Air Force GeneralO-10 Gen (Previous)

Air Force General of the Air Force

O-10 General Officer, U.S. Air Force
No rank

Air Force Ranks » General of the Air Force RankGAF PayGAF Rank History

History of the Air Force General of the Air Force Rank

A General of the Air Force is a General Officer in the United States Air Force at DoD paygrade O-10.

While no officer has ever worn the rank on active duty, one Air Force officer has indeed been the General of the Air Force. GAF Henry H. “Hap” Arnold was a general in the Army under the Army Air Forces component. By the time the Air Force had separated from the Army, GAF Arnold had retired but Congress re-designated his rank as GAF.

In 1981, Congress decided to retire the five-star ranks.

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History of the Air Force

The Air Force was founded in 1947, just after WWII. It was created using most of the existing Army Air Corps that had just made significant contributions to the war effort. The Air Force is the most technological of the branches, as well as the "most business-like" (least strict). There is a general concensus in the military that quality of life for servicemembers in the Air Force is highest. Just as the Army fights land wars and the Navy fights sea wars, the Air Force was originally envisioned to fight air wars. While wars in the past 70 years couldn't be fought with aircraft alone, the age of Drones and Artificial Intelligence may cause a paradigm shift where air-only wars are possible.