REMEMBERING OUR MILITARY HEROES ON MEMORIAL DAY
In chronological order of date of appointment the 5th Stars were awarded to:
Admiral William D. Leahy, December 15, 1944
General Geroge C. Marshall, December 16, 1944
Admiral Ernest J. King, December 17, 1944
General Douglas MacArthur, December 18, 1944
Admiral Chester Nimitz, December 19, 1944
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, December 20, 1944
General Henry “Hap” Arnold, December 21, 1944
Admiral William “Bull” Halsey” – December 11, 1945
General Omar N. Bradley – September 20, 1950
General Henry “Hap” Arnold, was awarded his second 5th Star on May 7, 1949, as a General in the newly established United States Air Force to honor his work in expanding the United States Army Air Corps into its own separate branch. He is the only military officer ever to hold this rank in 2 branches.
In 1976, President Gerald Ford posthumously awarded President George Washington a rank that is effectively a 6th Star so that ““no officer of the United States Army should outrank Lieutenant General George Washington on the Army list.” If the United States Army ever names a six-star general, General Washington automatically receives a 7th star.
General Omar Bradley received his 5th Star while serving as the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and when he died on April 4, 1981, the United States lost its last living 5 Star Officer. General Bradley is also remembered as the leading force behind the 82d Airborne Division’s modern-day Special Force whose permanent home is at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
General George Marshall, following World War II, became Secretary of State (1947-1949) and Secretary of Defense (1950-1951) in the cabinet of President Harry Truman. The European Recovery Program he proposed in 1947 became known as the Marshall Plan. He received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1953.
The United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, awarded degrees to:
- General Douglas MacArthur
- General Dwight D. Eisenhower
- General Omar N. Bradley
- General Henry “Hap” Arnold
The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, awarded degrees to:
- Admiral William D. Leahy
- Admiral Ernest J. King
- Admiral Chester Nimitz
- Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey
General George Marshall received his college degree from Virginia Military Institute.
We send our gratitude and respect to our active-duty troops, our veterans and the surviving families of those who gave their lives in service of country.