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Navy - Flag Officers (U.S.)

Last modified: 2014-06-14 by rick wyatt
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[U.S. Navy Rear Admiral flag]
Eligible For Command At Sea
by Rick Wyatt, 27 September 1998
[U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Not Eligible For Command At Sea flag]
Not Eligible For Command At Sea
by Rick Wyatt, 27 September 1998

See also:

Not Eligible For Command At Sea

By U.S. Navy Regulations, this category includes not only staff corps officers (supply, medical, judge advocate general, civil engineer, etc.) but also line officers in restricted duty specialities like engineering, aeronautical engineering, oceanography, intelligence, and so on. I believe there are at least two vice admirals now on active duty who have these white flags with blue stars, the Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery and the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The flags of officers not eligible for command at sea are not flown aboard ships of the Navy. At one time, the Navy Judge Advocate General even applied that rule to prohibit the display of the flag of ADM Arthur Radford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the grounds that the CJCS was by law excluded from the military chain of command and therefore Radford was not "eligible for command at sea." Navy Regulations have since been changed to permit the CJCS flag to be flown during a Chairman's visit to a ship, regardless of his service affiliation.

Joe McMillan, 25 September 1999