More Admirals than Ships: America’s Bloated Navy Leadership

As Budget Cuts Hit, Number of Admirals Keeps Growing

It’s a problem that’s hit a lot of modern navies in recent years, as the number of  naval battles has dropped to virtually zero and the pricey ships are being kept in smaller and smaller numbers. The US Navy now has more admirals than it has ships.

The fact is part of a sequester battle in the Senate, where Sen. Mark Warner (D – VA) complains that the sort of cuts the military is making are “incredibly dumb,” and that the Navy is keeping its bloated admiralty around, raking in huge salaries and perks, despite laying off sailors and reducing the number of ships those admirals are coping with.

The admirals have private jets, motorcades, and keep entourages of chauffeurs and other aides close at hand, and while there is no official figure, it is estimated that the average admiral costs roughly $1 million just in perks and aides.

Spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby says he “understands” the concerns about having so many admirals around, but he didn’t suggest that there was going to be any change related to them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of