Here’s the funny thing about Captain America–he was technically never relieved of duty post-World War II. So if he went into the ice still a Captain, and woke up in 2011, as Captain America: The First Avenger suggested… would he qualify for back pay?
According to the Army, he sure would.
The point was brought up by a Reddit user who did some math after a funny conversation with his girlfriend:
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.
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.
Whoa. With so many fans fascinated by the possibility, Army spokesman Wayne Hall sent an email explaining that the theory was mostly correct:
“If Capt. Steve Rogers (aka 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.”
He went on to clarify that the original poster had actually miscalculated the original amount that Cap would have made in a year; he had stated that the O-3 pay grade in 1945 for someone with two years or less experience was $313.50 a quarter–but it was actually $313.50 a month. So the back pay calculated was low, by the original estimation.
Point being… Steve Rogers should be a millionaire now. Sort of.