List of United States Navy four-star admirals

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This is a complete list of four-star admirals in the United States Navy. The rank of admiral (or full admiral, or four-star admiral) is the highest rank normally achievable in the U.S. Navy. It ranks above vice admiral (three-star admiral) and below fleet admiral (five-star admiral).

There have been 259 four-star admirals in the history of the U.S. Navy. Of these, 218 achieved that rank while on active duty, 40 were promoted upon retirement in recognition of combat citations, and one was promoted posthumously. Admirals entered the Navy via several paths: 228 were commissioned via the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), 17 via Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC), 8 via Officer Candidate School (OCS), 2 via warrant, 1 via the Naval Aviation Cadet (NAVCAD) Program, 2 via Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS) and 1 via the U.S. Merchant Marine.

List of admirals[edit]

Entries in the following list of four-star admirals 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. Each entry lists the admiral'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]

The list is sortable by last name, date of rank, number of years of active-duty service at four-star rank, year commissioned, and number of years in commission when promoted to four-star rank.

# Name Photo Date of rank [1] Position [2] Yrs [3] Commission [4] YC [5] Notes [6]
1 David G. Farragut Admiral Farragut2.jpg 25 Jul 1866   4 1810 (warrant) 56 (1801–1870) Brother-by-adoption of Navy four-star admiral David D. Porter Jr.
2 David D. Porter Jr. David Dixon Porter - Mathew Brady's National Photographic Art Gallery.jpg 15 Aug 1870  
  • Admiral of the Navy, 1870–1891.
  • Head, Board of Inspection, 1877–1891.
21 1829 (warrant) 41 (1813–1891) Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy, 1865–1869. Brother-by-adoption of Navy four-star admiral David G. Farragut.
3 George Dewey GeoDewey.jpg 02 Mar 1899   18 1858 (USNA) 41 (1837–1917) Promoted to The Admiral of the Navy, 24 Mar 1903, with date of rank 02 Mar 1899. Candidate for Democratic Party nomination for U.S. President, 1900.
4 Frank F. Fletcher Adm Frank F Fletcher headshot.jpg 10 Mar 1915   2 1875 (USNA) 40 (1855–1928) [7] Awarded Medal of Honor, 1914. Uncle of Navy four-star admiral Frank J. Fletcher.
5 Thomas B. Howard Thomas Benton Howard.jpg 11 Mar 1915   1 1873 (USNA) 42 (1854–1920) [7] Superintendent, U.S. Naval Observatory, 1917–1919.
6 Walter C. Cowles Walter Cleveland Cowles.JPG 12 Mar 1915   1 1873 (USNA) 42 (1853–1917) [7]
7 Albert G. Winterhalter Admiral Albert Gustav Winterhalter circa 1915.jpg 09 Jul 1915   2 1877 (USNA) 38 (1856–1920) [7]
8 Cameron M. Winslow Admiral Cameron McRae Winslow.jpg 13 Sep 1915   1 1875 (USNA) 40 (1854–1932) [7]
9 Henry T. Mayo Henry Thomas Mayo.JPG 19 Jun 1916   3 1876 (USNA) 41 (1857–1937) [7][8] Governor, U.S. Naval Home, 1924–1928.
10 William B. Caperton ADM William B. Caperton, 1914.jpg 28 Jul 1916   3 1875 (USNA) 41 (1855–1941) [7][8] Special Representative of the President in Brazil, 1918.
11 William S. Benson William S. Benson.jpg 29 Aug 1916   3 1877 (USNA)[9] 39 (1855–1932) [7][8] Chairman/Commissioner, U.S. Shipping Board, 1919–1928.
12 Austin M. Knight Austin Melvin Knight.JPG 04 Apr 1917   1 1873 (USNA)[9] 44 (1854–1927) [7] Brother of Seattle Mayor Bertha Knight Landes.
13 William S. Sims William sowden sims.jpg 04 Dec 1918   2 1880 (USNA)[9] 38 (1858–1936) [7][8] Awarded Pulitzer Prize for History, 1921.
14 Henry B. Wilson Jr.



30 Jun 1919   2 1881 (USNA)[9] 38 (1861–1954) [7][8] Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy, 1921–1925. Father-in-law of U.S. Secretary of War Patrick J. Hurley.
15 Hugh Rodman Rodman 5332814771 1dd2a4b7bf o.jpg 01 Jul 1919   2 1880 (USNA)[9] 39 (1859–1940) [7][8] U.S. Minister and Envoy to Peru, 1921.
16 Albert Gleaves



01 Sep 1919   2 1877 (USNA)[9] 42 (1858–1937) [7][8] Governor, U.S. Naval Home, 1928–1931.
17 Robert E. Coontz Robert E. Coontz.jpg 01 Nov 1919   6 1885 (USNA)[9] 34 (1864–1935) [7][8] Governor of Guam, 1912–1913.
18 Joseph Strauss RADM Joseph Strauss in 1919.jpg 04 Feb 1921   1 1885 (USNA)[9] 36 (1861–1948) [7][8]
19 Hilary P. Jones Hilary Pollard Jones.JPG 30 Jun 1921   2 1884 (USNA)[9] 37 (1865–1939) [7][8]
20 Edward W. Eberle Edward Walter Eberle.jpg 05 Jul 1921   6 1885 (USNA)[9] 36 (1864–1929) [7] Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy, 1915–1919.
21 Edwin A. Anderson Anderson EA USN h56034.jpg 28 Aug 1922   1 1882 (USNA)[9] 40 (1860–1933) [7] Awarded Medal of Honor, 1914.
22 Samuel S. Robison Samuel S Robison.jpg 30 Jun 1923   3 1888 (USNA)[9] 35 (1867–1952) [7][10] Military Governor of Santo Domingo, 1921–1922; Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy, 1928–1931; Superintendent, Admiral Farragut Academy, 1931–1948. Brother-in-law of Navy four-star admiral Charles F. Hughes.
23 Thomas Washington Thomas Washington.jpg 11 Oct 1923   2 1887 (USNA)[9] 36 (1865–1954) [7][10] Governor, U.S. Naval Home, 1931–1937.
24 Charles F. Hughes Charles Frederick Hughes.jpg 14 Oct 1925   5 1888 (USNA)[9] 37 (1866–1934) [7] Brother-in-law of Navy four-star admiral Samuel S. Robison; daughter married brother of Navy five-star admiral Chester W. Nimitz.
25 Clarence S. Williams



14 Oct 1925   2 1884 (USNA)[9] 41 (1863–1951) [7][10]
26 Richard H. Jackson



04 Sep 1926   1 1887 (USNA)[9] 39 (1866–1971) [7][10] Distant cousin of Air Force four-star general Charles P. Cabell.
27 Henry A. Wiley Henry Ariosto Wiley.JPG 08 Sep 1927  
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet (CINCUS), 1927-1929.
2 1888 (USNA)[9] 39 (1867–1943) [7] Chairman/Commissioner, U.S. Maritime Commission, 1936–1940.
28 Mark L. Bristol Mark Lambert Bristol.jpg 09 Sep 1927   2 1887 (USNA)[9] 40 (1868–1939) [7] U.S. High Commissioner, Turkey, 1919–1927.
29 Louis R. de Steiguer



10 Sep 1927   1 1889 (USNA)[9] 38 (1867–1947) [7][10]
30 William V. Pratt William Veazie Pratt.jpg 26 Jun 1928   5 1889 (USNA)[9] 39 (1869–1957) [7][11]
31 Louis M. Nulton ADM Louis M. Nulton, ca. 1915.jpg 21 May 1929   1 1889 (USNA)[9] 40 (1869–1954) [7][10] Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy, 1925–1928.
32 Charles B. McVay Jr.



