Federal Eye: Obama to McChrystal: you can keep the stars

By Ed O'Keefe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, June 29, 2010; 4:58 PM

Gen. Stanley McChrystal will retain his four-star rank when he retires from the military, the White House said Tuesday. The decision means the general will earn about $149,700 per year before taxes in military retirement pay.

President Obama dismissed McChrystal last week after he and members of his staff made disparaging comments about Vice President Biden and other officials in a Rolling Stone magazine article.

McChrystal, 55, was promoted to four stars last year when he assumed control of military operations in Afghanistan. He announced plans Monday to retire from the military after 34 years, a process that's expected to take a few months.

Army rules state a four-star general must serve three years before they can retain the rank in retirement. But the president and Pentagon can bypass the rule if they choose to do so. McChrystal would have earned about $140,832 annually as a three-star retiree, meaning Obama's decision nets him another $8,868 annually, according to military retirement figures compiled by the Pentagon.

As a retired general McChrystal will have access to military bases around the world and can access retail outlets, medical doctors and other services on base, according to the Pentagon. All retiring officers meet with Defense Department officials to review their retirement package, which normally includes access to the military's TRICARE health care system, a group life insurance plan and survivor benefits.

Some retiring officers are given post-retirement employment restrictions, especially officers involved with military procurement, the Pentagon said. Honorably discharged members of the military, their spouses and dependents are eligible for military burial and cemetery benefits provided free of charge by the government.

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