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HYPOTHETICAL RANKS

US commander-in-chief insignia ?

Dealing primarily with contemporary and historical Earth nations. (Science-fiction oriented rank systems, such as Star Trek, Starship Troopers, etc.), should be placed in FICTIVE Rank Insignia.

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US commander-in-chief insignia ?

Unread postby marcpasquin » Sat Apr 15, 2006 6:30 pm

The images of the head of states of some former soviet countries wearing a uniform made me wonder about the following: Is there such a thing as an insignia/uniform that could be worn by the US president in his position of commander-in-chief.

The reason I ask is that I know that some commonwealth countries (australia in particular) do have an insignias specificaly for the governor general and I recall seeing Bush wear some sort of flight gear at one point during the invasion of Iraq.
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Unread postby ChrisWI » Sat Apr 15, 2006 8:30 pm

No that would be unthinkable, can you imagine the uproar that would occur if a sitting president did that? As for when he landed on the aircraft carrier in the "Mission Accomplished" event in May 2003 I think he just wore a plain flightsuit without any insignia.

The "Commander in Chief" thing is purely ceremonial and rightfully so as only the military should command the military. There have only been 2 occasions in history where a president has commanded troops directly. The first was in 1798 when Washington took command of the 4,400 Regulars, Militia and US Marshal's sent to put down the Whisky Rebellion in Pennsylvania, there was no actual fighting. The second was at the Battle of Bladensburg in the War of 1812 ... the British advanced on Washington and Madison took command. The force was mainly militia and they threw down their guns and ran away from the British leaving Madison with some US Marines and US Navy sailors, Brits overran them and burned down Washington.
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Unread postby nelsy58 » Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:37 pm

OK as a Canadian I must say that serves Madison right. Burning down York (now Toronto) was most dastardly. Try that again and we'll have to wup your rear-end once more just as we Canucks did in 1814 (just after we rejoice that Toronto burnt down (all Canucks despise Toronto unless you live there...and I don't). Yes sure their were some Brit regulars with us...they had to learn to fight from someone!

OK serious now. The term C-in-C reflects the civilian superiorty over the military. Rightly so. Also the current Monarch - QE II) and family wear either the ranks they earned whilst in the military or ranks bestowed upon them by the Monarch (hence the D of E is an Admiral of the Fleet and the P of W is a Vice Admiral in the RN) or ranks associated to them as Colonel-in-Chief (etc.) of certain military organizations/units (I believe the D of E is an Admiral of the Fleet in both the RAN and the RNZN...but not in Canada when there was a RCN and now in the CF). In the Commonwealth where a nation is a Realm with HM Queen Elizabeth as Head of State, some GGs will wear a military-style uniform. At one time they wore the uniform meant for civys such as diplomats and govenors (Called a Windsor I believe as designed by order of King George V and as the Gov of the Falklands wore in 1982). This was a much more common thing into the 50s and early 60s and at least for Canada has died off in Canada (though I have a photo of the Danish Ambassador in one (a Danish version). In Canada the GGs who were civilian wore this uniform and those who had a distinguished military career wore their uniforms at the rank they had (hence when GG Mr Vanier wore a Cdn Army uniform when needed in the rank of MGen - his rank when he left the military and same for Brit GGs such as the Duke of Connaught, Lord Byng and Viscount Alexander). Roland Michener designed a white uniform based upon the RCN high-collar white uniform but also wore the Windsor. After he left these uniforms were never worn again by a Cdn GG. During the term of Madam Sauve uniforms re-emerged for all three services. The hat badge was a Cdn Forces general/flag officer one. The rank was a variation of the Vice-Regal lion worn both on the sleeve (not all uniforms but many) and shoulder (in all) uniforms including Mess Dress. Mr Hnatyshyn also wore these uniforms (a lot). The next three GGs have not thus it appears to be a personal thing. Lt Gov for provinces have generally stayed away from uniforms though the Lt Gov of NS wears the traditional Brit designed one whilst the Lt Gov of BC has a new stylized one reflecting native BC art but in dark blue and gold (actually very nice) All these uniforms though looking spendid with the various gold lace marking, have no "rank" beyond a specific symbol designating the post (hence the VR lion). I believe in the US only the President can wear the Presidential Seal on clothing which you'll notice he has on all jackets, suits, etc., given to him to wear by the military. Same for the VP and other high officials who wear their specific seal. I guess this is a rank thing or as close as one will come in the US.
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Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Mon Apr 17, 2006 1:15 pm