09 Sep 1929   2 1890 (USNA)[9] 39 (1868–1949) [7][10]
33 Frank H. Schofield Frank Schofield.jpg 24 May 1930   2 1890 (USNA)[9] 40 (1869–1942) [7]
34 Jehu V. Chase Jehu V. Chase.jpg 17 Sep 1930  
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet (CINCUS), 1930–1931.
1 1890 (USNA)[9] 40 (1869–1937) [7]
35 Montgomery M. Taylor



01 Sep 1931   2 1890 (USNA)[9] 41 (1869–1952) [7][10] Grandnephew of U.S. President Zachary Taylor; distant cousin of Army four-star general Montgomery C. Meigs.
36 Richard H. Leigh Richard Henry Leigh.JPG 15 Sep 1931  
  • Commander, Battle Force, U.S. Fleet (COMBATFOR), 1931–1932.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet (CINCUS), 1932–1933.
2 1891 (USNA)[9] 40 (1870–1946) [7][10]
37 Luke McNamee Luke McNamee.jpg 11 Aug 1932  
  • Commander, Battle Force, U.S. Fleet (COMBATFOR), 1932–1933.
1 1892 (USNA)[9] 40 (1871–1952) [7][10] Governor of Guam, 1907.
38 William H. Standley



20 May 1933   4 1895 (USNA)[9] 38 (1872–1963) [7][11][12] U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1942–1943.
39 David F. Sellers



10 Jun 1933  
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet (CINCUS), 1933–1934.
1 1894 (USNA)[9] 39 (1874–1949) [7][10] Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy, 1934–1938.
40 Joseph M. Reeves



01 Jul 1933  
  • Commander, Battle Force, U.S. Fleet (COMBATFOR), 1933–1934.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet (CINCUS), 1934–1936.
3 1894 (USNA)[9] 39 (1872–1948) [7][10][13]
41 Frank B. Upham



18 Aug 1933   2 1893 (USNA)[9] 40 (1872–1939) [7] Married aunt of Navy four-star admiral Robert B. Carney.
42 Frank H. Brumby



15 Jun 1934  
  • Commander, Battle Force, U.S. Fleet (COMBATFOR), 1934–1935.
1 1895 (USNA)[9] 39 (1874–1950) [7][10]
43 Harris Laning Admiral Harris Laning.png 01 Apr 1935  
  • Commander, Battle Force, U.S. Fleet (COMBATFOR), 1935–1936.
1 1895 (USNA)[9] 40 (1873–1941) [7] Governor, U.S. Naval Home, 1937–1941.
44 Orin G. Murfin



04 Oct 1935   1 1897 (USNA)[9] 38 (1876–1956) [7][10]
45 William D. Leahy William Leahy cropped.jpg 30 Mar 1936   10 1897 (USNA)[9] 39 (1875–1959) [14] Promoted to fleet admiral, 15 Dec 1944. Governor of Puerto Rico, 1939–1940; U.S. Ambassador to France, 1941–1942. Wife's niece married Navy four-star admiral David W. Bagley.
46 Arthur J. Hepburn Arthur Japy Hepburn.JPG 24 Jun 1936  
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet (CINCUS), 1936–1938.
2 1897 (USNA)[9] 39 (1877–1964) [7][10]
47 Harry E. Yarnell Harry E. Yarnell.jpg 30 Oct 1936   3 1897 (USNA)[9] 39 (1875–1959) [7][10][15]
48 Claude C. Bloch



02 Jan 1937  
  • Commander, Battle Force, U.S. Fleet (COMBATFOR), 1937–1938.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet (CINCUS), 1938–1940.
3 1899 (USNA)[9] 38 (1878–1967) [7][16]
49 Edward C. Kalbfus Admiral Edward C. Kalbfus.jpg 29 Jan 1938  
  • Commander, Battle Force, U.S. Fleet (COMBATFOR), 1938–1939.
1 1899 (USNA)[9] 39 (1877–1954) [7][10]
50 James O. Richardson James Richardson.jpg 24 Jun 1939  
  • Commander, Battle Force, U.S. Fleet (COMBATFOR), 1939–1940.
  • Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet (CINCUS), 1940–1941.
2 1902 (USNA)[9] 37 (1878–1974) [7][16] Relieved, 1941.
51 Thomas C. Hart Thomas C. Hart.jpg 25 Jul 1939   3 1897 (USNA)[9] 42 (1877–1971) [17] Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy, 1931–1934; U.S. Senator from Connecticut, 1945–1946.
52 Harold R. Stark Harold Rainsford Stark.jpg 01 Aug 1939   6 1903 (USNA)[9] 36 (1880–1972)
53 Charles P. Snyder ADM Charles P. Snyder.jpg 06 Jan 1940  
  • Commander, Battle Force, U.S. Fleet (COMBATFOR), 1940–1941.
1 1900 (USNA)[9] 40 (1879–1964) [7][16]
54 Husband E. Kimmel Husband Kimmel.jpg 01 Feb 1941   0 1904 (USNA)[9] 37 (1882–1968) [7] Relieved, 1941. Brother-in-law of Navy four-star admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid.
55 Ernest J. King FADM Ernest J. King.jpg 01 Feb 1941   4 1901 (USNA)[9] 40 (1878–1956) Promoted to fleet admiral, 17 Dec 1944. Awarded Congressional Gold Medal, 1946. Father-in-law of Air Force four-star general Frederic H. Smith Jr.
56 Chester W. Nimitz Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz portrait.jpg 31 Dec 1941   6 1905 (USNA)[9] 36 (1885–1966) Promoted to fleet admiral, 19 Dec 1944. Brother married daughter of Navy four-star admiral Charles F. Hughes.
57 Royal E. Ingersoll ADM Royal E. Ingersoll.jpg 01 Jul 1942   3 1905 (USNA)[9] 37 (1883–1976)
58 William F. Halsey Jr. W Halsey.jpg 18 Nov 1942   3 1904 (USNA)[9] 38 (1882–1959) Promoted to fleet admiral, 04 Dec 1945.
59 Raymond A. Spruance Ray Spruance.jpg 16 Feb 1944   4 1906 (USNA)[9] 38 (1886–1969) U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, 1952–1955.
60 Jonas H. Ingram ADM Jonas Ingram.jpg 15 Nov 1944   2 1909 (USNA)[9] 35 (1886–1952) Commissioner, All-America Football Conference, 1947–1949. Awarded Medal of Honor, 1914.
61 Frederick J. Horne Admiral Frederick J Horne.png 15 Dec 1944   1 1899 (USNA)[9] 45 (1880–1959)
62 Richard S. Edwards Jr. ADM Richard S. Edwards.jpg 03 Apr 1945   2 1907 (USNA)[9] 38 (1885–1956)
63 H. Kent Hewitt



