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General of the Air Force

From Academic Kids

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In the United States Air Force, General of the Air Force is the highest rank, equivalent to a five star General. The rank has only been held by one person in history: Henry H. Arnold.
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General of the Army is the equivalent rank in the United States Army and the insignia for the two positions were originally the same. The insignia for General of the Air Force was slightly modified in the 1950s for wear on the new blue Air Force dress uniform. General of the Air Force, however, has never been worn by an officer of the modern Air Force; all photographs of General Arnold, wearing the insignia for General of the Air Force, show the insignia on an Army Air Corps brown uniform.

During the Cold War, with the rise of the Strategic Air Command, it was proposed that General of the Air Force be reestablised and granted to senior Air Force generals, such as the commander of NORAD. As a result, General of the Air Force can still be seen on modern insignia charts and it is still considered an official rank of the United States Air Force. To date, however, no one except Henry Arnold has ever held the rank General of the Air Force.

The United States Navy equivalent of General of the Air Force is Fleet Admiral.

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