McChrystal + Wife 311 AP.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was fired last week as the top US general
in the stalemated Afghanistan war, may retain his 4-star rank after his just-announced retirement.
McChrystal was promoted
to the selective and coveted rank of four-star general last year. Under Army rules, generals need to serve three years as a
four-star officer to retain that rank, with its prestige and retirement
:Obama fires US Afghan commanderObama replaces McChrystal with PetraeusColumn: What the McChrystal
incident tells us about US
However, The secretary of the Army can allow
officers with as
little as two years of service to keep their retirement rank, said Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins.
Collins said McChrystal, 55,
notified the service of his retirement plans. The general submitted formal
retirement papers, but it is not clear when he will leave the service
because the process usually take a few months.
McChrystal's ouster on Wednesday, US President Barack Obama praised his
long Army career but said his intemperate remarks in a magazine article
that appeared last week could not be abided.
apologized for the remarks in Rolling Stone magazine and flew to
Washington last week to resign as commanding general of the war.
chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, said Monday he
backed Obama's decision to remove McChrystal because the "cumulative
representation" of the magazine article revealed "poor judgment that
included a bad command climate" that tolerated harsh criticism of the US
Speaking in Colorado at the Aspen Forum,
Mullen said military leaders must always be mindful that they serve
elected leaders. "We must ensure that we are adhering to that in every
way — publicly, privately, formally, informally," he said. "To the
degree that we tolerate it even in private discussions, it's corrosive."
Army has been McChrystal's only career.
Three military and defense officials in Washington said Obama may use
his power as commander in chief to allow McChrystal to keep all four
stars. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were
not authorized to discuss the personnel matter.
McChrystal was the Pentagon's choice to run the war following a year of
Taliban advances in 2008 and early 2009. He replaced Gen. David
McKiernan, also a four-star Army general, after McKiernan was fired for
failing to apply the counterinsurgency strategy McChrystal represented.
McKiernan retired from the Army almost immediately.
The Senate Armed Service Committee will hold a confirmation hearing
Tuesday for Gen. David Petraeus, nominated to succeed McChrystal as the
top US and NATO general in Kabul.