) Special Representative of the President in the Far East, 1954.
33Alfred Gruenther 01 Aug 1951   5 1917 (USMA)34(1899–1983) President, American Red Cross, 1957–1964.
34John R. Hodge 05 Jul 1952   1 1917 (direct)35(1893–1963)
35Maxwell D. Taylor 23 Jun 1953   9 1922 (USMA)31(1901–1987) [23] Superintendent, U.S. Military Academy, 1945–1949; U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam, 1964–1965; President, Institute for Defense Analyses, 1966–1969.
36Charles L. Bolte 30 Jul 1953   2 1917 (direct)36(1895–1989)
37William M. Hoge 23 Oct 1953   2 1916 (USMA)37(1894–1979)
*Robert L. Eichelberger 19 Jul 1954  
  • (retired)
0 1909 (USMA)45(1886–1961) [24] Superintendent, U.S. Military Academy, 1940–1942.
*Lucian Truscott 19 Jul 1954  
  • (retired)
0 1917 (direct)37(1895–1965) [24]
*Leonard T. Gerow 19 Jul 1954  
  • (retired)
0 1911 (VMI) [14]43(1888–1972) [24]
*William Hood Simpson 19 Jul 1954  
  • (retired)
0 1909 (USMA)45(1888–1980) [24]
*Ben Lear Jr. 19 Jul 1954  
  • (retired)
0 1901 (direct)53(1879–1966) [24]
*Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr. 19 Jul 1954  
  • (posthumous)
0 1908 (USMA)46(1886–1945) [24] Killed in action. Son of Kentucky Governor Simon Bolivar Buckner Sr.
*Alexander Patch 19 Jul 1954  
  • (posthumous)
0 1913 (USMA)41(1889–1945) [24] Died in office.
*Lesley J. McNair 19 Jul 1954  
  • (posthumous)
0 1904 (USMA)50(1883–1944) [24] Killed in action.
*John L. DeWitt 19 Jul 1954  
  • (retired)
0 1898 (direct)56(1880–1962) [24]
*Albert Coady Wedemeyer 19 Jul 1954  
  • (retired)
0 1918 (USMA)36(1897–1989) [24] Special Representative of the President in China and Korea, 1947. Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1985.
*Robert C. Richardson Jr. 19 Jul 1954  
  • (posthumous)
0 1904 (USMA)50(1882–1954) [24]
38John E. Dahlquist 18 Aug 1954   2 1917 (direct)37(1896–1975)
39Anthony McAuliffe 01 Mar 1955   1 1918 (USMA)37(1898–1975)
40Lyman Lemnitzer 25 Mar 1955   14 1920 (USMA)35(1899–1988) [25] Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1987.
41Williston B. Palmer 01 May 1955   7 1919 (USMA)36(1899–1973) [26] Brother of Army four-star general Charles D. Palmer.
42Isaac D. White 22 Jun 1955  
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces Far East/Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army (CG USAFFE/CG EUSA), 1955–1957.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Army Pacific (CINCUSARPAC), 1957–1961.
6 1922 (Norwich)33(1901–1990)
43Willard G. Wyman 01 Mar 1956   2 1919 (USMA)37(1898–1969)
44Cortlandt V.R. Schuyler 18 May 1956   3 1922 (USMA)34(1900–1993) Commissioner, New York State Office of General Services, 1960–1971.
45George Decker 31 May 1956   6 1924 (ROTC)32(1902–1980)
46Henry I. Hodes 01 Jun 1956   3 1920 (USMA)36(1899–1962)
47Bruce C. Clarke 01 Aug 1958   4 1925 (USMA)33(1901–1988)
48Clyde D. Eddleman 01 Apr 1959   3 1924 (USMA)35(1902–1992)
49Carter B. Magruder 01 Jul 1959   2 1923 (USMA)36(1900–1988)
50Charles D. Palmer 01 Oct 1959   3 1924 (USMA)35(1902–1999) Brother of Army four-star general Williston B. Palmer.
51Clark L. Ruffner 01 Mar 1960   2 1924 (VMI)36(1903–1982)
52James Edward Moore 21 Apr 1960   3 1924 (USMA)36(1902–1986) U.S. High Commissioner, Ryukyu Islands, 1955–1958.
