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AMERICA - MILITARY BRANCH & RANK INSIGNIA

"O-10S"

Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines

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"O-10S"

Unread postby jrichardn » Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:53 pm

About a year ago there was a lengthy & informative discussion in this area about 5-star ranks in the modern U.S. Armed Forces, and why they were not likely to be granted to current officers, even those who themselves commanded 4-stars.

El Supremo, I think, noted that there's a pay grade above O-10 (the usual 4-star grade), O-10S for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chiefs of Staff of the services, and the commanders of the unified commands.

Using Google I couldn't find a description of the O-10S pay grade directly. I did find this pay grade table (http://www.dfas.mil/militarypay/newinfo ... pdated.pdf), which has this interesting note:

"While serving as JCS/Vice JCS, CNO, CMC, Army/Air Force Chief of Staff, commander of a unified or specified combatant command, basic pay is" at a rate much higher than the usual O-10 rate.

So a couple of questions for this forum:

1. I believe the current Unified Combatant Commands are: Africa, Central, European, Joint Forces, Northern, Pacific, Southern, Special Operations, Strategic, and Transportation. Are the commanders of all of these O-10S's?

(I gather there are no longer any Specified Combatant Commands, such as the Strategic Air Command used to be.)

2. I believe that the Chiefs of Staff of the Army and Air Force are entitled to wear rather more elaborate combination caps than other general officers. Does this privilege extend to these other O-10S's? Are there any other uniform distinctions for the Chiefs of Staff and the commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands?

Cheers, Richard Nelson
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Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:33 am

El Supremo, I think, noted that there's a pay grade above O-10 (the usual 4-star grade), O-10S for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chiefs of Staff of the services, and the commanders of the unified commands.

Using Google I couldn't find a description of the O-10S pay grade directly. I did find this pay grade table (http://www.dfas.mil/militarypay/newinfo ... pdated.pdf), which has this interesting note:

"While serving as JCS/Vice JCS, CNO, CMC, Army/Air Force Chief of Staff, commander of a unified or specified combatant command, basic pay is" at a rate much higher than the usual O-10 rate.


I'm not familiar with the "O-10S" terminology, either, but that is clearly what it refers to.

So a couple of questions for this forum:

1. I believe the current Unified Combatant Commands are: Africa, Central, European, Joint Forces, Northern, Pacific, Southern, Special Operations, Strategic, and Transportation. Are the commanders of all of these O-10S's?


Yes, that is right.

(I gather there are no longer any Specified Combatant Commands, such as the Strategic Air Command used to be.)


Right again, in the early 1990s Colin Powell decided to "integrate" forces in the continental US similarly to an overseas Unified Command. SAC was folded into STRATCOM, and pretty much everything else went under US Atlantic Command, now USJFCOM.

2. I believe that the Chiefs of Staff of the Army and Air Force are entitled to wear rather more elaborate combination caps than other general officers. Does this privilege extend to these other O-10S's? Are there any other uniform distinctions for the Chiefs of Staff and the commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands?


It's the CSAF and the Marine Corps Commandant who have extra decoration around the cap band, gold oak leaves for the CMC, silver clouds and lightning for the CSAF (all Army general officers wear oak leaves around the band of the dress blue cap). These can also worn by officers serving as CJCS and VCJCS, but are not worn by Unified Combatant Commanders. Even though the Joint Chiefs members are not "over" the UCC's, by tradition they are the top ranking officers of their respective services (excepting a CJCS or VCJCS). The CNO and CSA have no uniform distinctions apart from any other four-star officer.

Best regards,
Justin
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Unread postby ELSUPREMO » Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:10 am

Though it may exist, I have not heard of the O-10S pay grade. I have seen old pay charts listing the 5-star grades as O-11. Whether these were official or surmised is unknown, but they were in print anyway. Since the last officer to occupy this level was General of the Army Omar N. Bradley who passed in 1981, it might be difficult to locate those old charts. In regard to enhanced cap bands, I, too, have seen them, and believe that they are more a personal embellishment to denote an office held rather than a device to denote higher grade awarded, since they are worn by 4-star officers. This is supported by the lack of similar enhancements on caps of the CNO, for example. To my recollection, the only 5-star officer to add these additions to his caps was General of the Army Douglas MacArthur.
Last edited by ELSUPREMO on Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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O-10S

Unread postby dcfowler » Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:33 am

Officer paygrades and ranks are established by acts of Congress. At no time, has Congress ever authorized an O-11 paygrade.

O-10S is not a distinct paygrade, but simply a way to distringuish the extra pay that the most senior officers in each service, and in joint assignments receive. The WW2 5-star ranks have never been placed in any established paygrade.

The O-10S's are CJCS, VCJS, CofS Army, CofS Air Force, CNO, Cdt USMC, Cdt USCG, and the commanders of NORTHCOM, SOUTHCOM, EUCOM, CENTCOM, AFRICOM, PACOM, JFCOM, SOCOM and TRANSCOM.

Similarly, E-9S is not a separate paygrade either, but simply distinguishes the extra pay that the five service enlisted chiefs and the senior enlisted advisor to the CJCS receive.

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Unread postby Caim_Dubh » Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:46 am

As a side note, I'm not sure how other services deal with this--if they do at all--but the US Army gives special pay to Command Sergeants Major that are directly subordinate to general officers. If memory serves it is something on the order of $100 per star, i.e. $100 extra for a CSM subordinate to an O-7 and $400 for a CSM subordinate to an O-10. This is specifically for CSMs--not for SGMs or the SMA.
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