03 Apr 1945   4 1907 (USNA)[9] 38 (1887–1972)
64 Thomas C. Kinkaid Thomas C. Kinkaid.jpg 03 Apr 1945   5 1908 (USNA)[9] 37 (1888–1972) Brother-in-law of Navy four-star admiral Husband E. Kimmel.
65 Richmond K. Turner Richmond K. Turner.jpg 24 May 1945   2 1908 (USNA)[9] 37 (1885–1961)
66 Samuel M. Robinson Samuel Murray Robinson.PNG 27 Aug 1945   1 1903 (USNA)[9] 42 (1882–1972) Administrator, Webb Institute of Naval Architecture, 1946–1951. First engineering officer to attain rank of admiral.
* John S. McCain Sr. Vice-Admiral John S McCain.jpg 06 Sep 1945  
  • (posthumous)
0 1906 (USNA)[9] 39 (1884–1945) Father of Navy four-star admiral John S. McCain Jr.; grandfather of U.S. Senator John S. McCain III.
67 John H. Towers John H. Towers.jpg 07 Nov 1945   2 1906 (USNA)[9] 39 (1885–1955)
68 DeWitt C. Ramsey Adm ramsey.jpg 28 Dec 1945   4 1912 (USNA) 33 (1888–1961)
69 Louis E. Denfeld Louis E. Denfeld.jpg 07 Jan 1946   2 1912 (USNA) 34 (1891–1972) [18] Candidate for Republican Party nomination for Governor of Massachusetts, 1950. Relieved, 1949.
70 Charles M. Cooke Jr. Charles-Cooke-g302333.jpg 08 Jan 1946   2 1910 (USNA)[9] 36 (1886–1970)
71 Marc A. Mitscher Marc Mitscher.jpg 01 Mar 1946   1 1910 (USNA)[9] 36 (1887–1947) Died in office.
72 Ben Moreell ADM Moreell, Ben.jpg 11 Jun 1946   0 1917 (CEC) 29 (1892–1978) First staff corps officer to attain rank of admiral.
73 Richard L. Conolly VADM Richard L. Conolly.jpg 23 Sep 1946   4 1914 (USNA) 32 (1892–1962) [19] President, Long Island University, 1953–1962.
74 William H.P. Blandy William H P Blandy.jpg 03 Feb 1947   3 1913 (USNA) 34 (1890–1954)
75 Arthur W. Radford ADM Arthur Radford.JPG 07 Apr 1949   8 1916 (USNA) 33 (1896–1973) Married aunt of Army four-star general Michael S. Davison.
76 Forrest P. Sherman Forrest P SHerman.jpg 02 Nov 1949   2 1917 (USNA) 32 (1896–1951) Died in office.
77 William M. Fechteler William Fechteler.jpg 01 Feb 1950   6 1916 (USNA) 34 (1896–1967)
78 Robert B. Carney Robert Bostwick Carney.jpg 02 Oct 1950   5 1916 (USNA) 34 (1895–1990) Aunt married Navy four-star admiral Frank B. Upham.
79 Lynde D. McCormick ADM McCormick, Lynde D.jpg 22 Dec 1950   4 1915 (USNA) 35 (1895–1956) [20]
80 Donald B. Duncan Donald B Duncan.jpg 09 Aug 1951   5 1917 (USNA) 34 (1896–1975) Governor, U.S. Naval Home, 1957–1962. Brother-in-law of U.S. Secretary of Commerce Harry L. Hopkins.
81 Felix B. Stump Felix B. Stump2.jpg 27 Jun 1953   5 1917 (USNA) 36 (1894–1972)
82 Jerauld Wright ADM Wright, Jerauld - Official Navy Photo.jpg 06 Apr 1954   6 1917 (USNA) 37 (1898–1995) U.S. Ambassador to China, 1963–1965.
83 John H. Cassady John H Cassady.PNG 07 Apr 1954   2 1918 (USNA) 36 (1896–1969)
84 Arleigh A. Burke Arleigh Burke 1951.jpg 06 Jun 1955   6 1923 (USNA) 32 (1901–1996) Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1977.
85 Robert P. Briscoe



30 Apr 1956   3 1918 (USNA) 38 (1897–1968)
86 Walter F. Boone ADM Boone, Walter F.jpg 01 May 1956   4 1920 (USNA) 36 (1898–1995) Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy, 1954–1956; Deputy Associate Administrator for Defense Affairs, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1962–1968.
87 Harry D. Felt Harry Donald Felt.jpg 01 Sep 1956   8 1923 (USNA) 33 (1902–1992)
88 Maurice E. Curts Maurice E Curts.jpg 29 Apr 1957   1 1919 (USNA) 38 (1898–1976) [19]
89 James L. Holloway Jr. Admiral James L Holloway Jr.PNG 01 Jan 1958   1 1918 (USNA) 40 (1898–1984) Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy, 1947–1950; Governor, U.S. Naval Home, 1962–1966. Father of Navy four-star admiral James L. Holloway III.
90 Herbert G. Hopwood Herbert G. Hopwood.JPG 01 Feb 1958   2 1919 (USNA) 39 (1898–1966)
91 James S. Russell James S Russell.PNG 21 Jul 1958   7 1926 (USNA) 32 (1903–1996)
92 Charles R. Brown



