A co-worker who is active in the Naval Reserve told me there are more then two admirals for every ship in the navy. Very amusing, and even moreso if true.
I wouldn’t be surprised. There is more to the Navy than commanding ships and not every ship is run by an admiral.
First of all, there are four kinds of admirals: Rear admiral (lower), rear admiral (upper), vice admiral and admiral who have one to four stars respectively. Some of the admirals are the top JAG officers, some are the top medical officers, others are in charge of bases, others are in charge of various logistics, etc.
It’s a good thing the navy has more than 4 ships, or there would be more kinds of admirals than there would be ships.
There are 285 active ships in the Navy. This number includes about 48 submarines.
Total officer complement (from Ensign to four-star Admiral) is 52,291. Wikipedia says:
(Translated, that says that the total number of Rear, Vice, and full Admirals is 216, that no more than 35 may be three or four stars, and that no more than nine may be four-star Admirals – and they only get the fourth star if appointed to a position that is to be held by a full Admiral. These caps may be waived by the President in time of war or national emergency.)
So clearly the statement which the OP questioned is invalid, at least at the present time.
I would have expected more. The cite says that this is for active duty admirals. There are probably a few more in the reserves and guard.
Thank you Polycarp. Too bad, it’s a good line to use.
I think “Vice Admiral” would be a cool job – I assume they would run all the numbers games and whore houses.
I have to dig up some old (but useful) links:
And, the US Armed Forces Order of Battle–an amateur page, but has an interesting breadth of units and forces. It’s pretty comprehensive, IMHO.
General, Chairborne Forces
I always thought that sounded goofy. They should never have abolished the rank of commodore.
Doubtful. There is no national guard equivalent in the Navy, there’s just the Naval Reserve. It’s inconceivable for a sailor to work his/her way up to even a Rear Admiral just being in the Naval Reserve alone. By the time a sailor reached that rank, they would certainly be eligible to retire anyway, since you aren’t going to find any one-star generals or rear admirals who have been in the military less than 20 years.
Couldn’t someone put in 20 years active duty and then transfer into the reserves with a fairly high rank?
Does that inclde sunken ones like the Arizona, or retired tourist attractions like the Constitution('Old Ironsides)?
I was once told that some of them were maintained on the ‘active’ list. Officially, to honor their service, but it also inflates the number of active ships, which is helpful when Congress is appropriating money for the Navy.
Look at the page name of the Constitution: “oldiron.htm”.
Yeah, I was just looking for the Arizona and other sunken ships, didn’t even dawn on me to look for the Constitution, which is a very special and unique ship in itself. Curiously (or not-- this is the Navy we’re talking about) the USS Intrepid does not appear to be on the list
From the remarks:
THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY (J. WILLIAM MIDDENDORF, II) DIRECTED THE RECLASSIFICATION OF USS CONSTITUTION FROM “IX 21” TO “NONE” EFFECTIVE 1 SEPTEMBER 1975. SHE IS LISTED ON THE NAVAL VESSEL REGISTER (NVR) AS A COMMISSIONED SHIP AND BY NAME ONLY. CONSTITUTION IS LISTED ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES, REFER ENCE NO. 66000789 AND DESIGNATED A NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK ON 12/19/1960.
Funny. And how did “Rear” admiral come about? They just sit in their ass in HQ somewhere? Or are they all so cowardly they are never on the front lines, but hover back in the rear? Or what?
Why is the military so in love with all caps, by the way?
Dating from the 1950s the military has had the quasi-equivalent of e-mail via teletype networks.
For most of those years, teletypes were all-caps only. Doing that let the engineers get away with fewer bits per byte (in modern parlance). And when sending 100 bits per *minute *was fast, cutting the bits/byte by 20% was a huge increment in capability.
Nowadays all that’s been replaced with modern gear. Conventional SMTP email, gigibit LAN, etc. But many written messages are still prepared and sent in allcaps. (or at least they were when I was involved back in the 1980s.)
So when you want to evoke an “urgent orders from headquarters” look to any mil-related writing, go with ALLCAPS and a few mysterious 12-digit number/letter groups at the beginning or end.
I’ll have to start doing that at work for no good reason.
5362DH3782J8 COFFEE CAKE IN STAFF ROOM 838462836JS8
Caps schmaps. The military’s prowess for horseshit acronyms is legendary. Let’s D-SPEC the DAAADS so DAACA can use the DABS to get a DACC over the DAIL and DARFAX SEATELCOM the SECAP from the SECAR
*I make no promise these terms are used correctly