Congress created five-star ranks in the Navy and Army in December 1944 and in the Air Force in 1947; in the Navy, the rank was titled Fleet Admiral, and it was originally intended to be a temporary assignment. In a span of just nine days, four Navy Admirals—William Halsey, William Leahy, Ernest King, and Chester Nimitz—were appointed to the five star rank between 11 December and 19 December, 1944, with the original legislation making it clear that they were return to their four-star rank of Admiral when the appointment was terminated.

On 15 December 1945, Fleet Admiral King was the first of the five-star Navy officers to retire; King had served in his assignment as Fleet Admiral for less than a year. Some 15 months later, Congress passed a law that made all four Admirals’ appointments to the Fleet Admiral rank permanent and provided them with full pay and allowances upon retirement—a substantial increase from the 75 percent originally specified for the rank.

Leahy was the last of these four famous Navy luminaries to retire from active duty; he resigned in March 1949. Since then, the Navy has never seriously considered appointing an Admiral to the five-star rank, although discussions have taken place regarding what rank Admiral George Dewey would hold under the current system.

About us

As a certified manufacturer of uniforms and insignia, The Salute Uniforms considers it a privilege to provide the members of our nation’s military services with superior-quality apparel and accoutrements. We guarantee that every product we offer is made in the USA and meets or surpasses Mil-Spec standards. Browse our online catalog and discover how our tradition of excellence and commitment to innovation makes us your best source for military uniforms, insignias, medals, and accessories.


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Salute Industries Inc, proud maker of The Salute Uniforms.
105 Apache Drive, Archdale, NC, 27263.