53Herbert B. Powell 01 Oct 1960   3 1926 (ROTC)34(1903–1998) U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, 1963–1967.
54James Francis Collins 01 Apr 1961   3 1927 (USMA)34(1905–1989) President, American Red Cross, 1964–1970.
55Guy S. Meloy Jr. 01 Jul 1961   2 1927 (USMA)34(1903–1964)
56Paul D. Adams 03 Oct 1961  
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Strike Command (USCINCSTRIKE), 1961–1963.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Strike Command/U.S. Commander in Chief, Middle East, Africa south of the Sahara, and South Asia (USCINCSTRIKE/USCINCMEAFSA), 1963–1966.
5 1928 (USMA)33(1906–1987)
57Paul D. Harkins 02 Jan 1962   2 1929 (USMA)33(1904–1984)
58Earle Wheeler 01 Mar 1962   8 1932 (USMA)30(1908–1975) Widow married Army four-star general Frank S. Besson Jr.
59Barksdale Hamlett 02 Apr 1962   2 1930 (USMA)32(1908–1979) President, Norwich University, 1966–1972.
60Paul L. Freeman Jr. 01 May 1962   5 1929 (USMA)33(1907–1988)
61Robert J. Wood 01 Sep 1962  
  • Director of Military Assistance, 1962–1965.
3 1930 (USMA)32(1905–1986)
62John K. Waters 28 Feb 1963   3 1931 (USMA)32(1906–1989) Son-in-law of Army four-star general George S. Patton
63Andrew P. O'Meara 06 Jun 1963   4 1930 (USMA)33(1907–2005)
64Theodore W. Parker 01 Jul 1963   6 1931 (USMA)32(1909–1994) Commissioner, New York State Department of Transportation, 1969–1972.
65Hamilton H. Howze 01 Aug 1963   2 1930 (USMA)33(1908–1998)
66Hugh P. Harris 01 Mar 1964   1 1931 (USMA)33(1909–1979) President, The Citadel, 1965–1970.
67Frank S. Besson Jr. 27 May 1964   6 1932 (USMA)32(1910–1985) [27] Incorporator, National Rail Passenger Corporation, 1970–1971; Member, Board of Directors, AMTRAK, 1971–1974. Married widow of Army four-star general Earle G. Wheeler.
68Harold Keith Johnson 03 Jul 1964   4 1933 (USMA)31(1912–1983)
69William Westmoreland 01 Aug 1964   8 1936 (USMA)28(1914–2005) Superintendent, U.S. Military Academy, 1960–1963; candidate for Republican Party nomination for Governor of South Carolina, 1974.
70Creighton Abrams 04 Sep 1964   10 1936 (USMA)28(1914–1974) Died in office. Father of Army four-star generals John N. Abrams and Robert B. Abrams.
71Robert W. Porter Jr. 18 Mar 1965   4 1930 (USMA)35(1908–2000)
72Dwight E. Beach 01 Jul 1965   3 1932 (USMA)33(1908–2000)
73Charles H. Bonesteel III 01 Sep 1966   3 1931 (USMA)35(1909–1977)
74Theodore J. Conway 01 Nov 1966  
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Strike Command/U.S. Commander in Chief, Middle East, Africa south of the Sahara, and South Asia (USCINCSTRIKE/USCINCMEAFSA), 1966–1969.
3 1933 (USMA)33(1909–1990)
75James H. Polk 31 May 1967   4 1933 (USMA)34(1911–1992) Distant cousin of U.S. President James K. Polk.
76Ralph E. Haines Jr. 01 Jun 1967   6 1935 (USMA)32(1913–2011)
77James K. Woolnough 01 Jul 1967   3 1932 (USMA)35(1910–1996)
78Andrew Goodpaster 03 Jul 1968   6 1939 (USMA)29(1915–2005) [28] Staff Secretary/Defense Liaison Officer to the President, 1954–1961; Superintendent, U.S. Military Academy, 1977–1981; President, Institute for Defense Analyses, 1983–1985. Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1961 and 1984.
79Ben Harrell 04 Jul 1968  
  • Commander, Allied Land Forces South-Eastern Europe (COMLANDSOUTHEAST), 1968–1971.