ChrisWI wrote:The "Commander in Chief" thing is purely ceremonial and rightfully so as only the military should command the military. There have only been 2 occasions in history where a president has commanded troops directly. [...]


I wouldn't call the position of the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces "ceremonial." The President is at the top of the military chain of command, and can and does issue orders to military officers, though usually only at the highest level. Orders from the President are legally binding in exactly the same way as any other military order. The courts have upheld this many times.

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is a civilian rather than military office, which is why there is no uniform or insignia for the President. Occasionally a President will wear a military article of clothing, like a flight jacket or a ship's ball cap, but never with military-regulation insignia.

BTW there used to be a number of four-star military positions that carried the title of "commander in chief," but in 2002 the title was reserved for the President alone.

best regards,
Justin
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Insignia for US Commander in Chief

Unread postby ELSUPREMO » Sun Dec 24, 2006 5:50 am

By The Constitution, the President is Commander in Chief. This is a civilian position and head of the military. No uniform has ever been worn to denote the President as head of the military, and only a patch of the Presidential coat of arms (the Presidential eagle surrounded by a circle of stars) has ever been used on any type of flight uniform or uniform jacket worn by the President. The most recent examples of this are found with George W. Bush in his flight uniform, and John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Lyndon B. Johnson, Bill Clinton wearing either a USAF Generals blue or green flight jacket or a specially made western style jacket (LBJ). Experimental hard shoulder marks and rank slides containing the Presidential coat of arms have been prepared, and I have seen them, but they have not been used to date, as this would doubtless give too much of a military presence to the civilian position.
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"Commanders" of unified commands

Unread postby jrichardn » Sun Dec 24, 2006 5:55 pm

Thanks, Justin, for that piece of information. I hadn't realized that the Commanders in Chief had become "merely" commanders. Time-honoured abbreviations like CINCPAC are no more! (He's now, apparently, called COMPAC).

It's interesting how even military Presidents have eschewed uniforms. I wonder if Eisenhower ever donned a uniform after he retired from the Army.

A happy holiday to all - whatever you celebrate, enjoy the time off most of us have!

Richard in Toronto
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Commander v. Commander-in-Chief

Unread postby jrichardn » Sun Dec 24, 2006 10:03 pm

I did check most of the U.S. unified combatant commands' Web sites, and their chiefs are all styled Commander.

The North American Aerospace Defence (or Defense) Command is a binational command, with a U.S. commander and a Canadian deputy. The commander of NORAD is also the commander of the U.S. North Command. At NORAD's leadership page (http://www.norad.mil/Leadership.htm) the Canadian deputy chief is styled Deputy Commander; but at his Canadian biography (http://www.forces.gc.ca/dsa/app_bio/eng ... raphyID=41) he's styled Deputy Commander-in-Chief of NORAD.

Holiday wishes again, from Richard in Toronto
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Unread postby J.T. Broderick » Tue Dec 26, 2006 4:04 pm

Hi Richard! Interestingly, President Roosevelt wanted something similar during WW2. In his memoirs, Ernest King records that in the summer of 1944 he was approached by Admiral Leahy, who told him that the president would like it if King and the two other fleet CinCs dropped the "in chief" from their titles, so the president would be the only Commander in Chief. King asked if it was an order, and Leahy told him no, it was just something the president would like to be done. King said he would do it when he was ordered to, but FDR didn't push the issue. King figured it was politic, and that FDR was trying to emphasize his position in running the war around the time of the 1944 political conventions.