01 Jan 1959   2 1921 (USNA) 38 (1899–1983)
93 Robert L. Dennison Robert L Dennison.jpg 01 Feb 1959   4 1923 (USNA) 36 (1901–1980)
94 Harold Page Smith Harold Page Smith.jpg 01 Feb 1960   5 1924 (USNA) 36 (1904–1993) Uncle of Navy four-star admiral Leighton W. Smith, Jr.
95 John H. Sides John H. Sides.JPG 01 Mar 1960   3 1925 (USNA) 35 (1904–1978)
96 George W. Anderson Jr. Georgewandersonjr(big).gif 01 Aug 1961   2 1927 (USNA) 34 (1906–1992) U.S. Ambassador to Portugal, 1961–1963.
97 Claude V. Ricketts Claude V. Ricketts.JPG 01 Nov 1961   3 1929 (USNA) 32 (1906–1964) Died in office.
98 David L. McDonald ADM McDonald, David Lamar.jpg 01 Apr 1963   4 1928 (USNA) 35 (1906–1997)
99 Charles D. Griffin ADM Griffin, Charles D.jpg 26 Jun 1963   5 1927 (USNA) 36 (1906–1996)
100 U.S. Grant Sharp Jr. ADM Sharp, Ulysses Grant Jr.jpg 27 Sep 1963   5 1927 (USNA) 36 (1906–2001) Great-aunt married U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.
101 Thomas H. Moorer ADM Thomas Moorer.JPG 26 Jun 1964   10 1933 (USNA) 31 (1912–2004)
102 Horacio Rivero Jr. ADM Rivero, Horacio Jr.jpg 31 Jul 1964   8 1931 (USNA) 33 (1910–2000) U.S. Ambassador to Spain, 1972–1974.
103 John S. Thach ADM Thach, John.jpg 25 Mar 1965   2 1927 (USNA) 38 (1905–1981)
104 Alfred G. Ward ADM Ward, Alfred G.jpg 27 Mar 1965   3 1932 (USNA) 33 (1909–1982)
105 Roy L. Johnson ADM Roy Johnson.jpg 31 Mar 1965   2 1929 (USNA) 36 (1906–1999)
106 John S. McCain Jr. John S. McCain, Jr. color portrait.jpg 01 May 1967   5 1931 (USNA) 36 (1911–1981) Son of Navy four-star admiral John S. McCain Sr.; father of U.S. Senator John S. McCain III.
107 Ignatius J. Galantin Ignatius J Gallantin.jpg 19 May 1967   3 1933 (USNA) 34 (1910–2004)
108 Ephraim P. Holmes ADM Holmes, Ephraim.jpg 17 Jun 1967   3 1930 (USNA) 37 (1908–1997)
109 John J. Hyland Jr. ADM Hyland, John J.jpg 01 Dec 1967   3 1934 (USNA) 33 (1912–1998)
110 Bernard A. Clarey Chick Clarey (edit).jpg 17 Jan 1968   5 1934 (USNA) 34 (1912–1996)
111 Waldemar F.A. Wendt Waldemar F. A. Wendt portrait.jpg 12 Jul 1968   3 1933 (USNA) 35 (1912–1997)
112 Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr. Elmo R. Zumwalt.jpg 01 Jul 1970   4 1942 (USNA) 28 (1920–2000) Democratic Party nominee for U.S. Senator from Virginia, 1976. Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1998.
113 Charles K. Duncan ADM Duncan, Charles K.jpg 01 Sep 1970   2 1933 (USNA) 37 (1911–1994)
114 Jackson D. Arnold VADM Jackson D Arnold's Retirement Photo.jpg 14 Oct 1970   1 1934 (USNA) 36 (1912–2007) First restricted line officer to attain rank of admiral.
115 Ralph W. Cousins Ralph Cousins.jpg 1970-10-3030 Oct 1970   5 1937 (USNA) 33 (1915–2009)
116 William F. Bringle ADM Bringle, William F.jpg 01 Jul 1971   2 1937 (USNA) 34 (1913–1999)
117 Isaac C. Kidd Jr. Isaac C. Kidd, Jr. portrait.jpg 01 Dec 1971   7 1942 (USNA) 29 (1919–1999)
118 Richard G. Colbert Richard Gary Colbert.PNG 01 Jun 1972   1 1937 (USNA) 35 (1915–1973)
119 Noel A.M. Gayler Noel Gayler portrait.jpg 01 Sep 1972   4 1935 (USNA) 37 (1914–2011) Director, National Security Agency, 1969–1972.
120 Maurice F. Weisner Maurice F Weisner.jpg 01 Sep 1972   7 1941 (USNA) 31 (1917–2006)
121 James L. Holloway III James Holloway III.jpg 01 Sep 1973   5 1942 (USNA) 31 (1922–       ) Son of Navy four-star admiral James L. Holloway Jr.
122 Worth H. Bagley Adm. Worth H. Bagley (1971).jpg 01 Sep 1973   2 1947 (USNA) 26 (1924–       ) Son of Navy four-star admiral David W. Bagley; brother of Navy four-star admiral David H. Bagley; great-aunt married Navy five-star admiral William D. Leahy; great-aunt married U.S. Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels.
123 Hyman G. Rickover Hyman Rickover 1955.jpg 16 Nov 1973   9 1922 (USNA) 51 (1900–1986) [21] Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1980; Congressional Gold Medal, 1958 and 1982.
124 Means Johnston Jr. ADM Johnston, Means Jr.jpg 25 Nov 1973   2 1939 (USNA) 34 (1916–1989)
125 Harold E. Shear ADM Shear, Harold Edson.jpg 24 May 1974   6 1942 (USNA) 32 (1918–1999) Administrator, U.S. Maritime Administration, 1981–1985.
126 John P. Weinel ADM Weinel, John Philip.jpg 02 Aug 1974   3 1939 (USNA) 35 (1916–2004)
127 Frederick H. Michaelis ADM Michaelis, Frederick H.jpg 19 Apr 1975   3 1940 (USNA) 35 (1917–1992)
128 David H. Bagley Bagley, David Harrington.JPG 21 May 1975   2 1943 (USNA) 32 (1920–1992) Son of Navy four-star admiral David W. Bagley; brother of Navy four-star admiral Worth H. Bagley; great-aunt married Navy five-star admiral William D. Leahy; great-aunt married U.S. Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels.
129 Stansfield Turner Admiral Stansfield Turner, official Navy photo, 1983.JPEG 01 Sep 1975   4 1946 (USNA) 29 (1923–       )
130 Daniel J. Murphy Adm Daniel J Murphy USN.jpeg 1976  
  • Deputy to the Director of Central Intelligence for the Intelligence Community (D/DCI/IC), 1976–1977.
1 1943 (OCS) 33 (1922–2001) U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, 1977–1981; Chief of Staff to the U.S. Vice President, 1981–1985.
131 Thomas B. Hayward ADM Hayward, Thomas B CNO Official Portrait.jpg 12 Aug 1976   6 1947 (USNA) 29 (1924–       )
132 Robert L. J. Long Robert LJ Long.jpg 05 Jul 1977   6 1943 (USNA) 34 (1920–2002)
133 Donald C. Davis Davis DC.jpg 09 May 1978   3 1943 (USNA) 35 (1921–1998)
134 Alfred J. Whittle Jr. ADM Whittle, Alfred James Jr.jpg 01 Aug 1978   3 1945 (USNA) 33 (1924–1993)
135 Harry D. Train II ADM Train, Harry Depue II.jpg 01 Oct 1978   4 1949 (USNA) 29 (1927–       )
136 James D. Watkins Admiral James Watkins, official military photo.JPEG 18 Sep 1979   7 1949 (USNA) 30 (1927–2012) U.S. Secretary of Energy, 1989–1993.
137 William J. Crowe Jr. Adm William Crowe Jr.JPG 30 May 1980   9 1947 (USNA) 33 (1925–2007) U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, 1994–1997. Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2000.
138 Bobby R. Inman Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, official CIA photo, 1983.JPEG 12 Feb 1981   1 1952 (OCS) 29 (1931–       ) [22] Director, National Security Agency, 1977–1981. First naval intelligence specialist to attain rank of admiral.
139 William N. Small ADM Small, William Newell 2.JPEG 01 Jul 1981   4 1948 (USNA) 33 (1927–       )
140 John G. Williams Jr. William JGJr.JPEG 01 Jul 1981   2 1947 (USNA) 34 (1924–1991)
141 George E.R. Kinnear II George Kinnear1.jpg 31 Jul 1981   1 1948 (OCS) 33 (1928–       )
142 Kinnaird R. McKee Kinnaird R. McKee DN-SC-86-01010.JPG 02 Mar 1982   6 1951 (USNA) 31 (1929–2013) Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy, 1975–1978.
143 Sylvester R. Foley Jr. ADM Sylvester Foley.JPEG 28 May 1982   3 1950 (USNA) 32 (1928–       ) U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy for Defense Programs, 1985–1988.
144 Wesley L. McDonald ADM McDonald, Wesley USN.jpg 01 Oct 1982   3 1946 (USNA) 36 (1924–2009)
145 Ronald J. Hays Ronald J Hays.jpg 29 Apr 1983   5 1950 (USNA) 33 (1928–       )
146 Steven A. White Steven A White.jpg 01 Aug 1983   2 1952 (NROTC) 31 (1928–       ) Manager of Nuclear Power, Tennessee Valley Authority, 1986–1988.
147 Lee Baggett Jr. ADM Lee Baggett Jr.JPEG 30 May 1985   3 1950 (USNA) 35 (1927–1999)
148 James A. Lyons Jr. James A Lyons Jr.jpg 16 Sep 1985   2 1952 (USNA) 33 (1927–       )
149 Carlisle A.H. Trost Admiral Carlisle Trost, official military photo.JPEG 04 Oct 1985   5 1953 (USNA) 32 (1930–       )
150 James B. Busey IV James B Busey IV.jpg 17 Oct 1985   4 1954 (NAVCAD) 31 (1932–       ) Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, 1989–1991; U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation, 1991–1992.
