How Many Generals Are In The Us Military & How To Become A 4 Star General 2022: Top Full Guide

How Many Generals Are In The Us Military in 2022: Top Full Guide

Many people asked how many generals are in the us military? The United States military comprises five branches: the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Each branch has its chain of command and four-star general heads each. There are also nine three-star generals, known as lieutenant generals, in the Army and Marine Corps.

The US Army

The US Army

In the next part, we will examine the details of the Army’s general ranks!

1. Brigadier General

Brigadier General

A Brigadier General is the division’s deputy commander, reporting to the Commanding General. A Brigadier General assists the Commanding General in overseeing mission planning and coordination. In an infantry brigade, the Brigadier General is the unit commander, with a Colonel serving as the deputy commander.

2. Major General

A Major General commands division-sized troops of 10,000 to 20,000 soldiers. A Major General may also be the Corps’ deputy commander, the Infantry, Armor, Quartermaster branch leader, or commandants of Army colleges. A Major General may also be the commanding commander of TACOM and the Army Intelligence and Security Command.

3. Lieutenant General

Lieutenant General

A Lieutenant General commands corps-sized groups of 20,000 to 45,000 troops. A Lieutenant General may also be a high-level staff officer in a major command headquarters or a department head at the Pentagon.

The superintendents of how many generals are in the united states military also lieutenant generals?

4. General


A general is in charge of all activities within a certain geographical region. The General is the highest-ranking military officer in the Department of Defense (Department of Defense). Examples include the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Chief of Staff, Chairman, and Vice-Chairman.

There has been 248 4 star general army in the history of the United States Army. Two hundred thirty-four were promoted while on the list of active duty 2-star generals in the branch, eight were promoted after retirement, five were promoted posthumously, and one was appointed in the Continental Army, the Army’s precursor.

In the Continental Army, George Washington was the only General appointed.

  • The 248 4-star generals also came to the Army via various channels.
  • The USMA commissioned 157 aircraft (US Military Academy)
  • 50 via a civilian institution’s ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps).
  • 16 by the direct commission, 13 via OCS (Officer Candidate School)
  • Eight at a senior military institution via ROTC
  • One at a junior military institution via ROTC
  • One by way of direct commission in the ARNG (Army National Guard)
  • 1 through the aviation cadet program, and
  • One by battlefield commission

The United States:

Four Star Navy Admirals, along with the year of their appointment

Four Star Navy Admirals,

  • The reason, Joseph Paul, 1997
  • 2012, Cecil Eugene Diggs Haney
  • 2014, Janine Michelle Howard

Other Admirals include:

  • Gravely, Samuel Lee
  • Thomas, Gerald E.
  • Chambers, Lawrence
  • Manley, Audrey F.
  • Elders, Joycelyn M.
  • Brewer, David L. III
  • Satcher, David
  • Fishburne, Lillian
  • Mr. Barry C. Black
  • Benjamin, Regina Marcia

Four Star Army Generals, along with the year of their appointment

Four Star Army Generals

  • 1982, Roscoe Robinson, Jr.
  • Powell, Colin, 1989
  • Wilson, Johnnie E., 1996
  • Ellis, Larry R., 2001
  • Ward, William (2006)
  • 2010 Lloyd J. Austin
  • 2012, Dennis Via
  • 2013 Vincent K. Brooks

Other Army Commanders:

  • Sr. Benjamin O. Davis
  • Davison, Frederic E.
  • King, John Q. Taylor
  • Becton, Julius W.
  • Johnson, Hazel
  • Mr. Arthur J. Gregg
  • Jr. Henry Doctor
  • Sr. Edward Honor
  • Waller, Calvin Augustine Hoffman
  • Brailsford, Marvin Delano
  • Jr. Andrew P. Chambers
  • Jr. James Reginald Hall
  • Gordon, Fred A.
  • Gray, Robert Earl
  • Ballard, Joe Nathan
  • Ebbesen, Samuel Emanuel
  • King Billy Solomon
  • Jordan, Larry R.
  • Honoré, Russell L.
  • Short, Alonzo Earl Jr.
  • Taylor, Francis Xavier
  • Rochelle, Michael D.

