In World War I, 21 men were promoted to General at age 40 or younger. The youngest was John N. Hodges, at 34.
Another was Douglas MacArthur at 38, who would go on to far greater acclaim in World War II as General of the Army and leader of U.S. forces in Japan.
How many generals are 40 or younger today? That appears surprisingly difficult to find out.
The lowest such level is a one-star general, also known as a brigadier general. There are currently more than 400 brigadier generals, and I was unable to find a definitive list of even their names, let alone their ages as well. Searching for things like ‘youngest brigadier general’ didn’t turn up any answers, either. The main results for such searches were primarily about Galusha Pennypacker, the youngest brigadier general ever, who reached that rank at age 20 during the Civil War.
If anybody has an answer, please reply in the comments.
Our Twenty-one Generals of Forty Years and Under: Youthful Brigadiers to Whom the Great War Brought Rapid Promotion in Different Branches of the Army
Published: Sunday, August 24, 1919