Well, the post Sequester the Admirals generated a bit more interest and comments than I thought it would. So, here's some more information on the subject. As reported by Navy Times website (1), the Navy had one admiral for every 130 ships at the close of WWII. Today, the Navy has one admiral for every 0.8 ships. Wow, that’s some kind of growth in the flag ranks!
While there have been repeated drawdowns in the lower levels after the Korean war,
war, and various other times, it is noteworthy that there has never been a drawdown amongst the flag ranks, as far as I know. Viet Nam
As the article points out, the Navy manning has been steadily decreasing for the last couple decades and yet the flag ranks have been steadily increasing over that same period. Does that make sense?
Before any of you attempt to make the argument that the Navy, today, is engaged in world wide activities and, therefore, has more responsibilities than before, you'll have to explain how fighting a World War is so much less demanding of flag rank positions. Common sense suggests just the opposite. If the Navy of WWII could fight a world war with thousands of ships and many hundreds of thousands of sailors with only a tiny fraction of the number of admirals that today's Navy of 285 ships has then we have a severe problem today and that problem is about 300 useless admirals. There couldn't be a clearer example of rank inflation.
Revisiting the concept of cutting Admirals as the first step in meeting the demands of sequestration, the Navy estimates that each admiral costs $230,000 per year in salary and benefits. Even if cutting two or three hundred admirals wouldn’t solve the budget issue by itself it would certainly send the proper message that sacrifice starts at the top and that the Navy’s priorities are rational. Contrast that to the Navy’s first action which was to stand down four air wings and idling the associated carriers. How’s that for priorities?
Do any of you still think there isn’t room for LOTS of thinning of the flag ranks?