Four Star Air Force Generals, along with the year of their appointment

Four Star Air Force Generals

  • “Chappie” Daniel James, 1975
  • Randolph, Bernard P., 1987
  • Newton, Lloyd W., 1997
  • 1999, Lester Lyles
  • Rice, Edward A. Jr., 2010
  • 2014, Larry O. Spencer
  • 2014, Darren W. McDew

Other Air Force Generals:

  • Jr. Benjamin O. Davis
  • Edmonds, Albert J.
  • Jr. William E. Brown
  • J. Marcelite Harris
  • Hopper, John D.
  • Stayce Harris
  • Clark, Richard M.

There are no Four Star Marine Generals: Here are some more Marine Generals.

Four Star Marine Generals

  • Jr. Frank E. Peterson
  • Gary Cooper, J. Gary
  • Coleman, Ronald S.
  • The Coast Guard: Admirals
  • Brown, Erroll M.
  • Rochon, Stephen
  • Brown, Manson K.

State Adjutant Generals:

In peacetime, the State Adjutant General (TAG) serves as the de facto leader of a state’s armed forces, which include the Army National Guard, Air Force National Guard, naval militia, and all other state defense forces.

The governor of a state generally appoints the Adjutant General. The persons who have served in this position are listed here, along with their respective states and appointment dates.

  • Texas, Daniel James III, 1995
  • Massachusetts, Joseph C. Carter, 2007.
  • District of Columbia, Errol R. Schwartz, 2008.
  • 2015, Michael Calhoun, Florida

Other Army National Guard Generals:

  • Whitfield, Walter J.
  • Cleckley, Julia Jeter
  • Smith, Rufus
  • Monconduit, Owen
  • Fleming, David
  • Mr. Wayne L. Black

Other Air National Guard Generals:

  • Jr. James T. Whitehead
  • Davis, Russell C.
  • Davis, Jackson L. III
  • Talbert, Ernest George
  • Dean, Garry C.

Other Uniformed Services:

  • NOAA’s Evelyn J. Fields

Other Countries:


  • Jr. Edward A. Carter


  • Taharqa


  • Dumas, Thomas Alexandre
  • Dodds, Alfred-Amédée


  • Toussaint L’Overture
  • Dessalines, Jean Jacques
  • Christophe, Henri


  • Aguyar, Andrea
  • Amatore, Michele


  • Roberts, Joseph Jenkins


  • Jablonowski, Wladyslaw Franciszek


  • Hannibal Abram Petrovich
  • Egypteos, Mikhail Milhailovich

The Zulu Empire in South Africa:

  • Zulu Shaka


  • Lopez Padilla, Jose Prudencio
  • Piar, Manuel Carlos

Generals in the Military

Generals in the Military

The United States military is a highly organized institution. It is heavily focused on strategic planning. As a result, it is not surprising that the number of people is carefully regulated and restricted. There is also a stringent recruiting process; not everyone can join the military.

The personnel limit for generals varies from 62 to 231. The number changes according to the military branch (The Army, Navy, Air Force, and 3 star generals in Marine Corps). In particular, the limit for:

  • There are 231 generals in the United States Army.
  • There are 162 US Navy generals.
  • There are 198 generals in the United States Air Force.
  • There are 62 generals in the United States Marine Corps.

Generals are sometimes referred to as general officers or GEN. They have commissioned officers who rank higher than field officers. Within the rank of general officers, there are four levels designated by “stars,” ranging from one to four.

  • 1-star: The general is known as a “Brigadier General” in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, and a “Lower Half Rear Admiral” in the Navy and Coast Guard at this rank.
  • 2-star: A general is referred to as a “Major General Stars” in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, and a “Rear Admiral” in the Navy and Coast Guard at this rank.
  • 3-star: A general at this rank is known as a “Lieutenant General” in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, and a “Vice Admiral” in the Navy and Coast Guard.
  • 4-star: This is the highest level. The title is reserved for a “General” in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps and an “Admiral” in the Navy and Coast Guard.

There are additional generals with five stars. However, they are often only employed during times of conflict. There have been nine 5-star generals in the past, but there are currently none.

