Major general (United States)

Major general
US-O8 insignia.svg
Army, Air Force and Marine Corps two-star insignia of the rank of major general.
USN-USMC O8 insignia.svg
Shoulder two-star rank insignia of major general for the above services.
Country United States
Service branch
RankTwo-star
NATO rankOF-7
Non-NATO rankO-8
Next higher rankLieutenant General
Next lower rankBrigadier General
Equivalent ranks

In the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and United States Air Force, major general is a two-star general-officer rank, with the pay grade of O-8. Major general ranks above brigadier general and below lieutenant general.[Note 1] A major general typically commands division-sized units of 10,000 to 15,000 soldiers. Major general is equivalent to the two-star rank of rear admiral in the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard and is the highest permanent rank during peacetime in the uniformed services. Higher ranks are technically temporary ranks linked to specific positions, although virtually all officers who have been promoted to those ranks are approved to retire at their highest earned rank.

Statutory limits

U.S. major general flag
Rank flag of a major general in the United States Army. The flag of a major general of the Army Medical Department has a maroon background; the flag of a chaplain (major general) has a black background.
Flag of a United States Marine Corps Major general.
Flag of a United States Air Force Major general.
U.S. Army insignia of the rank of Major general. Style and method of wear may vary between the services.
U.S. Marine Corps insignia of the rank of Major general. Style and method of wear may vary between the services.
U.S. Air Force insignia of the rank of Major general. Style and method of wear may vary between the services.

The United States Code explicitly limits the total number of general officers that may be on active duty at any given time. The total number of active duty general officers is capped at 231 for the Army, 62 for the Marine Corps, and 198 for the Air Force.[1] Some of these slots are reserved or finitely set by statute. For example, the Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Army[2] is a major general in the Army; the same rank is held by the Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Air Force;[3] the Army's Chief of Engineers[4] is also appointed as a major general and thereafter promoted to lieutenant general.

The United States Code also limits the total number of general officers that may be on the Reserve Active Status List (RASL) in the Reserve Component, which is defined in the case of general officers as the Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve.

Other Languages