The secretary of the Army has discussed making Persian Gulf war hero H. Norman Schwarzkopf a five-star general, a rank last awarded more than four decades ago.

The secretary, Michael Stone, said Sunday he is also considering making Schwarzkopf, a four-star general, the Army's chief of staff. But he said the final decision rests with the Pentagon and White House."I did discuss it with Gen. Schwarzkopf when I was in Riyadh," Stone said while visiting an Army post in Dhahran. He said he will make a recommendation soon to Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney. But he declined to give further details.

A four-star general is the highest U.S. military rank, but a few famous battlefield leaders have been rewarded with a fifth star.

The last to reach the elite rank was Gen. Omar Bradley in 1950. Others include Gens. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall and Henry H. "Hap" Arnold.

Four-star Gen. Carl E. Vuono became the Army's chief of staff in 1987. Schwarzkopf, 56, led the allies to victory over Iraq, and he has been mentioned as a possible candidate for political office.