General (United States)

US-O10 insignia.svg
Army, Air Force and Marine Corps four-star insignia of the rank of general.
USN-USMC O10 insignia.svg
Shoulder four-star rank insignia of general for the above services.
Country United States
Service branch
AbbreviationGEN (Army) or Gen (Air Force and Marine Corps)
NATO rankOF-9
Non-NATO rankO-10
Next higher rank
Next lower rankLieutenant general
Equivalent ranks

In the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and United States Air Force, general (abbreviated as GEN in the Army or Gen in the Air Force and Marine Corps) is a four-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-10. General ranks above lieutenant general and below General of the Army or General of the Air Force; the Marine Corps does not have an established grade above general. General is equivalent to the rank of admiral in the other uniformed services. Since the grades of General of the Army and General of the Air Force are reserved for wartime use only, and since the Marine Corps has no five-star equivalent, the grade of general is currently considered to be the highest appointment an officer can achieve in these three services.


Formally, the term “General” is always used when referring to a four-star general. However, a number of different terms may be used to refer to them informally, since lower-ranking generals may also be referred to as simply “General”. These may include “Full General”, “Four-star General” (or simply four-star), or “O-10” (in reference to pay grade).