A Penny Served is a Penny Earned?
The generals and admirals promoted to five star rank – General of the Army or Fleet Admiral – during and after World War II were always considered to be officially on active duty, and thus technically never retired. In fact, after leaving the presidency in 1961, even Dwight D. Eisenhower went back on "active duty" in his rank as a General of the Army.
Even when not holding an active assignment, such as Omar Bradley’s tour as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (1949-1953), officers with five star rank were provided with an aide, office space and staff space at the Pentagon., and money for office operations. But their pay, $1,076 a month in 1945, was never raised. As a result of Congressional parsimony, all of the five star officers never received more than that $1,076 a month. Now this was a pretty good income in the mid-1940s. But by the mid-‘50s, it was actually less than what some active duty flag officers of lower rank were earning, and declining rapidly in purchasing power. By the mid-‘60s, it was only a bit more than what experienced teachers in wealthy school districts were making. This injustice continued until all but one of the five star officers was dead, Omar Bradley, who eventually benefited from a very belated pay increase in the late 1960s.
Chaplains in Action
Chaplains have accompanied American service personnel since the days of the Revolutionary War. Their duties go far beyond seeing to the spiritual needs of the men and women in the service. Consider, for example, the work of the Chaplain Department on an aircraft carrier.
Obviously, chaplains – whether Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, or, as has recently been the case, Buddhist or Moslem, provide for the spiritual, mental, and emotional well-being of the sailors and marines of the ship's company, air wing and battle group, easily more than 5,000 officers and enlisted personnel, whether of their own faith or of other faiths, through religious services and educational programs, provision for special rations or observances, and so forth. On a typical carrier, the chaplains, in cooperation with lay readers representing something like a dozen different faith groups, hold as many as 55 services and religious education classes a week. In a typical month they may deliver 1,500 American Red Cross messages, help disperse $70,000 or more in Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society funds, conduct 200 or more stress management and other types of classes, not to mention several dozen radio and television programs, as well as conduct pre-liberty seminars overseas, administer the ship’s library, and help process as many as 5,000 requests family assistance messages, including notification of more than twelve dozen births to the spouses of crewmembers during a typical deployment.