*1-Sgt. Slaughter's Renegades have never been part of any military recognized by the United Nations, and therefore their ranks are honorary equivalents to the specified grade. This also applies to the Fridge.
*2-Though Major Altitude uses the title "Major" in his code name, he is not an actual Major (O-4) in rank, he is a Chief Warrant Officer (WO-2)
*3-Sideswipe's filecard lists his rank as E-5A, but I have no idea what the A means.
*4-Scarlet has trained with Marine Corp fields, but she, like all founding Joes, is Army.
*5-Mainframe started his military career in the Army, but later re-enlisted as a Marine.
*6-No Rank Given
Originally Posted by Rotty
I've never seen this thread before today, but since it's back, I might as well post the updated edition of the rank chart I originally posted to The Pit mailing list circa 1996. This is the third edition: the second included the fat promotions Thomas Wheeler gave the Joes in '97 and '98, almost all of which have been retconned on all subsequent file cards for those characters. I now assume that only the '97 or '98 file cards of characters who have not been rereleased since then are canon.
UNITED STATES ARMY
Joseph Colton ----- O-10
General Hawk ------ O-8
General Flagg Sr. - O-7 (as of 1982)
General Flagg Jr. - O-7 (as of 1992)
Sgt. Hacker ------- unspecified, E-5 to E-9
Back Stop --------- not given
*Defected to Cobra under brainwashing. It is unknown how he attained the rank of Master Sergeant after attacking US troops during his initial stint as a Cobra terrorist.
**Second version apparently demoted to E-5, but appearance and rank seem to have been confused with Lifeline I.
***Promoted to E-5 in 1991, all subsequent file cards say E-4. This is ignored on the assumption that disciplinary action resulting in demotion would entail his removal from GI Joe.
UNITED STATES NAVY
Keel-Haul --------- O-9
Wet Down ---------- WO-5
Torpedo ----------- WO-4
Deep Six ---------- E-7
Shipwreck --------- E-7
Tracker ----------- E-7
Topside ----------- E-6
Wet-Suit ---------- E-6
Depth Charge ------ E-5
Link -------------- E-4
Rampart ----------- E-4
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
Gung-Ho ----------- E-9****
Leatherneck ------- E-7
Sgt. Slaughter ---- E-7
Hollow Point ------ E-6
Mirage ------------ E-6
Mainframe --------- E-5
Blast-Off --------- E-4
****Promoted to E-9 in 1992, apparently demoted to E-7 in 2002. As with Dusty, this is ignored.
1) General "Hawk" Abernathy outranks Flagg the Younger. What role then does Flagg serve vis-a-vis GI Joe?
2) There are three enlisted men in GI Joe who outrank Duke: Airwave, Gung-Ho, and Mercer. Even if we accept the '97 file card for Duke, these three still have more time in grade than him, and thus would not be his subordinates. What the heck?
3) Airwave's rank makes no bloody sense whatsoever. Not only is Sergeant Major of the Army a desk job, but Airwave apparently outranks his own squad leader, "Sky Patrol Leader" Skydive.
4) The United States Marine Corps is the only branch of the US military not to have an officer represented in GI Joe.
I have tacked Rotty's list to this one, since his differs from mine in many ways, as well as reflecting more recent ranks on some characters, whereas mine only reflects the highest ranks on any of their file cards.
Wild Bill would be a higher ranked officer than Duke if gi joe functioned under standered military guigrlines... which it does not. GI Joe has always had leeway to choose thier own leadership despite official military rank. Also GI Joe has ben able to get around mandatory retirement rules for its soldiers. Thats how you have Stalker who must be about 50 by now running around with the tiger force.
Lest we forget that GI Joe also gets to shoot lazers and battle Venom enhanced supervillians as well.
Duke is a Field Commander. Wild Bill is a pilot. All the pilots of planes and helicopters are Officers. But since their action rarly happens on the ground, the fact he outranks Duke really doen't matter. However, if Duke is on a helicopter that Bill is piloting, Bill is in charge.
ALthough I don't agree with all of his ideas, I like the idea of charting out all of these ranks.
He used to have a chart showing promotions and demotions, but that isn't on there any more.
I'd like to see a chart like this that followed comic & file card continuity, showing when characters were off off the team (in death) or in the 90s or which year they rejoined the team.
I've ignored the demotions, figuring they were just minor oversites on the part of Hasbro, Most notable Hawk going from Brigadier General (1 Star) to Major General (2 Star) then back down to Brigadier General for several figures, then up again.
Also, Flint's first File Card lists him as a Warrant Officer, but his rank as an E-6 (Staff Sergeant), and so on.
For this reason, I only listed them under their highest rank avchieved, seeing as how the GI Joe team is supposed to be the best of the best, anything that might cause someone to be demoted would also likely get them kicked off the team.
I do wish that I could chart out which branch of military each character comes from, so I could specify which rank each character is. E-5 can mean Sergeant in Army and Marines, Petty Officer Second Class in Navy, and Staff Sergeant in the Airforce.