3 1933 (USMA)35(1911–1981)
80Berton E. Spivy Jr. 31 Jul 1968   3 1934 (USMA)34(1911–1997)
81Bruce Palmer Jr. 01 Aug 1968   6 1936 (USMA)32(1913–2000)
82George R. Mather 01 Mar 1969   2 1932 (USMA)37(1911–1993)
83Ferdinand J. Chesarek 10 Mar 1969   1 1938 (USMA)31(1914–1993)
84William B. Rosson 15 May 1969   6 1940 (ROTC)29(1918–2004)
85John L. Throckmorton 01 Aug 1969  
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Strike Command/U.S. Commander in Chief, Middle East, Africa south of the Sahara, and South Asia (USCINCSTRIKE/USCINCMEAFSA), 1969–1972.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Readiness Command (USCINCRED), 1972–1973.
4 1935 (USMA)34(1913–1986)
86John H. Michaelis 01 Oct 1969   3 1936 (USMA)33(1912–1985)
87Lewis Blaine Hershey 23 Dec 1969  
  • Presidential Advisor on Manpower Mobilization, 1970–1973.
4 1913 (ARNG)56(1893–1977) [29] Director, Selective Service System, 1941–1970.
88Frederick C. Weyand 31 Oct 1970   6 1938 (ROTC)32(1916–2010)
89Henry A. Miley Jr. 01 Nov 1970   5 1940 (USMA)30(1915–2010)
90Frank T. Mildren 01 Apr 1971  
  • Commander, Allied Land Forces South-Eastern Europe (COMLANDSOUTHEAST), 1971–1973.
2 1939 (USMA)32(1913–1990)
91Michael S. Davison 26 May 1971   4 1939 (USMA)32(1917–2006) Aunt married Navy four-star admiral Arthur W. Radford.
92George V. Underwood Jr. 01 Oct 1971   2 1937 (USMA)34(1913–1984)
93Donald V. Bennett 01 Sep 1972   2 1940 (USMA)32(1915–2005) Superintendent, U.S. Military Academy, 1966–1969; Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, 1969–1972.
94Alexander Haig Jan 1973   5 1947 (USMA)26(1924–2010) Deputy National Security Advisor, 1970–1973; U.S. Secretary of State, 1981–1982; candidate for Republican Party nomination for U.S. President, 1988.
95Walter T. Kerwin Jr. 01 Feb 1973   5 1939 (USMA)34(1917–2008) Married widow of Marine Corps four-star general Keith B. McCutcheon.
96William E. DePuy 01 Jul 1973   4 1941 (ROTC)32(1919–1992)
97Richard G. Stilwell 31 Jul 1973   3 1938 (USMA)35(1917–1991) U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, 1981–1985.
98Melvin Zais 01 Aug 1973  
  • Commander, Allied Land Forces South-Eastern Europe (COMLANDSOUTHEAST), 1973–1976.
3 1937 (ROTC)36(1916–1981)
99Bernard W. Rogers 07 Nov 1974   13 1943 (USMA)31(1921–2008)
100John J. Hennessey 08 Nov 1974   5 1944 (USMA)30(1921–2001)
101John R. Deane Jr. 12 Feb 1975   2 1942 (USMA)33(1919–2013)
102George S. Blanchard 01 Jul 1975   4 1944 (USMA)31(1920–2006)
103William A. Knowlton 01 Jun 1976  
  • Commander, Allied Land Forces South-Eastern Europe (COMLANDSOUTHEAST), 1976–1977.
  • U.S. Military Representative, NATO Military Committee (USMILREP), 1977–1980.
4 1943 (USMA)33(1920–2008) Superintendent, U.S. Military Academy, 1970–1974. Father-in-law of Army four-star general David H. Petraeus.
104Frederick Kroesen 01 Oct 1976   7 1943 (OCS)33(1923–       )
105John William Vessey Jr. 01 Nov 1976   9 1944 (battlefield)32(1922–2016) Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1992.
106Donn A. Starry 01 Jul 1977   6 1948 (USMA)29(1925–2011)
107Sam S. Walker 1977  
  • Commander, Allied Land Forces South-Eastern Europe (COMLANDSOUTHEAST), 1977–1978.
1 1946 (USMA)31(1925–2015) Superintendent, Virginia Military Institute, 1981–1988. Son of Army four-star general Walton H. Walker.
