The U.S. Navy Rank That Only 4 People Have Ever Achieved

The U.S. Navy has 26 grades of enlisted seamen and officers, with the entry-level rank of Seaman Recruit being the lowest and Fleet Admiral being the highest rank achievable. Fleet Admiral ranks immediately above Admiral and is equivalent to General of the Army and General of the Air Force. A unique reward of achieving Fleet Admiral is active duty pay for life. Although it’s a current and authorized rank, no U.S. Navy officer holds it presently. In fact, only four men have ever held the rank: William D. Leahy, Ernest King, Chester W. Nimitz, and William Halsey, Jr. Leahy, King and Nimitz were promoted to the rank in December 1944, followed by Halsey in December 1945. While all four men effectively retired in the late 1940s, the rank of Fleet Admiral is for life. The last active Fleet Admiral was Chester W. Nimitz, who died in 1966. While no officers have been appointed to the rank since William Halsey, the U.S. Navy could again bestow the rank, pending the approval of the U.S. Senate.