Military Personnel:

Experience of Prominent Generals and Admirals

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

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

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.

Mar 13, 2018

Feb 28, 2018

Feb 16, 2018

Feb 15, 2018

Feb 6, 2018

Jan 31, 2018

Jan 18, 2018

Jan 10, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here