151 Arthur S. Moreau Jr. Arthur S Moreau Jr.jpg 15 Nov 1985   1 1953 (USNA) 32 (1931–1986)
152 Frank B. Kelso II Admiral Frank Kelso, official military photo.JPEG 13 Jun 1986   8 1956 (USNA) 30 (1933–2013)
153 Huntington Hardisty Huntington Hardisty.jpg 11 Mar 1987   4 1952 (USNA) 35 (1929–2003)
154 Powell F. Carter Jr. Powell F Carter Jr.jpg 01 Oct 1987   4 1955 (USNA) 32 (1931–       )
155 David E. Jeremiah ADM David E Jeremiah.JPG 01 Oct 1987   7 1956 (OCS) 32 (1934–2013)
156 Leon A. Edney Leon Edney.jpg 01 Oct 1988   4 1957 (USNA) 31 (1935–       )
157 Bruce DeMars Bruce DeMars.jpg 01 Nov 1988   8 1957 (USNA) 31 (1935–       )
158 James R. Hogg James R. Hogg DN-SC-91-02424.JPEG 01 Dec 1988   3 1956 (USNA) 32 (1934–       )
159 Jonathan T. Howe Jonathan howe.jpg 01 Jun 1989   3 1957 (USNA) 32 (1935–       ) U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs, 1982–1984; Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General for Somalia, 1993–1994.
160 Charles R. Larson Adm Charles R Larson - official portrait, Superintendent of US Naval Academy.jpg 01 Mar 1990   8 1958 (USNA) 32 (1936–2014) [23] Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy, 1983–1986; Democratic Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, 2002.
161 Jerome L. Johnson Jerome L Johnson.jpg 01 Jul 1990   2 1956 (NROTC) 34 (1935–       )
162 Paul D. Miller Adm Paul D Miller USN.jpeg 01 Feb 1991   3 1964 (OCS) 27 (1941–       )
163 William D. Smith William D Smith.jpg 22 Feb 1991   2 1955 (USNA) 36 (1933–       )
164 Robert J. Kelly Robert J Kelly.jpg 01 Mar 1991   3 1959 (USNA) 32 (1938–       )
165 Jeremy M. Boorda Jeremy M. Boorda.jpg 02 Mar 1992   4 1962 (OCS) 30 (1938–1996) Died in office.
166 William O. Studeman Commodore William Studeman, official navy photo, 1985.JPEG 09 Apr 1992   3 1962 (NROTC) 30 (1940–       ) Director, National Security Agency, 1988–1992.
167 Stanley R. Arthur Stanley R Arthur.jpg 06 Jul 1992   3 1957 (NROTC) 35 (1935–       ) [24]
168 Henry H. Mauz Jr. Henry H Mauz2.jpg 01 Aug 1992   2 1959 (USNA) 33 (1936–       )
169 Henry G. Chiles Jr. Henry G Chiles.jpg 14 Feb 1994   2 1960 (USNA) 34 (1938–       )
170 William A. Owens Admiral William Owens, military portrait, 1994.JPEG 01 Mar 1994   2 1962 (USNA) 32 (1940–       )
171 Leighton W. Smith Jr. Admiral Leighton Smith, official military photo, 1991.jpg 01 May 1994   2 1962 (USNA) 32 (1939–       ) Nephew of Navy four-star admiral Harold Page Smith.
172 Richard C. Macke Richard C. Macke, VADM, USN, 1991.jpg 01 Oct 1994   2 1960 (USNA) 34 (1938–       ) [7] Relieved, 1996.
173 Ronald J. Zlatoper Ronald J Zlatoper.jpg 05 Oct 1994   2 1963 (NROTC) 31 (1941–       )
174 William J. Flanagan Jr. ADM William J Flanagan.jpg 01 Nov 1994   2 1964 (MMA)[25] 30 (1943–       )
175 Joseph W. Prueher Joseph W. Prueher, ADM USN, 1996.jpg 01 Jun 1995   4 1964 (USNA) 31 (1942–       ) U.S. Ambassador to China, 1999–2001.
176 Jay L. Johnson Admiral Jay Johnson, official military photo.JPEG 01 Apr 1996   4 1968 (USNA) 28 (1946–       )
177 Thomas J. Lopez ADM Thomas J Lopez.jpg 31 Jul 1996   2 1964 (NROTC) 32 (1940–       )
178 Frank L. Bowman FrankBowman.jpg 01 Oct 1996   8 1966 (NROTC) 30 (1944–       )
179 Harold W. Gehman Jr. Admiral Harold W. Gehman, Jr..jpg 01 Oct 1996   4 1965 (NROTC) 31 (1942–       )
180 Archie R. Clemins Archie R Clemins.jpg 01 Jan 1997   2 1966 (NROTC) 31 (1943–       )
181 Joseph P. Reason Admiral Joseph Paul Reason.jpg 01 Feb 1997   2 1965 (USNA) 32 (1941–       ) First African-American to achieve the rank of admiral.
182 Donald L. Pilling Donald L Pilling.jpg 30 Oct 1997   3 1965 (USNA) 32 (1943–2008)
183 Richard W. Mies Richard W Mies.jpg 01 Aug 1998   3 1967 (USNA) 31 (1944–       )
184 Charles S. Abbot Charles S Abbot.jpg 01 Sep 1998   2 1966 (USNA) 32 (1945–       ) Deputy Director, Office of Homeland Security, 2001–2003.
185 James O. Ellis James o ellis.jpg 01 Jan 1999   5 1969 (USNA) 30 (1947–       )
186 Dennis C. Blair Dennis Blair.jpg 01 May 1999   3 1968 (USNA) 31 (1946–       ) President, Institute for Defense Analyses, 2003–2006; Director of National Intelligence, 2009–2010.
187 Vernon E. Clark VernClark.jpg 01 Nov 1999   6 1968 (OCS) 31 (1944–       )
188 Thomas B. Fargo Thomas fargo.jpg 01 Dec 1999   6 1970 (USNA) 29 (1948–       )
189 Robert J. Natter Robert J Natter.jpg 01 Sep 2000   3 1967 (USNA) 33 (1945–       )
190 William J. Fallon ADM Fallon Portrait.jpg 01 Nov 2000   8 1967 (NROTC) 33 (1944–       ) Resigned, 2008.
191 Gregory G. Johnson Gregory G Johnson.jpg 24 Oct 2001   3 1969 (NROTC) 32 (1946–       )
192 Walter F. Doran ADMWalterDoran.jpg 04 May 2002   3 1967 (NROTC) 35 (1945–       )
193 Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr. Admiral Edmund Giambastiani, photo portrait upper body.jpg 02 Oct 2002   5 1970 (USNA) 32 (1948–       )
194 Michael G. Mullen Michael Mullen, CJCS, official photo portrait, 2007.jpg 28 Aug 2003   8 1968 (USNA) 35 (1946–       )
195 John B. Nathman John B. Nathman.jpg 01 Dec 2004   3 1970 (USNA) 34 (1948–       )
196 Timothy J. Keating Timothy J. Keating 2007 2.jpg 01 Jan 2005   5 1971 (USNA) 34 (1949–       )
197 Kirkland H. Donald ADM Kirkland H Donald.jpg 01 Jan 2005   8 1975 (USNA) 30 (1953–       )
198 Robert F. Willard Willard 2010.jpg 18 Mar 2005   7 1973 (USNA) 32 (1950–       )
199 Henry G. Ulrich III Henry ulrich.jpg 22 Jul 2005   2 1972 (USNA) 33 (1950–       )
200 Gary Roughead ADM Gary Roughead CNO.jpg 01 Sep 2005   6 1973 (USNA) 32 (1951–       )
201 James G. Stavridis Stavridis EUCOM.jpg 18 Oct 2006   7 1976 (USNA) 30 (1955–       )
202 Patrick M. Walsh ADM Walsh.jpg 05 Apr 2007   5 1977 (USNA) 30 (1955–       )
203 Eric T. Olson Admiral Eric Olson.jpg 06 Jul 2007   4 1973 (USNA) 34 (1952–       ) First Navy SEAL to achieve the rank of admiral.
204 Jonathan W. Greenert Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert (CNO).jpg 29 Sep 2007   8 1975 (USNA) 32 (1953–       )
205 Mark P. Fitzgerald ADM Mark Fitzgerald.jpg 30 Nov 2007   3 1973 (NROTC) 34 (1951–       )
206 John C. Harvey Jr. ADM John C Harvey Jr.jpg 24 Jul 2009   3 1973 (USNA) 36 (1951–       )
207 James A. Winnefeld, Jr. Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr.jpg 19 May 2010   5 1978 (NROTC) 32 (1956–       )
208 Samuel J. Locklear III Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III 2012.jpg 06 Oct 2010   5 1977 (USNA) 33 (1954–       )
209 William H. McRaven ADM William H. McRaven 2012.jpg 08 Aug 2011   3 1977 (NROTC) 34 (1955–       )
210 Mark E. Ferguson III ADM Mark E. Ferguson III VCNO.jpg 22 Aug 2011   4 1978 (USNA) 33 (1956–       )
211 Cecil D. Haney Admiral Cecil D. Haney STRATCOM.jpg 20 Jan 2012   3 1978 (USNA) 34 (195?–       )
212 Bruce W. Clingan ADM Bruce W. Clingan.jpg 24 Feb 2012   2 1977 (NROTC) 34 (1955–       )
213 William E. Gortney Gortney2014.jpg 14 Sep 2012   3 1977 (AOCS) 35 (1955–       )
214 John M. Richardson ADMIRAL JOHN M. RICHARDSON.jpg 02 Nov 2012   3 1982 (USNA) 31 (19??–       )
215 Harry B. Harris Jr. Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr.jpg 16 Oct 2013   2 1978 (USNA) 35 (1956–       ) First Asian-American to achieve the rank of admiral.
216 Michael S. Rogers Admiral Michael S. Rogers, USN.jpg 03 Apr 2014   1 1981 (NROTC) 33 (1959–       ) First Information Dominance Warfare officer to achieve the rank of admiral.
217 Michelle J. Howard Admiral Michelle J. Howard VCNO.jpg 01 Jul 2014   1 1982 (USNA) 32 (1960–       ) First woman to achieve the rank of admiral.
218 Philip S. Davidson Adm Davidson 2014.jpg 19 Dec 2014   1 1982 (USNA) 32 (1960–       )
219 Scott H. Swift VICE ADMIRAL SCOTT H. SWIFT.jpg   0 1979 (AOCS) -- (1957–       )

