Vice admiral (United States)

Vice admiral
Flag of a United States Navy vice admiral.svg
Flag of the vice admiral of the Unrestricted Line, United States Navy.
US Navy O9 insignia.svg
The stars, shoulder boards, and sleeve stripes of a U.S. Navy vice admiral of the "line".
Country United States of America
Service branch
AbbreviationVADM
RankThree-star
NATO rankOF-08
Non-NATO rankO-9
Formation1864
Next higher rankAdmiral
Next lower rankRear admiral
Equivalent ranksLieutenant general (uniformed services of the United States)

Vice admiral (abbreviated as VADM) is a three-star commissioned naval officer rank in the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, with the pay grade of O-9. Vice admiral ranks above rear admiral and below admiral. Vice admiral is equivalent to the rank of lieutenant general in the other uniformed services.

Statutory limits

U.S. Code of law explicitly limits the total number of vice admirals that may be on active duty at any given time. The total number of active-duty flag officers is capped at 162 for the navy.[1] For the navy, no more than 16.7% of the service's active-duty flag officers may have more than two stars.[2][3][4] Some of these slots can be reserved by statute. Officers serving in certain Defense Agency Director positions such as the Director of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), when filled by a naval officer, are vice admirals. The Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy is usually a vice admiral, either upon nomination or shortly thereafter. The President may also add vice admirals to the Navy if they are offset by removing an equivalent number of three-star officers from other services.[2] Finally, all statutory limits may be waived at the President's discretion during time of war or national emergency.[5]

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