Apparently FDR didn't think it would look too good in the press for him to take those titles away, but Donald Rumsfeld wasn't worried about any backlash and issued the order almost 60 years later. When asked how he felt about becoming just a commander rather than a commander-in-chief, CENTCOM chief Tommy Franks told a reporter "I don't give a s---!"

Best regards and holiday wishes,
Justin
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Insignia of US Commander in Chief

Unread postby ELSUPREMO » Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:57 pm

In regard to whether or not President Eisenhower ever wore his 5-star uniform after he became President, the answer is no. He did wear casual golf-type shirts with an embroidered five-star cluster on the collars but that is all. It is interesting to note that he resigned his commission as General of the Army when he began his campaign for President. Five-star generals stay on the active list for life, unless they decide to retire. In 1961, shortly after elected President and with Congressional approval, John F. Kennedy re-commissioned President Eisenhower as General of the Army on the active list, thus making Dwight D. Eisenhower the last commissioned five-star general.
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"Dwight D. Eisenhower the last commissioned 5-star gene

Unread postby jrichardn » Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:56 pm

Eisenhower died in 1969. Wasn't Omar Bradley (who died in '81) the last 5-star officer of any U.S. service?

Cheers, Richard Nelson
looking south to the United States from Toronto
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Re: "Dwight D. Eisenhower the last commissioned 5-star

Unread postby Erskine Calderon » Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:38 pm

jrichardn wrote:Eisenhower died in 1969. Wasn't Omar Bradley (who died in '81) the last 5-star officer of any U.S. service?

Cheers, Richard Nelson
looking south to the United States from Toronto


Yes, Omar Bradley:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_of ... _States%29
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Dwight D. Eisenhower - Commission as 5-star General

Unread postby ELSUPREMO » Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:39 pm

President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the last person to be commissioned (actually re-commissioned) 5-star General of the Army in 1961, and 5-star General of the Army Omar N. Bradley was the last 5-star General of the Army to die, in 1981. The only 5-star General of the Air Force, Henry H. Arnold, died in 1950, and the last 5-star Fleet Admiral of the United States Navy, Chester W. Nimitz, died in 1966.
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Unread postby ryanemilia » Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:06 am

Boy I am repulsed by the thought of some US politicians donning service uniforms, but here is my hypothetical for insignia when these public "servants" go overseas.

I also included my idea for 5-star Marine general.

Image

Nothing special just their seal on a ACU tab if visiting an army unit.
Bushco likes to play Air Force so I included a Slip-on for him should he change out of the flight suit.

Ryan M.
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US Commander in Chief Insignia

Unread postby ELSUPREMO » Thu Mar 15, 2007 6:06 am

Wonderful concept drawings, but you might be interested to learn that I have actually acquired an alarming prototype pair of shoulder slides that are identical to your "hypothetical" Air Force slides for the President as Commander in Chief. They were prepared for use by the President in case there is a desire to further blur the line between civilian and military command of the Armed Forces.
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Unread postby ChrisWI » Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:29 am

Shouldent the seals be in subdued colors keeping in line with the rest of the ACU insignia?
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US Commander in Chief Insignia

Unread postby ELSUPREMO » Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:50 am

I agree, the coat of arms or seals (and I would guess coat of arms - without the words) would be subdued.
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7 stars for President as Commander in Chief?

Unread postby jrichardn » Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:37 pm

On the 5-star thread we learned (thanks, El Supremo) that the topmost 4-stars in the U.S. armed forces are paid at a higher grade, O-10S, in effect a kind of “shadow” 5-star rank.

Let’s suppose we throw out the (quite real) political considerations about reactivating the 5-star ranks, and grant the commanders of the unified commands and the chiefs of staff 5 stars each.

The chain of command in the U.S. goes from the unified commanders to the Secretary of Defense (who is, in effect, the Deputy C.-in-C.). Shouldn’t he then wear 6 stars?

