Brass Attack: Light & Lean Marines Get 5th Four-Star
By Otto Kreisher
Published: November 20, 2012
The Marine Corps, which always prides itself on being the leanest of the U.S. armed services and having the lowest officer-to-enlisted ratio, now has five four-star generals, the nation's highest military rank.
That is quite a load of brass for a service that never had a single four-star officer on active service until 1945, the 170th year of its existence.
The Marines got their fifth four-star general Monday when Marine Lt. Gen. John Kelly put on another star and took over the U.S. Southern Command, relieving Army Gen. Douglas Fraser.
And all the services have more general or flag officers than they did at the height of World War II, when the United States had about 14 million men and women in active military service. The total now is about 1.5 million.