Gen. McChrystal to retain four-star rank in retirement

By Ed O'Keefe
Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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

President Obama dismissed the general last week after Rolling Stone magazine published disparaging comments that he and members of his staff made about Vice President Biden and other officials.

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

Army rules state that four-star generals must serve three years before they can retain the rank in retirement. But the president can bypass that. McChrystal would have earned about $140,832 annually as a three-star retiree, according to military retirement figures compiled by the Pentagon.

As a retired general, McChrystal will have access to military bases worldwide and will be able to use retail outlets, doctors and other services on base, according to the Pentagon. All retiring officers meet with Defense Department officials to review their retirement packages, which normally include access to the military's Tricare health-care system, a group life insurance plan and survivor benefits.

Some officers are given post-retirement employment restrictions, the Pentagon said. Honorably discharged service members, their spouses and dependents are eligible for free military burial and cemetery benefits.

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