This position is available solely in the Army as “General of the Army” and in the Air Force as “General of the Air Force.” There is no analogous rank in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

Above the 5-star levels are senior 6-star holders, and there have only been three of them. It is regarded as the equivalent of a grand marshal and generalissimo outside the United States.

Typically, ratings higher than three stars are used just momentarily or one at a time. Furthermore, various titles are used for the same position in different eras.

Each general level will have its logo, normally worn on the shoulder strap.

How Do You Become a General?

How Do You Become a General

Become a police officer.

Officers typically join the Army after earning a bachelor’s degree. After years of service in the Army, you can also advance to the rank of officer. Many people interested in this position begin their careers in one of the following ways:

  • Enrolling in a military academy
  • Participation in a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program
  • Apply after obtaining a bachelor’s degree.
  • As a service member, they are working their way up.
  • After receiving a degree, enrolling in Officer Candidate School (OCS) 2. Demonstrate your worth.

Read more: How To Become An Officer In The Army

Prove your worth

Prove your worth

While serving as an officer, you may be subjected to a variety of evaluations and assessments in order to determine your rank. You can get more favorable reviews if you make a good impression on high-level officers. You may gradually assume more responsibilities as time goes on. If you want to be a general one day, you must first demonstrate your ability to lead.

Gain experience

Most generals have at least two decades of Army experience. Higher-ranking officers may give you the opportunity to advance in your ranks as you gain experience. You must first become a brigadier general, then a major general, then a lieutenant general, and finally a general.

 Obtain authorization

Obtain authorization

The president must nominate you before you can become a general. The decision must then be approved by the United States Senate. Because the Army limits the number of generals who can serve at the same time, you will only be able to serve if another general retires or dies. Generals are typically required to retire at the age of 62.

Gain permission

If you want to become a general in the United States Army, you must possess the following abilities:



Generals must have excellent communication skills, especially when explaining plans and strategies to their units. Along with being able to communicate your ideas verbally, you will be dealing with a lot of written documents in this role. Being a good listener is an important part of communication. You must be able to gather critical information from other officers and ensure that everyone understands the situation.


Becoming a general entails a lifelong commitment to the United States Army. This is a very prestigious position, and only a few people are ever given it by the military. You must be completely immersed in your career if you want to become a general. You must be willing to put your life in danger for the sake of your troops and make the best decisions for your country.


Working in this position necessitates extensive knowledge of military operations. Similarly, you must fully comprehend current conflicts around the world and how they affect your citizens. Being intelligent is also necessary for making sound decisions and solving complex problems. Those in this position are constantly learning and expanding their understanding of the world and foreign affairs.



When you are a general, you have a lot of people working for you. Having organizational skills can help you ensure that everyone is receiving proper training and following orders. When developing a mission or plan, your organizational skills can assist you in keeping track of the many moving parts.


When serving in the Army, you may be required to report to duty at any time. Generals must be capable of adapting to any situation. While you can make a perfect plan, you may find that unexpected events occur all the time. Flexibility can help you embrace changes and problem solve in stressful situations.



Because a general is the highest ranking officer in the United States Army, it is obvious that strong leadership skills are required for this position. If you want to be a general, you must be able to give direct orders and be confident in your decisions. Military leaders must be self-assured, professional, and hold high expectations for their troops. You are essentially the top commander and must serve as an effective role model.


FAQs about how many generals are in the us military

How many soldiers does a major command?

Majors are typically assigned as specialised executive or operations officers for battalion-sized units of 300 to 1,200 soldiers while in other nations, like Germany, majors are often in command of a company.

What are the 4 ranks of general?

The highest rank in the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps is General (four star), followed by Lieutenant General (three star), Major General (two star) and Brigadier General (one star). Five men have held the rank of General of the Army (five star), George C. Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D.

What Do generals do?

General, title and rank of a senior army officer, usually one who commands units larger than a regiment or its equivalent or units consisting of more than one arm of the service. Frequently, however, a general is a staff officer who does not command troops but who plans their operations in the field.


The takeaway from this is how many generals and admirals are in the us military incredibly accomplished individuals. They have dedicated their lives to serving their country and have risen to the top of their profession. They are respected by their peers and are loved by the American people. Thank you for reading.