108John R. Guthrie 01 May 1977   4 1942 (ROTC)35(1921–2009)
109Robert M. Shoemaker 22 Aug 1978   4 1946 (USMA)32(1924–2017)
110Edward C. Meyer 22 Jun 1979   4 1951 (USMA)28(1928–       )
111John A. Wickham Jr. 10 Jul 1979   8 1950 (USMA)29(1928–       )
112Volney F. Warner 01 Aug 1979   2 1950 (USMA)29(1926–2019)
113Glenn K. Otis 01 Aug 1981   7 1953 (USMA)28(1929–2013)
114Donald R. Keith 01 Sep 1981   3 1949 (USMA)32(1927–2004)
115Richard E. Cavazos 19 Feb 1982   2 1951 (ROTC)31(1929–2017)
116Robert W. Sennewald 24 May 1982   4 1951 (ROTC)31(1929–       )
117Roscoe Robinson Jr. 30 Aug 1982   3 1951 (USMA)31(1928–1993) First African-American to achieve the rank of general in the Army.
118William R. Richardson 28 Feb 1983   3 1951 (USMA)32(1929–       )
119Paul F. Gorman 25 May 1983   2 1950 (USMA)33(1927–       )
120Wallace H. Nutting 25 May 1983   2 1950 (USMA)33(1928–       )
121Maxwell R. Thurman 23 Jun 1983   7 1953 (ROTC)30(1931–1995)
122William J. Livsey 03 May 1984   3 1952 (ROTC)32(1931–2016)
123Richard Horner Thompson 29 Jun 1984   3 1950 (direct)34(1926–2016)
124Robert Kingston 06 Nov 1984   1 1949 (OCS)35(1928–2007)
125John R. Galvin 25 Feb 1985   7 1954 (USMA)31(1929–2015) U.S. Special Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1994.
126Fred K. Mahaffey 17 Jun 1985   1 1955 (ROTC)30(1934–1986) Died in office.
127Jack N. Merritt 01 Dec 1985   2 1953 (OCS)32(1930–2018)
128Carl E. Vuono 01 Jul 1986   5 1957 (USMA)29(1934–       )
129Joseph T. Palastra Jr. 01 Jul 1986   3 1954 (USMA)32(1931–2015)
130James J. Lindsay 10 Oct 1986   4 1953 (OCS)33(1932–       )
131Louis C. Wagner Jr. 13 Apr 1987   2 1954 (USMA)33(1932–       )
132Frederick F. Woerner Jr. 06 Jun 1987   2 1955 (USMA)32(1933–       ) Relieved, 1989.
133Arthur E. Brown Jr. 24 Jun 1987   2 1953 (USMA)34(1929–       )
134Louis C. Menetrey 24 Jun 1987   3 1953 (ROTC)34(1929–2009)
135Crosbie E. Saint 24 Jun 1988   4 1958 (USMA)30(1936–2018)
136Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. 23 Nov 1988   3 1956 (USMA)32(1934–2012)[30] Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1991; Congressional Gold Medal, 1991.
137Robert W. RisCassi 17 Jan 1989   4 1958 (ROTC)31(1936–       )
138Colin Powell 04 Apr 1989   4 1958 (ROTC)31(1937–       ) Deputy National Security Advisor, 1987; National Security Advisor, 1987–1989; U.S. Secretary of State, 2001–2005. Awarded Congressional Gold Medal, 1991; Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1991 and, with distinction, 1993.
139John W. Foss 02 Aug 1989   2 1956 (USMA)33(1933–       )
140Edwin H. Burba Jr. 27 Sep 1989   4 1959 (USMA)30(1936–       )
141William G. T. Tuttle Jr. 01 Oct 1989   3 1958 (USMA)31(1935–       )
142Gordon R. Sullivan 04 Jun 1990   5 1959 (Norwich)31(1937–       )
143Carl Stiner 01 Jul 1990   3 1958 (ROTC)32(1936–       )
144George Joulwan 21 Nov 1990   7 1961 (USMA)29(1939–       )
145Dennis Reimer 21 Jun 1991   8 1962 (USMA)29(1939–       )
146Frederick M. Franks Jr. 23 Aug 1991   3 1959 (USMA)32(1936–       )
147Jimmy D. Ross 01 Feb 1992   2 1958 (ROTC)34(1936–2012)
148John Shalikashvili 24 Jun 1992   5 1959 (OCS)33(1936–2011) Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1997.
149David M. Maddox 09 Jul 1992   2 1960 (VMI)32(1938–       )