Tombstone admirals[edit]

The Act of Congress of March 4, 1925, allowed officers in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard to be promoted one grade upon retirement if they had been specially commended for performance of duty in actual combat. Combat citation promotions were colloquially known as "tombstone promotions" because they conferred all the perks and prestige of the higher rank including the loftier title on their tombstones but no additional retirement pay. The Act of Congress of February 23, 1942, enabled tombstone promotions to three- and four-star grades. Tombstone promotions were subsequently restricted to citations issued before January 1, 1947, and finally eliminated altogether effective November 1, 1959. The practice was terminated in an effort to encourage senior officer retirements prior to the effective date of the change to relieve an overstrength in the senior ranks.

Any admiral who actually served in a grade while on active duty receives precedence on the retired list over any tombstone admiral holding the same retired grade. Tombstone admirals rank among each other according to the dates of their highest active duty grade.

The following list of tombstone admirals is sortable by last name, date of rank as vice admiral, date retired, and year commissioned.

Name Photo Date of rank (VADM) Date retired Commission [4] Notes
1 William L. Calhoun 16 Jun 1942   Dec 1946   1906 (USNA)[9] (1885–1963) [27] Great-grandson of U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun.
2 Frank J. Fletcher 26 Jun 1942   May 1947   1906 (USNA)[9] (1885–1973) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1914. Nephew of Navy four-star admiral Frank F. Fletcher.
3 Aubrey W. Fitch 28 Dec 1942   Jul 1947   1906 (USNA)[9] (1883–1948) Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy, 1945–1947.
4 John Howard Hoover 01 Jan 1943   Jul 1948   1906 (USNA)[9] (1887–1970)
5 Alan G. Kirk 10 Sep 1944   Mar 1946   1909 (USNA)[9] (1888–1963) U.S. Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, 1946–1947; to Soviet Union, 1949–1952; to China, 1962–1963.
6 George D. Murray 29 Nov 1944   Aug 1951   1911 (USNA)[9] (1889–1956)
7 Jesse B. Oldendorf 07 Dec 1944   Sep 1948   1909 (USNA)[9] (1887–1974)
8 Arthur S. Carpender 03 Apr 1945   Nov 1946   1908 (USNA)[9] (1884–1959) Superintendent, Admiral Farragut Academy, 1948–19??
9 Harry W. Hill 22 Apr 1945   1952-05-00May 1952   1911 (USNA)[9] (1890–1971) Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy, 1950–1952; Governor, U.S. Naval Home, 1952–1954.
10 Frederick C. Sherman 13 Jul 1945   Mar 1947   1910 (USNA)[9] (1880–1957)
11 John L. Hall Jr. 10 Dec 1945   May 1953   1913 (USNA) (1891–1978)
12 Oscar C. Badger II 13 Dec 1945   Jun 1952   1911 (USNA)[9] (1890–1958) Awarded Medal of Honor, 1914. Cousin of U.S. Secretary of the Navy George E. Badger.
13 John D. Price 31 Aug 1946   Jun 1954   1916 (USNA) (1892–1957)
14 Francis S. Low 12 Mar 1947   Jul 1956   1915 (USNA) (1894–1964)
15 David W. Bagley 01 Apr 1947   Apr 1947   1904 (USNA)[9] (1883–1960) Father of Navy four-star admiral David H. Bagley and Navy four-star admiral Worth H. Bagley; grandson of North Carolina Governor Jonathan Worth; aunt married U.S. Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels; wife's aunt married Navy five-star admiral William D. Leahy.
16 Harold B. Sallada 11 May 1947   Oct 1949   1917 (USNA) (1895–1977)
17 Arthur D. Struble 26 Apr 1948   Jul 1956   1915 (USNA)[28] (1894–1983)
18 Russell S. Berkey 01 Jul 1948   Sep 1950   1916 (USNA) (1893–1984)
19 John W. Reeves, Jr. 01 Apr 1949   May 1950   1911 (USNA)[9] (1888–1967) General Manager, Los Angeles International Airport, 1950–1952.
20 C. Turner Joy 01 Aug 1949   Jul 1954   1916 (USNA) (1895–1956) Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy, 1952–1954.
21 Thomas L. Sprague 15 Aug 1949   Apr 1952   1917 (USNA) (1894–1972)
22 John J. Ballentine 01 Nov 1949   May 1954   1917 (USNA) (1896–1970)
23 Matthias B. Gardner 01 Oct 1950   Aug 1956   1919 (USNA) (1897–1975)
24 Albert G. Noble 29 Dec 1950   Oct 1951   1917 (USNA) (1885–1980)
25 Harold M. Martin 01 Feb 1951   Feb 1956   1919 (USNA) (1896–1972)
26 Arthur C. Davis 12 Feb 1951   Apr 1955   1915 (USNA) (1893–1965)
27 Laurence T. DuBose 30 Mar 1951   Jun 1955   1913 (USNA) (1893–1967)
28 James Fife Jr. 09 Aug 1951   Aug 1955   1918 (USNA) (1897–1975) Director, Mystic Seaport, 1956–1975
29 Frank G. Fahrion 28 Dec 1951   May 1956   1917 (USNA) (1894–1970)
30 Joseph J. Clark Admiral Joseph J. Clark.jpg 07 Mar 1952   Dec 1953   1918 (USNA) (1893–1971)
31 Roscoe F. Good 27 Mar 1953   Mar 1958   1919 (USNA) (1897–1974)
32 William K. Phillips 28 Jul 1953   Aug 1955   1918 (USNA) (1894–1986)
33 John E. Gingrich 30 Jul 1953   Oct 1954   1919 (USNA) (1897–1960)
34 Alfred M. Pride 09 Oct 1953   Oct 1959   1918 (OCS)[29] (1897–1988)
35 Edmund T. Wooldridge 06 Apr 1954   Aug 1958   1920 (USNA) (1897–1968)
36 Austin K. Doyle 07 May 1954   Aug 1958   1920 (USNA) (1898–1970)
37 Stuart S. Murray 07 Dec 1955   Aug 1956   1918 (USNA) (1898–1980) Nephew of Oklahoma governor William H. Murray.
38 Cato D. Glover Jr. 08 Dec 1955   Sep 1957   1919 (USNA) (1897–1988)
39 John M. Will 17 Apr 1956   Jul 1959   1923 (USNA) (1899–1981)
40 Byron N. Hanlon 01 Nov 1957   Oct 1958   1921 (USNA) (1900–1977)

