Talk:Michelle Howard

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 Definition Rear admiral in the United States Navy, commanding multinational Task Force 151 on counter-piracy operations in the waters off Somalia [d] [e]
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Would she be an awfully young person to be a rear admiral? I'm asking out of ignorance, but I have always thought of admirals as having lots of experience and consequently being of a good age. Have I just seen one too many Star Trek movies? Aleta Curry 03:39, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Technically, she's of the quaintly named "rear admiral of the lower half", which the Navy periodically calls Commodore; it's a one-star rank (cf. Brigadier). See her sleeve insignia? A two-star rear admiral would have that wide gold band but also a single narrower band.
I don't think the Royal Navy has commodores, and captains jump to rear admiral; does the Australian Navy?
Assuming she was 21 when she graduated from the Naval Academy, she'd have been born in 1961. A one-star admiral at 49 doesn't seem too extraordinary, although she certainly was fast-tracked. I still am hunting for a better biography, as I'd expect her to have attended one of the War Colleges or a civilian equivalent. Military Assistant to a senior civilian or a four-star is a typical pre-admiral assignment. The J-5 job is also "career enhancing".
By comparison, David Petraeus, who has had a couple of four-star tours, was born in 1952.Howard C. Berkowitz 04:08, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
The Royal Navy does have commodores. Don't know about Oz. Peter Jackson 09:38, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
The Royal Australian Navy does have commodores. Aleta Curry 20:19, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

(Undent) The U.S. Navy is nutty on the subject of commodores, although this does derive from past Royal Navy custom. During the Napoleonic Wars, for example, commodore was a temporary rank, although came in two flavors, "commodore with a captain" and "commodore". What annoyed the other services, when commodore was not in style, was that someone of U.S. pay grade O-7 (i.e., one star) would wear two-star insignia and raise a two-star flag, thoroughly annoying an Army or Air Force brigadier general who was actually senior.

While she is addressed as "rear admiral", nominally pay grade O-8, she actually is an O-7. While she doesn't have shoulder insignia in the blue uniform, I've seen her in whites, wearing one star.

An inlaw, Ben Wyatt, was a USN one-star commodore in WWII. The USN introduced a quaint custom of giving retiring officers a one-rank "tombstone promotion" (no pay increase), which incensed him when he retired and they offered to name him a rear admiral. As he put it, "I made that star alone, and I don't want to be associated with a bunch of jumped-up captains." --Howard C. Berkowitz 21:40, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Interesting. I guess I was wondering if she were a wunderkind, and if it should be mentioned in the article. I guess if you got your get-out-of-jail-free card back in '82, it *was* a long time ago! Ouch!
"rear admiral of the lower half" - oy! A good few jokes in there, and I bet the poor admiral has heard them all!
Aleta Curry 23:10, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
I understand there's a custom, following the old principle "on a ship one man is captain" (nowadays occasionally woman), that anyone else on board who happens to have the rank of captain is verbally promoted to commodore or major. Peter Jackson 15:00, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Mostly, now, in the Royal Navy. On large U.S. aircraft carriers, several officers usually have the rank of captain (pay grade O-6), but conflict is avoided by using titles for others: Exec, Chief Engineer (or Cheng), "CAG" for the air group commander (traditional even though it's now an air wing), Padre or Chaplain, etc. Howard C. Berkowitz 15:21, 2 September 2010 (UTC)