Every community needs a first post, so I'm going to re-write mine about Jack O'Neill's rank and whether or not it's reasonable for him to be stuck at "Colonel" for that long. He was a colonel for at least ten years before being promoted to General (and apparently he'll be getting a third star with the next Stargate movie, taking him from Major General to Lieutenant General), and was apparently figuring he was going to retire from the Air Force with the rank of Colonel. Is his promotion schedule logical or reasonable?

We know he was a Captain in 1982 (East Berlin and East Fly) and a Colonel by fourteen years later (the first Abydos Mission, c. 1996) and we also know that with the military it's either up or out (i.e. if you're passed over for a "scheduled" bump-up in rank too many times, or, god help you, refuse an offered promotion, you are politely or not so politely invited to just leave.)

Now, certainly Jack, as leader of SG-1, was so vital in that position that he wouldn't be pushed out of the military. It's also true that while (a) Field Command (as opposed to Support and Supply) is absolutely the track to a General's Stars, by the fall of Dakara, it's possible he'd been in this particular position and at this particular rank for so long that yes, he is expecting to retire (again!) as a Colonel (a rank at which there is a mandatory retirement age, though there isn't, incidentally, for Generals...)

So ... is it common to remain a Colonel for a decade? I go with the version of canon that gives his DoB as 1952, which means he's 44 in 1996, which not only means it's a good age for him to have achieved his Colonelcy (yeah, I set up this sentence this way just to use that word; geeks R us), it also means he's staring his retirement in the face right then, since he's certainly done his 20 at this point (if you presume he had a conventional military track, going into the Academy or the Air Force by some other means at 18/19) and can retire. But then SG-1 takes precedence, and he has to go off and save the Earth for the next ten years or so. (This career track also explains his immediate retirement after his return from the first Abydos Mission.)

As for (2) his promotion from Brigadier General to Major General after only one year (in peacetime, while he's flying a desk), IMO (I am not military) it's shockingly previous. Military Beta says the formula is five years between stars, plus a Board of Review (and possibly the sacrifice of chickens): I suspect, if you want to reconcile everything and give a nod to the Real World, Jack's second star was by Presidential fiat, and he got it because he needed more brass to deal with his new position in Homeworld.

You can also handwave it on the basis of the idea that he was slated to make General rather earlier, something that was "held off" so that it wouldn't be a case of General George Hammond having to command General Jack O'Neill (though Hammond would have clear seniority due to date-of-rank), and so the second star was rushed through because it was the rank he "should" have been holding by that point in his career.

But overall (3), yes, despite his comment to the others that "it's on my list," I really don't think that Jack ever aimed to make General. Generals don't go into combat. Generals do paperwork and deal with bureaucrats and send other people off to die, and although anyone who has reached the rank of Colonel is obviously familiar with paperwork and being a member of the Chairborne Division, it's unlikely to be something Jack would be aiming for instead of aiming for retirement...
 
 
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