150J. H. Binford Peay III 26 Mar 1993   4 1962 (VMI)31(1940–       ) Superintendent, Virginia Military Institute, 2003–present.
151Wayne A. Downing 20 May 1993   3 1962 (USMA)31(1940–2007) Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism, 2001–2002.
152Gary E. Luck 01 Jul 1993   3 1960 (ROTC)33(1937–       )
153Leon E. Salomon 11 Feb 1994   2 1959 (OCS)35(1936–       )
154Barry R. McCaffrey 17 Feb 1994   2 1964 (USMA)30(1942–       ) Director, National Drug Control Policy, 1996–2001.
155John H. Tilelli Jr. 19 Jul 1994   5 1963 (PMC) [31]31(1941–       )
156William W. Hartzog 01 Dec 1994   4 1963 (Citadel)31(1941–       )
157William W. Crouch 01 Jan 1995   3 1963 (ROTC)32(1941–       )
158Ronald H. Griffith 06 Jun 1995   2 1960 (ROTC)35(1936–2018)
159Henry Shelton 01 Mar 1996   5 1964 (ROTC)32(1942–       ) Awarded Congressional Gold Medal, 2002.
160Johnnie E. Wilson 01 May 1996   3 1967 (OCS)29(1944–       )
161Wesley Clark 21 Jun 1996   4 1966 (USMA)30(1944–       ) Candidate for Democratic Party nomination for U.S. President, 2004. Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2000.
162David A. Bramlett 01 Sep 1996   2 1964 (USMA)32(1941–       )
163Eric Shinseki 05 Aug 1997   6 1965 (USMA)32(1942–       ) U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 2009–2014[32]
164Peter Schoomaker 04 Oct 1997   7 1969 (ROTC)28(1946–       ) [33] Brother of Eric Schoomaker
165Thomas A. Schwartz 31 Aug 1998   4 1967 (USMA)31(1945–       )
166John N. Abrams 14 Sep 1998   4 1968 (OCS)30(1946–2018) Son of Army four-star general Creighton Abrams and brother of Army four-star general Robert B. Abrams.
167Montgomery C. Meigs 10 Nov 1998  
  • Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army (CG USAREUR), 1998–2002.
4 1967 (USMA)31(1945–       ) Director, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, 2005–2007. Distant cousin of Navy four-star admiral Montgomery M. Taylor and great-great-great grandnephew of Montgomery C. Meigs.
168Jack Keane 22 Jan 1999   4 1966 (ROTC)33(1943–       )
169John G. Coburn 14 May 1999   2 1963 (ROTC)36(1941–       )
170John W. Hendrix 23 Nov 1999   2 1965 (ROTC)34(1942–       )
171William F. Kernan Jul 2000   2 1968 (OCS)32(1946–       )
172Tommy Franks 06 Jul 2000   3 1967 (OCS)33(1945–       ) Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2004.
173Larry R. Ellis 2001   3 1969 (ROTC)32(1946–       )
174Paul J. Kern 30 Oct 2001   3 1967 (USMA)34(1945–       )
175Leon J. LaPorte 01 May 2002   4 1968 (ROTC)34(1946–       )
176James T. Hill 18 Aug 2002   2 1968 (ROTC)34(1946–       )
177Kevin P. Byrnes 07 Nov 2002   3 1969 (OCS)33(1950–       ) [34] Relieved, 2005.
178Burwell B. Bell III 03 Dec 2002   6 1969 (ROTC)33(1947–       )
179John P. Abizaid 27 Jun 2003   4 1973 (USMA)30(1951–       )
180Bryan D. Brown 25 Aug 2003   4 1970 (OCS)33(1948–       )
181George W. Casey Jr. 01 Dec 2003   8 1970 (ROTC)33(1948–       )
182Richard A. Cody 24 Jun 2004   4 1972 (USMA)32(1950–       )
183Dan K. McNeill 01 Jul 2004   4 1968 (ROTC)36(1946–       )
184Benjamin S. Griffin 05 Nov 2004   4 1970 (OCS)34(1946–       )
185Bantz J. Craddock 01 Jan 2005   4 1971 (ROTC)33(1949–       )
186William S. Wallace 13 Oct 2005   3 1969 (USMA)36(1946–       )