Timeline[edit]

Four-star positions[edit]

1866–1940[edit]

The rank of admiral was created in 1866 to honor the Civil War achievements of David Farragut. Upon his death, another Civil War hero, David D. Porter Jr., succeeded to the title. In 1873, Congress stated that further vacancies in the grade would not be filled, and the rank lapsed with Porter's death in 1890. Congress revived the rank in 1899 to honor George Dewey, stipulating that the grade would again cease to exist upon his death or retirement. In 1903, Dewey was promoted to the unique rank of The Admiral of the Navy, which during his lifetime was considered to be equivalent to an admiral of the fleet, but was later declared to be senior to the five-star grade of fleet admiral.

The Act of March 3, 1915, provided that the commanders in chief of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Asiatic Fleets would have the rank of admiral while so serving, and their seconds in command the rank of vice admiral. In 1916, the chief of naval operations was also made an admiral while so serving, ranking next after The Admiral of the Navy. The ranks of admiral and vice admiral were strictly temporary appointments for the duration of an officer's tour in designated billets, and the temporary admiral reverted to his permanent grade of rear admiral immediately upon vacating the office bearing the title.

In 1917, Congress accommodated the Navy's desire to reorganize the fleet by authorizing the President to appoint three admirals and three vice admirals for any six fleet command positions. All fleet command tours lasted one year except for the commander in chief of the U.S. Fleet, whose term was sometimes renewed for a second year, and the commander in chief of the Asiatic Fleet, whose command was considered a backwater. (The chief of naval operations was appointed for four years.) Officers would typically "fleet up" to admiral or vice admiral for their year of fleet command and then revert to rear admiral to mark time until mandatory retirement.

Charles P. Snyder (admiral) Harold R. Stark James O. Richardson Thomas C. Hart Edward C. Kalbfus Claude C. Bloch Harry E. Yarnell Arthur J. Hepburn William D. Leahy Orin G. Murfin Harris Laning Frank H. Brumby Frank B. Upham Joseph M. Reeves David F. Sellers William H. Standley Luke McNamee Richard H. Leigh Montgomery M. Taylor Frank H. Schofield Jehu V. Chase Charles B. McVay Jr. Louis M. Nulton William V. Pratt Louis R. de Steiguer Mark L. Bristol Henry A. Wiley Richard H. Jackson Charles F. Hughes Clarence S. Williams Samuel S. Robison Thomas Washington Edwin A. Anderson Edward W. Eberle Hilary P. Jones Joseph Strauss (admiral) Robert E. Coontz Albert Gleaves Hugh Rodman Henry B. Wilson Jr. William S. Sims Austin M. Knight Henry T. Mayo William S. Benson William B. Caperton Cameron M. Winslow Albert G. Winterhalter Walter C. Cowles Thomas B. Howard Frank F. Fletcher George Dewey David Dixon Porter David Farragut

1941–present[edit]

During World War II, the President was authorized to create as many admirals and vice admirals as he deemed necessary for the duration of the emergency. Most of these new creations retired at the end of the war, having been promoted to reward service in the fleet or headquarters, or to achieve parity with wartime counterparts. Although three- and four-star ranks remained temporary appointments, the practice of reverting to a lower grade pending retirement largely halted after 1942, when Congress authorized officers to be retired in the highest grade in which they served on active duty.[30] The rank of fleet admiral was created in 1944, and the four officers promoted to that grade were allowed to remain on active duty permanently.

By 1956, the Navy had equilibrated at a total of seven permanent billets bearing four-star rank: the chief of naval operations (CNO); the vice chief of naval operations (VCNO), the commanders in chief of the unified commands in the Pacific (CINCPAC) and Atlantic (CINCLANT); the commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT); the commander in chief of U.S. Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean (CINCNELM) (retitled commander in chief of U.S. Naval Forces Europe (CINCUSNAVEUR) in 1960); and the commander in chief of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces in Southern Europe (CINCSOUTH). In 1965, an eighth billet was added when the chief of naval material (CNM) was promoted to admiral. Occasionally this count would fluctuate when a Navy officer was selected as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), as the chairman's four-star representative to the NATO Military Committee (USMILREP), or as the director or deputy director of central intelligence; or by special legislation.[23]

When the long-serving director of the naval nuclear reactor program, Hyman G. Rickover, was finally compelled to retire in 1982, his successor was promoted to admiral and appointed director of naval nuclear propulsion, institutionalizing the position as a permanent four-star billet. To compensate, another four-star billet was eliminated by merging Allied Forces Southern Europe with U.S. Naval Forces Europe. Similarly, when the U.S. Atlantic Fleet commander (CINCLANTFLT) was separated from the Atlantic unified commander in 1985, the number of four-star billets was conserved by eliminating the chief of naval material position. The U.S. Atlantic Fleet was replaced by U.S. Fleet Forces Command (COMUSFLTFORCOM) in 2006.

With the end of the Cold War, U.S. Atlantic Command was repurposed as the joint force trainer, becoming U.S. Joint Forces Command in 1999. The change in mission cost the Navy its traditional monopoly over that command, which has since rotated among all the services, but the Navy made up the difference through repeated appointments to other combatant commands and to the vice chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS). All military commanders in chief were retitled "Commanders" in 2002, when the title of "Commander in Chief" was reserved solely to the President of the United States.