So that leaves us the Commander in Chief himself (or herself if Sen. Clinton wins election next year). He should therefore wear 7 stars. :-)

Just having fun. :-)

Cheers, Richard Nelson
in Toronto, getting chilly
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US Commander in Chief Insignia

Unread postby ELSUPREMO » Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:14 pm

Oddly enough, that is one of the core reasons given by members of Congress during World War II for not actually awarding 6-star grades: where would it stop. In fact, when the US Navy considered using 6-stars and calling the grade Admiral of the Navy, they feared some type of insignia war with the British in which the next ante would be by the British creating the grade of Grand Admiral which we would match with 7 stars and then the British would top that with Great Grand Admiral, and we would then need the same with 8 stars, and so on in with ever more stars in the ever enlarging galaxy of grade insignia! So for the Commander in Chief in uniform (Heaven forbid!) the sleeve might not be long enough to hold the proper number of stars (48 or 50 more seems reasonable)
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Unread postby ryanemilia » Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:27 pm

Look I want to remind every one here that on the cartoon FUTURAMA the "hero" of Earth Zapp Brannigan is a 25-star general. This takes place in the year 3000.

Ryan M.
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US Commander in Chief Insignia

Unread postby ELSUPREMO » Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:53 pm

I think a 25-star general is just right. It should appeal to all who have voiced such wonderful opinions on this subject, and the look would be fantastic - just enough stars to make the point and not enough to totally and permanently blind an observer on a sunny day!
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:04 am

I'm glad to see this subject has finally found it's own level on this forum! smilies-01
...let's keep it here!


(they made *actual* C-in-C slides with Presidential Seals...? Oh dear God, how scary! smilies-09 )
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Unread postby Megan » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:22 pm

While in the UK, if our Head of State wears military dress, the uniform of Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal, or Marshal of the Royal Air Force is worn as appropriate - otherwise, the equivalent of '5-star' rank in the US system.

Delusions of grandeur across the pond, perhaps?
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Unread postby jrichardn » Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:20 pm

Well, the Queen is the nominal commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces. Her wearing a "5-star" uniform on ceremonial occasions is no really different than her wearing the dress of a colonel of the regiments she's colonel-in-chief of.

Incidentally, her consort, the Duke of Edinburgh, is Captain-General (i.e., "5-star") of the Royal Marines.

In the U.S. the President is both nominally the head of the Armed Forces, and <i>really</i> the head of them.

By the way, the Governors General of the Dominions are also the Commanders-in-Chief. E.g., Michaelle Jean is "Governor General & Commander-in-Chief of Canada". There is a Governor General's uniform, and at least one of our recent GGs wore a kind "C-in-C" uniform.

Cheers, Richard Nelson
loyal subject of H.M. the Queen
in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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US Commander in Chief Insignia

Unread postby ELSUPREMO » Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:01 pm

It would be very interesting to see the insignia and uniform for the C-inC of Canada.
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Unread postby Medic_in_Uniform » Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:50 pm

Until the 1970s, Governors General of Canada wore "court uniform," a form of formal court dress (essentially a civil uniform), which initially resembled military dress (and in some cases undress) uniform of the day. This practice was common for Governors General and the incumbents of other administrative positions in British dominions and colonies and, subsequently, the Commonwealth but the practice is now seen as anachronistic and inappropriate so it is very rarely seen today, although the provisions for its use still exist for some roles.

HE Roland Michener (GG from 1967–1974) relaxed many of the protocols and formalities surrounding the office; for example, the long-standing custom of bowing or curtsying before the Governor General (as representative of the Monarch) was abandoned. Michener himself retained the traditional uniform associated with the office, but he was the last Governor General to do so.

This is obviously outwith the entitlement that any Governor General who had a previous military career may have to wear the uniform of their former branch of service - but again, it's doubtful if that would be seen as appropriate for the holder of a high civilian appointment, apart from, perhaps, certain ceremonial duties directly connected with the military.

See the Wikipedia article on Court Dress and Court Uniform for more details - and pictures!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court_uniform_and_dress

Hope that helps!
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Unread postby ELSUPREMO » Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:59 pm

Any links or drawings in color (preferably) for the shoulder insignia of grade for the various Governors General?
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