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The rank of General began appearing around the time of the organization of professional armies in the 17th century.
At first, it was added as an adjective to existing names of ranks, yielding Colonel General, Captain General, Lieutenant General and Sergeant Major General.
The naval equivalent to a Major is, in most nations, the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
Captain is both a nautical term and a rank in various uniformed organizations.
As a result, General of the Air Force can still be seen on modern insignia charts and it is still considered an official rank of the United States Air Force.
To date, however, no one except Henry Arnold has ever held the rank General of the Air Force.
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in almost every country in the world.
Hap Arnold was a pioneer airman who was taught to fly by the Wright Brothers, and commander of Army Air Forces in victory over Germany and Japan in World War II: born Gladwyne, Pa., June 25, 1886, died Sonoma, Calif., Jan. "Hap" Arnold, as he was fondly known and called, dating from his early days at West Point, was in the class of 1907 at the U. Three years later, by act of Congress, he received permanent five-star rank as general of the Air Force, the first such commission ever granted.
From then on his life paralleled the growth of America's air power and he personally contributed to most of the major milestones of development during the long period until he retired in 1946.
In the United States Air Force, General of the Air Force is the highest rank, equivalent to a five star General.
The rank has only been held by one person in history: Henry H. General of the Army is the equivalent rank in the United States Army and the insignia for the two positions were originally the same.