187David D. McKiernan 14 Dec 2005   4 1972 (ROTC)33(1950–       ) Resigned, 2009.
188William E. Ward 03 May 2006   5 1971 (ROTC)35(1949–       ) U.S. Security Coordinator, Israel-Palestinian Authority, 2005.
189Charles C. Campbell 09 Jan 2007   3 1970 (ROTC)37(1948–2016)
190David Petraeus 10 Feb 2007   4 1974 (USMA)33(1952–       ) Director, Central Intelligence Agency, 2011–2012. Son-in-law of Army four-star general William A. Knowlton.
191Walter L. Sharp 02 Jun 2008   3 1974 (USMA)34(1952–       )
192Peter W. Chiarelli 04 Aug 2008   4 1972 (ROTC)36(1950–       )
193Carter F. Ham 28 Aug 2008   5 1976 (ROTC)32(1952–       )
194Raymond T. Odierno 16 Sep 2008   7 1976 (USMA)32(1954–       ) [35]
195Ann E. Dunwoody 14 Nov 2008   4 1975 (direct)33(1953–       ) First woman to achieve four-star rank in any service.
196Martin E. Dempsey 08 Dec 2008   7 1974 (USMA)34(1952–       )
197Stanley A. McChrystal 15 Jun 2009   1 1976 (USMA)33(1954–       ) Resigned, 2010.
198Keith B. Alexander 21 May 2010   4 1974 (USMA)36(1952–       ) Director, National Security Agency, 2005–2014.
199James D. Thurman 03 Jun 2010   3 1975 (ROTC)35(1953–       )
200Lloyd J. Austin III 01 Sep 2010   6 1975 (USMA)35(1953–       )
201Robert W. Cone 29 Apr 2011   3 1979 (USMA)32(1957–2016)
202Charles H. Jacoby Jr. 03 Aug 2011   3 1978 (USMA)33(1954–       )
203David M. Rodriguez 12 Sep 2011   5 1976 (USMA)35(1954–       )
204Dennis L. Via 07 Aug 2012   4 1980 (ROTC)32(1958–       )
205Frank J. Grass 07 Sep 2012   4 1981 (OCS)31(1951–       ) Served 12 years in the enlisted ranks before receiving his commission in 1981. First Army National Guard officer to achieve the rank of general.
206John F. Campbell 08 Mar 2013   3 1979 (USMA)34(1957–       )
207Daniel B. Allyn 10 May 2013   4 1981 (USMA)32(1959–       )
208Vincent K. Brooks 02 Jul 2013   5 1980 (USMA)33(1958–       )
209Curtis M. Scaparrotti 02 Oct 2013   6 1978 (USMA)35(1956–       )
210David G. Perkins 14 Mar 2014   5 1980 (USMA)34(1957–       )
211Mark A. Milley 15 Aug 2014   5 1980 (ROTC)34(1958–       )
212Joseph L. Votel 28 Aug 2014   5 1980 (USMA)34(1958–       )
213Robert B. Abrams 10 Aug 2015   4 1982 (USMA)33(1960–       ) Son of Army four-star general Creighton Abrams and brother of Army four-star general John N. Abrams.
214John W. Nicholson Jr. 02 Mar 2016   2 1982 (USMA)34(1957–       )
215Raymond A. Thomas III 30 Mar 2016   3 1980 (USMA)36(1958–       )
216Robert B. Brown 30 Apr 2016   3 1981 (USMA)35(1959–       )
217Gustave F. Perna 30 Sep 2016   3 1979 (VFMAC)37(1960–       )
218James C. McConville 16 Jun 2017   2 1981 (USMA)36(1959–       )
219Stephen J. Townsend 02 Mar 2018   1 1982 (ROTC)36(1959–       )
220Paul M. Nakasone 04 May 2018   1 1986 (ROTC)32(1963–       )
221Stephen R. Lyons 24 Aug 2018   1 1983 (ROTC)35(c.1962       )
222John M. Murray 24 Aug 2018   1 1982 (ROTC)36(c.1960       )
223Austin S. Miller 02 Sep 2018   1 1983 (USMA)35(1961–       )
224Michael X. Garrett 21 Mar 2019   0 1984 (ROTC)35(1961–       )
225Richard D. Clarke 29 Mar 2019   0 1984 (USMA)35(1962–       )
226Paul E. Funk II 21 Jun 2019   0 1984 (ROTC)35(1962–       )
227Joseph M. Martin 26 Jul 2019   0 1986 (USMA)33(1962–       )
228Paul LaCamera 18 Nov 2019   0 1985 (USMA)34(1963–       )

