Today in History, October 11, 1976:
President Gerald Ford signs an act of Congress promoting Lieutenant General George Washington to General of the Armies, what would be a six star general if the insignia existed.
This act promoted the former President over numerous US Army Generals and US Navy Admirals, which was the point.
In the military and paramilitary services such as police, rank matters. To the extent that if two officers of the same rank are involved in an action, they will be comparing dates of rank to see who is in command.
During the Civil War, when General Ulysses Grant was given command of the Union Armies, he was promoted to Lt. General to ensure he outranked all other commanders.
During WWI and WWII the same actions were taken to ensure American commanders would not be outranked by their Allied contemporaries such as Bernard Montgomery in the British Army.
This resulted in several 5-Star Generals and Admirals. Generals of the Army (singular) or Fleet Admirals.
In WWI Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing had been made a General of the Armies.
At the nation’s bicentennial, it was considered unacceptable that the father of the country should be outranked by any fellow officers, much less so many.
The act not only promoted Gen. Washington above his fellows, it stated nobody can be promoted above him.
I don’t believe any of them would object.