LIKE an improvident rider changing horses in midstream, the Navy is changing perplexing titles in mid-history. The old puzzler used to be: When is an admiral not an admiral? Answer: When he's a commodore. Although he had one star, which qualified him as an admiral, he was called commodore instead.
A new title was needed for clarity. Naturally it would be admiral, right?
It's: ``rear admiral, lower half.''
Why not a whole rear admiral? The real reason is probably the Pentagon's new economy drive. It'll be cheaper this way: half an appetite, half a salary, no hat, and only half a uniform.
One nagging question: What happened to the upper half?