Air Force GeneralO-10 General Officer, U.S. Air Force
O-10 General - General Officer - U.S. Air Force Ranks
General is the four star General Officer rank in the United States Air Force. It is just above Lieutenant General and below General of the Air Force. The rank General is reserved for war-time use only and is limited much more than lower ranks. It is a temporary rank that is based on being appointed to a specific position that requires them to be a four star General Officer, and the rank expires when their term in office does. There may only be nine four star Generals in the Air Force at a given time. A few slots for four star Generals are reserved, such as Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs. There are many exceptions to these limitations; the most vague limitation is that the President may in a time of war or national emergency may appoint any number of four star Generals, when needed. Several officers also do not add to the cap, such as Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staffs, and a few joint-position officers. Many statutes limit the tour length of four star General Officers, but extensions to their tour dates can be made by the President, Congress, the Air Force Secretary, or the Secretary of Defense, but this is rare, as it keeps lower ranks from moving up.
The rank insignia of a General is the same as that of a Lieutenant General, but it has four silver stars instead of three.
General is the 26th rank in the United States Air Force , ranking above Lieutenant General and directly below General of the Air Force. A general is a General Officer at DoD paygrade O-10, with a starting monthly pay of $16,975.
What is the proper way to address a General?
The correct way to address a General named Mr. Jones is "General Jones", or written as Gen Jones. In formal situations, a General should always be addressed by their full rank.
How much does a General earn?
Basic pay for an entry-level General with Over 20 years of experience is $16,974.90 per month.
A General receives an automatic raise to their basic pay every one to two years. Basic pay is only a small percentage of a General's final compensation package.
In addition to a monthly basic pay salary, a Air Force General may be eligible for multiple types of allowances and bonus pay including retirement benefits, hazard pay, hostile fire pay, and more.
For full details on the Air Force's General compensation and retirement plan, visit the 2023 Air Force General Pay Chart. A full table of the Air Force's current paygrades are available at the Air Force Pay Chart.
Equivalent Ranks to the Air Force's O-10 General
To learn more about the Air Force's rank structure, see our complete list of Air Force ranks.
The Government civilian-employee equivalent of a General is paid under the General Schedule payscale. For more details, see this Air Force rank to GS grade conversion table .
To see a list of military medals and decorations that can be earned by servicemembers in the Air Force and other branches of the military, see our list of military decorations and medals.