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Navy Rear AdmiralO-8 RADM (Previous)
Rear Admiral

Navy Vice Admiral

O-9 Flag Officer, U.S. Navy
(Next) O-10 ADMNavy Admiral

Navy Ranks » Vice Admiral RankVADM PayVADM Rank HistoryPromotion Information

Navy Promotion to O-9 Vice Admiral

A Vice Admiral is a Flag Officer in the United States Navy at DoD paygrade O-9. This page describes how the Navy determines who is eligible for the promotion list to Vice Admiral.

A Flag rank is a political appointment, first recommended by other Flag-rank officers within the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV), then sent to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and then to the Senate Armed Service Committee for final approval. There are only 160 permanently available Flag positions within the Department of Defense (DoD). Of the 160 billets, 120 are for Rear Admirals.

Once an officer is selected for Flag rank, their career is in the direction of the same groups that promoted them. Typical Flag assignments last anywhere from a few months to five years, at which point the Flag officer rotates to a new billet, or by not being selected, is forced to retire. There are a number of mandates limiting terms for each Flag rank, with the end goal of preventing extremely long tenures, which plagued the 20th century Navy. The number of stars a Flag officer has is dependent entirely on the billet they hold.

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