A childhood torture invented by the screenwriters for The Simpsons. Milhouse refuses to lean over to look out the window because he'd leave himself "open to wedgies, wet willies, or even the dreaded Rear Admiral". Appeared in Episode 1F04, "Treehouse of Horror IV".

In the Navy of most countries, a Rear Admiral is a rank just below Vice Admiral, two levels below plain Admiral. The origin of the term is that the Vice Admiral's assistant in the British navy was (at the time) the least important of the flag officers and commanded the reserves and the rear ships of the fleet instead of being up front or in the middle of the fleet with the higher admirals. Hence, the name "Rear Admiral." This term was in use by the seventeenth century.

In the U.S. Navy, Rear Admiral was the first Admiral rank created, in 1862 during the American Civil War; no Admiral rank had been used before because the term was felt to be too reminiscent of royalty. It was two years later before any higher rank was created in the U.S. Navy.

In the U.S. system of ranks, the rank of Navy or Coast Guard Rear Admiral is divided into "upper half" and "lower half" which are the equivalent of an Army, Air Force, or Marines Major General or Brigadier General.

http://www.history.navy.mil/trivia/triv4-5l.htm http://www.tesarta.com/www/resources/library/militaryrank.html

The term originally referred to admirals who commanded English naval fleets in the seventeenth-century Dutch Wars. The fleets were divided into 3 segments: The Vanguard (the ships in front), the center, and the rear. The term lies in the fact that the lowest ranking admiral controlled the rear of the fleet at sea.

Thanx to Dr. Courtemanche at Long Island University

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