To extend on Mark's post on the growth in generals and admirals relative to the number of troops they command, Democratic Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, who presided over the Senate hearing, provided the following in a press release:
“Where is it decided and how is it decided that each of these services has the justification or the requirement for the flags that we see here?” asked Senator Webb.
Beyond citing statutory limitations in Title 10 U.S. Code, the witnesses were unable to fully answer Senator Webb’s questions.
“How do you compare a Brigadier General from one service to another?” Senator Webb continued. “Who does that?”
“Fair question, sir,” answered Vice Admiral Gortney, director of the Joint Staff.
“That’s why we are having this hearing,” said Senator Webb.
In response to a similar question, Air Force General Philip M. Breedlove said, “I cannot tell you that it’s the Secretary of Defense. I just don’t know that answer. We need to get back to you on that.”