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Subject:Today's strange thought
Time:10:54 pm
Isn't it about time that Captain America was promoted? If you go by the Marvel cinematic continuity he's had his present rank for about five subjective years; if you go by comics continuity it's decades. All of which probably makes him the longest serving and most experienced captain in the US army, and horribly overdue for promotion.

And if he's now in SHIELD / some successor organization they should have taken his time in rank in the army into account - again, he's overdue for promotion.

So why isn't he Major America, Senior Agent America, or whatever?
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beer_good_foamy
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Time:2014-10-04 10:10 pm (UTC)
Well, he was AWOL for about 65 years, maybe they think he should be happy not to be busted down to Private America?
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ffutures
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Time:2014-10-04 10:24 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure being in a coma counts as AWOL.
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skipp_of_ark
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Time:2014-10-05 12:09 am (UTC)
Because it's not his actual rank -- it's just a title that sounds good as part of his name. Yes, he was affiliated with the armed forces in WWII, but even then it was his secret identity. Steve Rogers never got beyond a private first class as an actual soldier, and Captain America was just the name he used when he put on the red, white, and mostly blue costume.

You'd be surprised how many comic book heroes and villains who call themselves "Doctor ____" arent actually doctors.
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ffutures
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Time:2014-10-05 08:27 am (UTC)
But movie cap, at least, is a real captain. I agree that Captain does sound better as a title for an adventurer, but if he's in a military table of organization it causes problems.

Re doctors - there are all sorts of organizations that give doctorates, e.g. correspondence courses etc., so it's very easy to get the title. If I was a supervillain I'd probably do something like that just to annoy anyone who said I wasn't a real doctor. "Hah! I will have you know that I am a doctor of divinity!"
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lil_shepherd
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Time:2014-10-05 05:26 am (UTC)
skipp_of_ark is quite right. What's more, in 616, a load of other people have been Captain America and, as far as I know, none of them have had actual Army (or, for that matter, Air Force or Navy) rank.

And, of course, when Steve Rogers was appointed by the President to oversee US security he was known as 'Commander Rogers'. (Barnes was Cap at that time, and definitely was never a Captain.)

Movie Cap is different. He is always referred to as Captain Rogers, and wears an army uniform with Captain's insignia in 'The First Avenger'. However, under the usual procedures in wartime he will have been declared dead by the Chief of the Casualty branch within a short time of going missing in action. (I looked this up once before for a fic but now my Google Fu is failing me. If I find it I'll put in a link.)

Edited at 2014-10-05 05:27 am (UTC)
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whswhs
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-05 06:05 am (UTC)
But presumably once he turns up alive procedures will have to be initiated to reinstate him in some way?
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-05 08:29 am (UTC)
Exactly. I'm assuming that his rank would be frozen, so to speak, while he's in the ice, but by now he would be overdue for promotion.

Maybe they could make him a captain in the navy instead - that's a higher rank but still sounds good.
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lil_shepherd
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-05 11:51 am (UTC)
No. He would have enlisted for a specific period and that period is long past.
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ffutures
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Time:2014-10-05 01:58 pm (UTC)
OK, fair point. Though there are apparently some cases which suggest that if someone wasn't able to be discharged at the right time (e.g. still a prisoner somewhere) pay and time in service continues to accrue.
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lil_shepherd
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-05 02:30 pm (UTC)
Possibly, but not, I think, if you've been declared dead.

Also, most US soldiers in WW2 signed up for the duration and a fixed term afterwards.
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lil_shepherd
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-05 11:51 am (UTC)
Not to reinstate him into the military! Once he's dead he's out of the military, and they can't suggest he's not served his time! It is noticeable that it was never suggested in the comics that the military still had any call on him after the Avengers found him, presumably because both Stan and Jack were well aware of the procedures after the war.

So all the stories where Steve has loads of back pay are null and void. God only knows how they would actually sort out his birth certificate and/or social security number...
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-05 02:00 pm (UTC)
There have apparently been cases where someone is presumed dead but later turns out to be alive - and since CA revived once thawed he presumably wasn't dead - so time in service continues to accrue.
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whswhs
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-05 02:08 pm (UTC)
That's exactly what I'm thinking. If he's alive, it follows that he was not dead, and therefore when he was involuntarily out of touch, any proceedings to terminate his military position based on the assumption of his death were conducted in error. I would expect that that would mean that the day he woke up he was still Private Rogers, or Captain Rogers. Of course they might not want him to continue serving, and then they would have to discharge him—but he would have to be discharged at some rank.

Of course, at least in the United States, that could make him Capt. Steven Rogers (ret.), if I'm not mistaken. Or Gen. Steven Rogers (ret.), or something in between.
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lil_shepherd
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-05 02:32 pm (UTC)
But men enlisted in WW2 for the duration of the war and a short period afterrwards. Once that's gone it's gone.
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whswhs
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-05 03:09 pm (UTC)
But that says that they are obligated to let him out, since his term of service is ended. But in itself it doesn't change his status. His superiors have to perform the affirmative act of changing his status, so that everything is official and on the record.

My guess would be that they have to officially notice that Captain Steven Rogers, declared dead back in the mid-1940s, has turned out not to be dead after all; rescind his having been processed out of the military; note that he now is still in the military, undischarged, long after his term of enlistment is up; and process him out as a retiree. If they do all that he's a civilian and a veteran. If they don't, he presumably has no legal status, not even that of citizen—because he's legally dead.

I would think that the applicable procedures are those for someone who was MIA for a period that ended after their term of enlistment. There must be established rules for that case.
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ffutures
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Time:2014-10-05 04:18 pm (UTC)
The case I saw quoted somewhere was someone who defected to the communist side in (I think) Korea, later changed their mind, and on returning to the USA was able to claim pay, benefits, etc. covering the entire period of their defection. I suspect that there must have been some element of brainwashing or other coercion involved, but I don't know the details.
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jeymien
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-05 03:33 pm (UTC)
By Winter Soldier, he's no longer enlisted in the army and he's an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. - when Fury tells him about Project Insight in the elevator, his level is given - Agent Level 8 - so SHIELD definitely gave him rank. Captain America is his code name by this point in the movies - much like Romanoff's code name is Black Widow. There's no longer an army rank associated with him I think.
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ffutures
Link:(Link)
Time:2014-10-05 04:18 pm (UTC)
OK, thanks, that makes a little more sense.
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