Timeline

1775–1799

In 1775, George Washington was appointed "General and Commander in Chief of the United Colonies" and all its forces. Although Washington ranked as a full general in the Continental Army, he resigned his commission prior to the establishment of the U.S. Army in 1784 and he is therefore considered never to have held the U.S. Army rank of general.[36] In 1798, Washington was commissioned lieutenant general in the U.S. Army and appointed Commander in Chief of the armies of the United States. The following year, Congress created the rank of General of the Armies of the United States, but Washington died before accepting it and the rank lapsed until 1866.[37] Washington was finally promoted to General of the Armies in 1976.

1866–1941

The grade of General of the Armies of the United States was revived in 1866, under the name "General of the Army of the United States" to honor the Civil War achievements of Ulysses S. Grant, the commanding general of the U.S. Army (CGUSA).[38] When Grant resigned his commission to become President in 1869, William T. Sherman was promoted to fill the vacant grade. Congress specified in 1870 that the rank would expire upon Sherman's retirement, but made an exception in 1888 to promote an ailing Philip H. Sheridan. This title is not to be confused with the later five-star rank of General of the Army.[39]

In 1917, the rank of general was recreated in the National Army, a temporary force of conscripts and volunteers authorized for the duration of the World War I emergency. To give American commanders parity of rank with their Allied counterparts, Congress allowed the President to appoint two emergency generals in the National Army, specified to be the chief of staff of the Army (CSA), Tasker H. Bliss and later Peyton C. March; and the commander of United States forces in France, John J. Pershing.[40] When March replaced Bliss as chief of staff, Bliss was continued in four-star rank by brevet as the U.S. military representative to the Supreme War Council.[41] In contrast to the previous grade of general held by Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan, which was a permanent promotion, this new rank was a temporary appointment that was lost when the officer vacated the position bearing that rank, and while Pershing was ultimately advanced to General of the Armies in 1919, March and Bliss reverted to their permanent grades of major general in the Regular Army when the National Army disbanded in 1920.[42]

In 1929, the temporary rank of general in the Regular Army was reauthorized for the office of chief of staff, whose occupant reverted to major general at the end of his term but was allowed to retire as a full general. When the draft force was reconstituted for World War II as the Army of the United States in 1941, the President was authorized to appoint as many temporary generals in that organization as he deemed necessary. As with the National Army emergency generals, these appointments expired after the end of the war, although postwar legislation allowed officers to retire in their highest active-duty rank.[43]

1947–present

The modern rank of general was established by the Officer Personnel Act of 1947, which authorized the President to designate certain positions of importance to carry that rank. Officers appointed to such positions bear temporary four-star rank while so serving, and are allowed to retire at that rank if their performance is judged satisfactory.[44] The total number of active-duty four-star generals in the Army is limited to a fixed percentage of the number of Army general officers serving at all ranks.[45]

Within the Army, the chief of staff (CSA) and vice chief of staff (VCSA) are four-star generals by statute. Since World War II, the commanders of the Army formations in Europe (USAREUR) and East Asia (FECOM/USFK) have been designated four-star generals by reason of importance. Other designated four-star Army commands have included the various training, readiness, and materiel organizations.

The Army also competes with the other services for a number of joint four-star positions, the most prestigious of which are the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) and the NATO supreme allied commander in Europe (SACEUR). Other joint four-star positions have included unified combatant commanders; certain NATO staff positions; and the wartime theater commanders in Vietnam (MACV), Iraq (MNF-I), and Afghanistan (ISAF/RS).

