The Elite Group of Four-Star Admirals

Typically, a flag officer (a general or admiral) serves anywhere from 25 to 30 years before even being considered for promotion to three- or four-star ranks. This professional lifetime of service is not spent merely marking time but is consistently filled with outstanding performance and superior service.

Only a minute number of officers achieve flag rank and even fewer achieve three- and four-star rank.

Additionally, the Senate Armed Services Committee must confirm all senior flag officer nominations by the president before the officer can be promoted.

Perhaps of greater service to the taxpayers would be a review of all departing members of Congress to see if they warrant retirement with full allowances and benefits. Scott M. Hathaway Alexandria, Va.,

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115

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