Six-star rank

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"Six-star general" redirects here. For the 1973 record album of that name, see Vinegar Joe (band). For other high military ranks, see Highest military ranks.
Sketch of a six-star insignia, based on designs in US Army files[1]

A six-star rank is a proposed special grade designated with an insignia of six stars.[dubious ] It was proposed, but never adopted, for the U.S. rank named "General of the Armies of the United States".

On January 21, 1955, the US Senate considered a joint resolution "To authorize the appointment of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur as "General of the Armies of the United States". The resolution stated that this was "in recognition of the great services to his country" he had rendered, and that "the President is hereby authorized to appoint General of the Army Douglas MacArthur to the office of General of the Armies of the United States (which office is hereby revived for this purpose), such appointment to take effect as of the seventy-fifth anniversary of his birth, January 26, 1955."[2] The proposal was shelved and never took effect.[3][4][5]

In 1976, George Washington was posthumously promoted to the grade of "General of the Armies of the United States".[6] Some U.S. newspapers described this as a six-star rank,[7][8][9] despite there being no mention of this in Congress, Senate or US Army documentation to support the claim.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Private correspondence from United States Army Institute of Heraldry, see Wikipedia talk page discussion
  2. ^ US Senate Joint Resolution 26, 21 January 1955.
  3. ^ Foster, Frank C. (2011). United States Army Medal, Badges and Insignias. Medals of America Press. p. 19. ISBN 9781884452673. "effort was made to reward General Douglas MacArthur, this time with specifying a six-star rank, but it never came to fruition" 
  4. ^ Weintraub, Stanley (2007). 15 Stars: Eisenhower, MacArthur, Marshall: Three Generals Who Saved the American Century. Simon & Schuster. p. 488. ISBN 9781416545934. "A few MacArthur devotees in Congress, like Representative Martin, tried to organize support for honorary six-star rank for the general, but as that would have been a slap at Eisenhower, such legislation had no chance." 
  5. ^ Korda, Michael (2009). Ike. HarperCollins. p. 190. ISBN 9780061744969. "Congress would twice try to promote him from the new rank of General of the Army—a five-star general—to the unique rank of General of the Armies: a proposed six-star general." 
  6. ^ Department of the Army Order 31-3, (13 March 1978). Department of the Army order to enact Public Law 94-479.
  7. ^ United Press International (October 12, 1976). "George Washington Wins Promotion to Six-Star Rank". Eugene Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon). p. 7A. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Washington Gets Star". The New York Times. October 13, 1976. "President Ford signed today a bill that posthumously promoted George Washington to the rank of six-star General of the Armies" 
  9. ^ Kilian, Michael (August 5, 1976). "Foursquare opposed to a six-star Washington". Chicago Tribune. p. A2. 

See also[edit]