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Old 09-06-2017, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
25,629 posts, read 21,519,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
I imagine it starts with education at West Point, the Air Force Academy, or Annapolis and a commission as an officer.
I posted this earlier. I think Service Academies gives you a good head start on getting to General Officer/Flag Officer if you make the military a career. But I was corrected by someone saying that it no longer gives you an advantage over an ROTC commission. I don't have the stats to disagree, but I'd say I'd rather go the Service Academy route if I had aspirations of getting to the top of the mountain. I visited Air Force Academy this past July and I left there with a great sense of patriotism and respect for those cadets who complete the training, education. Those are truly among our finest young adults.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:33 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
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If you read the biographies of the noteworthy WWII admirals (4 stars) and fleet admirals (5 stars), they are a very varied group. Halsey was impetuous, but a fighter. Spruance was a thinker. Nimitz was focused and supportive of his commanders, up to a point. King was a focused son-of-a-*****, who was on his way out of the Navy when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Leahy was wise and deliberate. Mitscher was a technically skilled aviator, driven and loved. They were all "winners".

Etc, Etc, except they were all West Point Graduates, some with distinction, some not.

My impression is that modern Admirals also differ greatly, along many lines, except it generally takes them less time to reach that rank than in WWII.
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:42 AM
 
282 posts, read 148,184 times
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In the Air Force, there are several factors.


First of all, you need to excel in the idiotic schools that they send you to. You have to play the game. For example, as soon as you pin on captain, you need to apply to Squadron Officer School, even though it is for senior captains You need to complete it in Correspondence so that you will get selected to go in residence. Same thing for War College and Air Command and Staff College. And while you are at each one, try like crazy to become a distinguished graduate. If you can get a DG in SOS and War College, you will make Lt Col Below the Zone and be on your way towards becoming a General.

Secondly is connections and timing. Timing you can't control. But try to get into squadrons where the Commander wants to go on to become a General. That is one of the most important things. If you get into a squadron where the Lt Col plans to retire you will be out of luck. A commander that becomes a general or high ranking can "take you with him" as he moves up. There is a thing called direct hire and when you get direct hired, you know things are going your way.

You do have to be competent at your job, and you should always try your best, but timing, working for a boss that is a friend of yours and getting distinguished graduate in school will outshine someone that is doing even slightly better than you and didn't go to school in residence.

Finally, don't screw up and get a DUI or anything stupid like that. As an officer, even one single Letter Of Reprimand can effectively prevent you from going higher than Lt Colonel.

That's about it. About half of the generals are serious kiss ass to their bosses, but the other half are good, smart, hard working dudes that were smart, worked for an officer that was moving up as well, had good timing, and did well in the school (as opposed to getting caught drunk with the Mayors daughter water skiing in our underwear behind Maxwell at 4:00 am on a school night).
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
6,566 posts, read 4,686,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frihed89 View Post
If you read the biographies of the noteworthy WWII admirals (4 stars) and fleet admirals (5 stars), they are a very varied group. Halsey was impetuous, but a fighter. Spruance was a thinker. Nimitz was focused and supportive of his commanders, up to a point. King was a focused son-of-a-*****, who was on his way out of the Navy when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Leahy was wise and deliberate. Mitscher was a technically skilled aviator, driven and loved. They were all "winners".

Etc, Etc, except they were all West Point Graduates, some with distinction, some not.

My impression is that modern Admirals also differ greatly, along many lines, except it generally takes them less time to reach that rank than in WWII.
You of course, mean Annapolis, not West Point, since you're referring to naval flag officers.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:49 AM
 
15,402 posts, read 7,804,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
In the U.S. Military, there are approximately 1,429,995 active duty military and there are about 222 General's/Admiral's
The authorization is 231 for the Army, 162 for the Navy, 198 for the Air Force, 61 for the Marine Corps. I suspect the actual numbers are close to the authorizations. A few years ago there were more than 900 total.

Last edited by Ralph_Kirk; 10-06-2017 at 08:58 AM..
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:56 AM
 
15,402 posts, read 7,804,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucFan View Post
I posted this earlier. I think Service Academies gives you a good head start on getting to General Officer/Flag Officer if you make the military a career. But I was corrected by someone saying that it no longer gives you an advantage over an ROTC commission. I don't have the stats to disagree, but I'd say I'd rather go the Service Academy route if I had aspirations of getting to the top of the mountain. I visited Air Force Academy this past July and I left there with a great sense of patriotism and respect for those cadets who complete the training, education. Those are truly among our finest young adults.
I think the question would be whether there are still enough Academy graduates in senior positions to shepherd the careers of Academy JOs the way they used to.
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Old 10-06-2017, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
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I stand by my comment about Academy grads.

If I were a young person who had aspirations of being a Flag Officer, General Officer - I'd apply to one of the academies.

Me? I went through ROTC and I doubt if any of my fellow cadets made it anywhere close, even though they were great students and cadets.
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Old 10-06-2017, 01:12 PM
 
15,402 posts, read 7,804,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucFan View Post
I stand by my comment about Academy grads.

If I were a young person who had aspirations of being a Flag Officer, General Officer - I'd apply to one of the academies.

Me? I went through ROTC and I doubt if any of my fellow cadets made it anywhere close, even though they were great students and cadets.
I don't disagree with you. I would just attribute the advantage that Academy grads had previously as being on two accounts:


1. Previously an Academy grad was automatically a "regular" officer rather than a reserve officer. Making regular was never a square they had to worry about getting checked.
2. Previously senior-ranking Academy grads took care of Academy grads. Their careers were shepherded.


I just don't know what the situation is today, but in prior times, yeah, you're right.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:04 PM
 
1,305 posts, read 1,880,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
2. Previously senior-ranking Academy grads took care of Academy grads. Their careers were shepherded.
That is still rampant in today's Navy. Ducks pick ducks.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:04 AM
 
Location: SW OK (AZ Native)
11,909 posts, read 5,458,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
I don't disagree with you. I would just attribute the advantage that Academy grads had previously as being on two accounts:

1. Previously an Academy grad was automatically a "regular" officer rather than a reserve officer. Making regular was never a square they had to worry about getting checked.


2. Previously senior-ranking Academy grads took care of Academy grads. Their careers were shepherded.

I just don't know what the situation is today, but in prior times, yeah, you're right.
Always been a problem, irrespective of whether it's GO selection or tenure at a university or picking teams for football. Zoomies even have their own unique verbal "secret handshake". Say to a graduate of the Air Force Academy "Fast neat average" and they'll answer back "Friendly good good". It's the standard responses to a questionnaire form regarding the chow hall.

I was ROTC, though, but one of my classmates was a Major General when she retired... her husband's a retired BG, imagine that monthly retirement check. She was destined for greatness, consummate leader, organized, intelligent, motivating. A rarity, perhaps, most are Zoomies, although our current Chief of Staff, General Goldfein, never struck me as anything but a fighter pilot every time we crossed paths.

As for the regular commission, yeah, it took me 5 years to get it, was never a liability for me but was definitely a Zoomie advantage, but then I never got higher than OG/CC (nor aspired to).
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