Scott H. Swift Philip S. Davidson Michelle J. Howard Michael S. Rogers Harry B. Harris Jr. John M. Richardson (admiral) William E. Gortney Bruce W. Clingan Cecil D. Haney Mark E. Ferguson III William H. McRaven Samuel J. Locklear James A. Winnefeld, Jr. John C. Harvey, Jr. Mark P. Fitzgerald Jonathan W. Greenert Eric T. Olson Patrick M. Walsh James G. Stavridis Gary Roughead Henry G. Ulrich III Robert F. Willard Kirkland H. Donald Timothy J. Keating John B. Nathman Michael Mullen Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr. Walter F. Doran Gregory G. Johnson William J. Fallon Robert J. Natter Thomas B. Fargo Vernon E. Clark Dennis Blair (U.S. Navy officer) James O. Ellis Charles S. Abbot Richard W. Mies Donald L. Pilling J. Paul Reason Archie R. Clemins Harold W. Gehman Jr. Frank Bowman Thomas J. Lopez Jay L. Johnson Joseph W. Prueher William J. Flanagan Jr. Ronald J. Zlatoper Richard C. Macke Leighton W. Smith Jr. William A. Owens Henry G. Chiles Jr. Henry H. Mauz Jr. Stanley R. Arthur William O. Studeman Jeremy M. Boorda Robert J. Kelly William D. Smith Paul David Miller Jerome L. Johnson Charles R. Larson Jonathan T. Howe James R. Hogg Bruce DeMars Leon A. Edney David E. Jeremiah Powell F. Carter Jr. Huntington Hardisty Frank B. Kelso II Arthur S. Moreau Jr. James B. Busey IV Carlisle A.H. Trost James A. Lyons Jr. Lee Baggett Jr. Steven A. White Ronald J. Hays Wesley L. McDonald Sylvester R. Foley Jr. Kinnaird R. McKee George E.R. Kinnear II John G. Williams Jr. William N. Small Bobby R. Inman William J. Crowe Jr. James D. Watkins Harry D. Train II Alfred J. Whittle Jr. Donald C. Davis Robert L.J. Long Thomas B. Hayward Daniel Murphy (admiral) Stansfield Turner David H. Bagley Frederick H. Michaelis John P. Weinel Harold E. Shear Means Johnston Jr. Hyman G. Rickover Worth H. Bagley James L. Holloway III Maurice F. Weisner Noel A.M. Gayler Richard G. Colbert Isaac C. Kidd Jr. William F. Bringle Ralph W. Cousins Jackson D. Arnold Charles K. Duncan Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr. Waldemar F.A. Wendt Bernard A. Clarey John J. Hyland Jr. Ephraim P. Holmes Ignatius J. Galantin John S. McCain Jr. Roy L. Johnson Alfred G. Ward John S. Thach Horacio Rivero Jr. Thomas H. Moorer U.S. Grant Sharp Jr. Charles D. Griffin David L. McDonald Claude V. Ricketts George W. Anderson Jr. John H. Sides Harold Page Smith Robert L. Dennison Charles R. Brown James S. Russell Herbert G. Hopwood James L. Holloway Jr. Maurice E. Curts Harry D. Felt Walter F. Boone Robert P. Briscoe Arleigh A. Burke John H. Cassady Jerauld Wright Felix B. Stump Donald B. Duncan Lynde D. McCormick Robert B. Carney William M. Fechteler Forrest P. Sherman Arthur W. Radford Louis E. Denfeld William H.P. Blandy Richard L. Conolly Marc A. Mitscher Ben Moreell Charles M. Cooke Jr. DeWitt C. Ramsey John H. Towers Samuel M. Robinson Richmond K. Turner Thomas C. Kinkaid H. Kent Hewitt Richard S. Edwards Jr. Frederick J. Horne Jonas H. Ingram Raymond A. Spruance William F. Halsey Jr. Royal E. Ingersoll Chester W. Nimitz Ernest J. King Husband E. Kimmel Harold R. Stark Thomas C. Hart William D. Leahy

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dates of rank are taken, where available, from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, or from the U.S. Navy 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 admiral, and may differ from the officer's entry in the U.S. Navy register, which lists admirals who reverted to their permanent ranks of rear admiral as ranking from the date of the legislation that ultimately restored them to the rank of admiral, not from the dates of their original appointments.
  2. ^ a b Positions listed are those held by the officer when promoted to admiral. Dates listed are for the officer's full tenure, which may predate promotion to four-star rank or postdate retirement from active duty.
  3. ^ a b 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 fleet admiral.
  4. ^ a b c The year commissioned is taken to be the year the officer graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, or equivalent, which may precede the officer's actual date of commission by up to two years. Prior to 1912, graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy were required by law to serve two years at sea as passed midshipmen before receiving their commission as ensign. Sources of commission are listed in parentheses after the year of commission and include: the United States Naval Academy (USNA), Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC), Officer Candidate School (OCS), warrant; the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA), and the United States Military Academy (USMA).
  5. ^ a b 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. ^ a b 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. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw Reverted to permanent rank of rear admiral upon vacating an office bearing the temporary rank of admiral.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Advanced to admiral on the retired list with date of rank 21 Jun 1930, as highest grade held during World War I.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu Commissioned as ensign after two years of sea duty.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Advanced to admiral on the retired list with date of rank 16 Jun 1942, as highest rank held on the active list.
  11. ^ a b Advanced to admiral on the retired list with date of rank 14 Aug 1938, as highest rank held while Chief of Naval Operations.
  12. ^ Retired as rear admiral, 01 Jan 1937; advanced to admiral on the retired list, 14 Aug 1938; recalled as admiral, 13 Feb 1941; retired, 11 Feb 1942; recalled as admiral, 12 Apr 1944; retired, 31 Aug 1945.
  13. ^ Retired as rear admiral, Dec 1936; recalled as rear admiral, 13 May 1940; advanced to vice admiral on the retired list, 23 Feb 1942; advanced to admiral on the retired list, 16 Jun 1942; retired, Dec 1946.
  14. ^ Retired as admiral, Aug 1939; recalled as admiral, 06 Jul 1942; promoted to fleet admiral, 15 Dec 1944; rank made permanent, 13 May 1946 (Act of 23 Mar 1946).
  15. ^ Retired as rear admiral, 1939; recalled as rear admiral, 1941; advanced to vice admiral on the retired list, 23 Feb 1942; advanced to admiral on the retired list, 16 Jun 1942; retired, 15 Jan 1943; recalled as admiral, 23 Jun 1943; retired, 15 Jan 1945.
  16. ^ a b c Retired as admiral, as highest rank held on active list.
  17. ^ Retired as admiral, Jul 1942, by Act of Congress; recalled as admiral, Jul 1942; retired, Feb 1945.
  18. ^ Promoted to admiral, 1947, with date of rank 07 Jan 1946.
  19. ^ a b Reverted to vice admiral for final tour; retired as admiral.
  20. ^ Reverted to vice admiral for final tour; died in office.
  21. ^ Retired as vice admiral, 1964; retained on active duty until 1982; advanced to admiral on the retired list, Dec 1973, with date of rank 16 Nov 1973.
  22. ^ Nomination as U.S. Secretary of Defense withdrawn, 1994.
  23. ^ a b In 1994, special legislation authorized Charles R. Larson to resume the superintendency of the U.S. Naval Academy, then a two-star billet, as a full admiral.
  24. ^ Nomination as commander in chief, U.S. Pacific Command (USCINCPAC) withdrawn, 1994.
  25. ^ Transferred from U.S. Merchant Marine, 1967.
  26. ^ Nominated on November 19, 2014.
  27. ^ Retired as vice admiral, Dec 1946; advanced to admiral on the retired list by reason of combat citation, Jan 1954.
  28. ^ [1] Struble entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1911 and received his commission in 1915.
  29. ^ Transferred from U.S. Naval Reserve, 1921.
  30. ^ Act of Congress of July 16, 1942.

References[edit]