Four-star positions

See also

Notes

  1. Dates of rank are taken, where available, from the U.S. Army register of active and retired commissioned officers, or from the World Almanac and Book of Facts. The date listed is that of the officer's first promotion to general.
  2. Positions listed are those held by the officer when promoted to general. Dates listed are for the officer's full tenure, which may predate promotion to four-star rank or postdate retirement from active duty.
  3. The number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank is approximated by subtracting the year in the "Date of rank" column from the last year in the "Position" column. Time spent between active-duty four-star assignments is not counted, nor is time spent on special duty as an unassigned general of the Army.
  4. Sources of commission are listed in parentheses after the year of commission and include: the United States Military Academy (USMA); Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at a civilian university; ROTC at a senior military college such as the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Norwich University (Norwich), Pennsylvania Military College (PMC), or Widener University (Widener); Officer Candidate School (OCS); the aviation cadet program (cadet); the Army National Guard (ARNG); direct commission (direct); and battlefield commission (battlefield).
  5. The number of years in commission before being promoted to four-star rank is approximated by subtracting the year in the "Commission" column from the year in the "Date of rank" column.
  6. Notes include years of birth and death; awards of the Medal of Honor, Congressional Gold Medal, Presidential Medal of Freedom, or honors of similar significance; major government appointments; university presidencies or equivalents; familial relationships with other four-star officers or significant government officials such as U.S. Presidents, cabinet secretaries, U.S. Senators, or state governors; and unusual career events such as premature relief or death in office.
  7. Commissioned general in the Continental Army, 1775; resigned, 1783; commissioned lieutenant general in the U.S. Army, 1798; promoted to General of the Armies, October 11, 1976, with date of rank July 4, 1976 (Public Law 94-479).
  8. Resigned, 1869, to serve as President; reappointed general and placed on the retired list, March 3, 1885.
  9. Brevetted general, May 1918.
  10. Reverted to major general upon expiration of wartime legislation, June 30, 1920; advanced to general on the retired list, June 21, 1930, as highest grade held during World War I.
  11. Reverted to major general, November 20, 1930; retired as general, March 31, 1931.
  12. Reverted to major general, October 1, 1935; retired as general, December 31, 1937; recalled as major general, July 26, 1941; promoted to lieutenant general, July 27, 1941; promoted to general, December 18, 1941, with rank from September 16, 1936; promoted to general of the Army, December 18, 1944; rank made permanent, April 11, 1946; restored to active list, July 9, 1948; relieved of all commands, April 11, 1951.
  13. Retired as general, August 1939; recalled as major general, September 1941.
  14. Received a direct commission following graduation from a military college prior to the creation of ROTC.
  15. Promoted to general of the Army, December 16, 1944; rank made permanent, April 11, 1946; retired as general of the Army, February 28, 1947; restored to active list, March 1, 1949.
  16. Advanced to general on the retired list, June 15, 1940, as former chief of staff of the Army.
  17. Retired from active service as general of the Army, 1948; recalled as general of the Army, December 1950; resigned, 1952, to run for President; reappointed general of the Army, March 1961.
  18. Transferred to U.S. Air Force, September 18, 1947.
  19. Retired as major general, January 31, 1945; recalled February 1, 1945; promoted to general, March 5, 1945; advanced to general on the retired list, July 12, 1946; retired, July 20, 1946.
  20. Retired as major general, April 30, 1946; advanced to general on the retired list, June 4, 1948.
  21. Nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Vatican City withdrawn, 1951.
  22. Died in car crash, December 23, 1950; posthumously promoted to general, January 2, 1951.
  23. Retired as general, July 1959; recalled as general, July 1961.
  24. Advanced to general on the retired list, July 19, 1954, as a lieutenant general who, during World War II, commanded Army Ground Forces, commanded an army in any of the Theaters of Operations, was commanding general of U.S. forces in China and chief of staff to Chiang Kai-shek, or commanded Western Defense Command (Public Law 83-508).
  25. Retired as general, August 1963; recalled as general, September 1963.
  26. Retired as general, December 1959; recalled as general, January 1960.
  27. Retired as general, July 1970; recalled as general, August 1970.
  28. Retired as general, December 1974; recalled as lieutenant general, June 1977; retired as general, July 1981.
  29. Transferred from Army National Guard, 1920; retired, 1947; retained on active duty until 1973; advanced to general on the retired list, February 1970, with date of rank December 23, 1969.
  30. "'Stormin' Norman' Schwarzkopf, lauded Gulf War commander, dies - CNN.com". CNN. 2012-12-28.
  31. Graduated from Pennsylvania Military College, which was reorganized as a civilian institution in 1972 and is now Widener University.
  32. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/30/shinseki-va-veteran-scandal-health-care-delays/9758061/
  33. Retired as general, November 2000; recalled as general, August 2003.
  34. Relieved, July 2005, and retired as lieutenant general.
  35. Nomination as Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army (VCSA) withdrawn, 2008.
  36. "Washington Never a General of U.S. Army; Rank Created for Him, but Not Conferred", The New York Times, p. N8, February 2, 1936
  37. "45 U.S. Officers Outrank George Washington", The Associated Press, September 27, 1953
  38. Office of the Judge Advocate General, United States Army (1915), The military laws of the United States, 1915, Volume 1, Issue 915 (also The military laws of the United States, 1915, Volume 1, Issue 915), Washington, DC: Government Printing Office
  39. Bell, pp. 19–24 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  40. Public Law 65-12, Section 8 (May 18, 1917), Missing or empty |title= (help); Public Law 65-90, Section 3 (October 6, 1917), Missing or empty |title= (help)
  41. "Rank Of General For Bliss And March; Former Gets Brevet Title for Services Abroad — Latter Becomes Chief of Staff", The New York Times, p. 6, May 21, 1918
  42. "March to Lose Two Stars on June 30; Going Back to Rank of Major General", The New York Times, p. 13, June 23, 1920
  43. Officer Personnel Act of 1947 (Public Law 80-381), Sections 504(b,d) (August 7, 1947), Missing or empty |title= (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  44. 10 USC 601, Positions of importance and responsibility: generals and lieutenant generals; admirals and vice admirals
  45. 10 USC 525, Distribution of commissioned officers on active duty in general officer and flag officer grades

References

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