Military Personnel:

Experience of Prominent Generals and Admirals

NSIAD-88-167FS: Published: Aug 4, 1988. Publicly Released: Sep 6, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the assignment experience of 18 prominent generals and admirals of the World War II era.

GAO found that: (1) the field-grade time for 11 of the officers ranged from 18.1 to 23.3 years, while the field-grade time for the other 7 ranged from 1.8 to 17.6 years; (2) all of the Navy and Marine Corps officers and several of the Army officers spent 18 years or more as field-grade officers; (3) on the average, the Navy officers spent the highest proportion of their field grade years in war-fighting assignments; (4) two Air Force generals and two Army generals never had assignments in key war-fighting positions; (5) the Navy officers had a median of 3 years for non-war-fighting assignments, Army officers had a median of 6.9 years, and the overall median was 4.4 years; (6) nearly all of the 18 officers served more than 3 years in service headquarters; and (7) the Department of Defense urged that, since these officers' careers spanned World Wars I and II, Congress exercise caution in using their experiences in considering present-day officers' careers.

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