For obvious reasons, all things Captain America have been dominating headlines and filling up forums across the globe for some time now, yet the last people we thought would weigh in on a Marvel focused fan-theory would be the US military, but there we have it.
It began on Reddit one week ago, when a fan — anon33249038 — posted a breakdown of what Steve Rogers would technically still be owed by the US Army, given he'd spent decades frozen beneath the Earth's crust while still in uniform.
In summary, the Redditor argued that given that as Cap was never relieved of duty, he's due somewhere in the region of 3 million bucks.
Here's the reasoning.
Point 1) 1945 Pay Grade
The O-3 pay grade in 1945 for someone with two years or less experience was $313.50 a quarter. If you had specialized training such as parachuting and Special Operations (which he does) you received an extra $100 per quarter. Plus a quarterly living allowance without a dependent of $82.50. That comes out to $496 a quarter. That’s $1,984 per year for his first three years. So that’s $5,952 right there, considering that he was commissioned the same year that he exited basic.
Point 2) Time in Service x Pay Increase
Also, there is an biannual increase of pay for service with a pay cap at 22 years with no increase of specialized pay or living allowance. Now provided that they kept him at the 1945 pay scale, for the 22 years after that, he would have received a total of $81,684 plus the previous $5,952 giving him a grand total of $87,636.
Point 3) Total
Now, provided that they kept the pay scale constant for the 66 years after, and they thawed him out in 2011 and immediately returned him to active duty with current Commission (which they did), adjusted for inflation, the government owes him the back pay amount of $3,154,619.52.
The Army Responds
Enter Army spokesman Wayne Hall, who on behalf of the US Military felt it prudent to lay some facts straight regarding the Redditor's post, and quibble with their “misinterpreted military pay scales.”
In an email to Business Insider, Hall began:
“If Capt. Steve Rogers (a.k.a. Captain America) were not a fictional character and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance and recovery actually real, he may actually be entitled to receive back pay. However, a wide variety of variables would have to be taken into consideration to actually calculate the true amount of back pay to which he would be entitled to receive.”
“It is correct that the O-3 (Army captain) pay grade in 1945 was $313.50; however it was a monthly pay rate vs. quarterly as the original poster indicated,”
the post failed to consider,
“any potential promotions that may have been bestowed upon Rogers while he was listed in a ‘Missing’ status.”
Yet, as another Redditor argued, the fact that "this slacker showed up to work 66 years late acting like he still has a job," is pretty bold move in itself.