AF leaders questioned on number of general officers

By Tyler Hemstreet on July 27, 2011

(Air Force Times)-- A key senator wants to know why the Air Force has proportionally far more general officers than the other services.

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee's military personnel panel, said he will hold a hearing later this year to find out why the Air Force appears to have a top-heavy force structure.

Webb pointed to Defense Department data showing that the Air Force has one general officer for every 1,058 airmen in the force.

He compared that to the Navy, which has one admiral for every 1,279 sailors; the Army, with one general for every 1,808 soldiers; and the Marine Corps, with one general for every 2,350 Marines.

Webb also noted that the Air Force has more four-star generals than the Army, despite being a significantly smaller service.

That may be in part because the Air Force has uniformed generals performing some jobs for which the other services hire civilians, said Lt. Gen. Richard Harding, the Air Force Judge Advocate General, when Webb asked him about the disparity at a recent hearing.

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