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View Full Version : Ranks and discrepancies.


Outback 2094
04-30-2008, 02:49 AM
I know it's not a big deal, just something I've noticed. And it may have been discussed before, so I apologize if I missed the memo.

Why did some characters get a rank with their name this time around? "Sergeant" Stalker for example.

What about discrepancies in rank? These are the ones I've noticed:

Sergeant Flash has a grade of E-4. In the Marine Corps and Army that rank is a Corporal.

Staff Sergeant Rock 'n' Roll is listed as E-5. Again, in the Marine Corps and Army, this is Sergeant.

Duke is listed as First Sergeant with a grade of E-8 "Master Sergeant". While they are in fact the same grade, they are two different ranks.

Flint is called Warrant Officer (which if I remember correctly is WO-1 through WO-4), with a grade of E-6, a Staff Sergeant. Two totally different ranks.

Lieutenant Torpedo is listed as WO-4. Again two totally different ranks.

Not really a big deal. I was just curious as to your thoughts.

minstrelboy
04-30-2008, 05:50 AM
Yeah - I've noticed this as well. Of course, some figures were promoted later in updated versions of themselves. There were a helluva lot of Corporals, too, which isn't a very common rank in the Army nowadays. I thought that an elite force such as the Joes would all have far higher ranks myself - but then again, it is just an action figure line designed for kids... And let's not even talk about the discrepancies in the MOS's and secondary MOS's listed for some of these figures and actual MOS's.

hamilcar
04-30-2008, 07:01 AM
can't say why they seem to have some ranks incorrect, but as for the adding "Sgt" to the name issue: i believe i saw somewhere that it is a naming rights thing. Hasbro may have lost the rights to the name Stalker, Flash and others, and to get around it, are calling the figures "Sgt. Stalker", "Sgt. Flash", "SSgt Rock n Roll", etc.

minstrelboy
04-30-2008, 07:17 AM
That makes sense... as ridiculous as it sounds.

Sergeant Major
04-30-2008, 09:37 AM
can't say why they seem to have some ranks incorrect, but as for the adding "Sgt" to the name issue: i believe i saw somewhere that it is a naming rights thing. Hasbro may have lost the rights to the name Stalker, Flash and others, and to get around it, are calling the figures "Sgt. Stalker", "Sgt. Flash", "SSgt Rock n Roll", etc.


Give this man a No-Prize!

You're exactly right. Copyright issues.


Hamilcar = WIN!

Vagabond Elf
04-30-2008, 11:19 AM
That makes sense... as ridiculous as it sounds.

A lot of the problem is that you can't copyright a single word, and if it's too common, you can't trademark it either. So "Flash" becomes "Serjeant Flash", "Jazz" becomes "Autobot Jazz" and so forth.

As for the discrepancy between their new name and their listed Grade, I suspect a lot of it is the advertising bloke who comes up with the new name didn't read (or understand) the grades.

And since I don't know a whole lot about the Yank army (other than stories from my CF buddies, which are rarely flattering), is it possible that E-4 meant something different in 1982 than it does now? I know the CF has rearranged the rank structure a couple times in it's history, so it seems possible to me that the US Army may have too.

Omegawrath
04-30-2008, 11:51 AM
A lot of the problem is that you can't copyright a single word, and if it's too common, you can't trademark it either. So "Flash" becomes "Serjeant Flash", "Jazz" becomes "Autobot Jazz" and so forth.

As for the discrepancy between their new name and their listed Grade, I suspect a lot of it is the advertising bloke who comes up with the new name didn't read (or understand) the grades.

And since I don't know a whole lot about the Yank army (other than stories from my CF buddies, which are rarely flattering), is it possible that E-4 meant something different in 1982 than it does now? I know the CF has rearranged the rank structure a couple times in it's history, so it seems possible to me that the US Army may have too.
Nah. The rank structure is basically the same as in 1982.

Hasbro's always made rank blunders. Flint and Torpedo are both Warrant Officers. (A special caste of officer ranking between enlisted and proper officers). However Flint was referred to as an E-6 (Staff Sergeant) back in the Order of Battle and Torpedo is being referred to as a Lieutenant now.

It's all jacked up.

minstrelboy
04-30-2008, 02:27 PM
A lot of the problem is that you can't copyright a single word, and if it's too common, you can't trademark it either. So "Flash" becomes "Serjeant Flash", "Jazz" becomes "Autobot Jazz" and so forth.

As for the discrepancy between their new name and their listed Grade, I suspect a lot of it is the advertising bloke who comes up with the new name didn't read (or understand) the grades.

And since I don't know a whole lot about the Yank army (other than stories from my CF buddies, which are rarely flattering), is it possible that E-4 meant something different in 1982 than it does now? I know the CF has rearranged the rank structure a couple times in it's history, so it seems possible to me that the US Army may have too.

E-4 is either Specialist (plain enlisted grade) or Corporal (which is a junior non-comissioned officer). There were different types of E-4 back in the day, which went away as the '80's came to a close. Corporal is still a rank in use within the Army, but is not very common. Usually, you're an E-4P (P being "promotable"). Which is basically the same thing.

tuan_tran73
04-30-2008, 04:34 PM
What do you expect when these figures produce in China, and what do they know about U.S. Military ranking. BTW, QC is also in China. lol

Jism83
04-30-2008, 04:47 PM
Staff Sergeant Rock 'n' Roll is listed as E-5. Again, in the Marine Corps and Army, this is Sergeant.


in the Air Force E-5 is a staff sergeant

as for Duke:

Master Sergeants in the U.S. Marine Corps provide technical leadership as occupational specialists at the E-8 level. General command leadership at this paygrade is provided by the separate rank of First Sergeant.

cant help with the rest.

Ash Talon
04-30-2008, 05:51 PM
I was going to chime in with the rights issue, but it looks like someone beat me to it.

One recent thing I find odd is the 3-pack Hawk. His name on his base is "G.I.Joe Hawk." Grunt and Duke don't have the "G.I.Joe" name in front of their codenames. Why doesn't it say, "General Hawk"? Since these packs are about rank, shouldn't all the characters have their ranks on their bases?

Onslaught Six
04-30-2008, 07:13 PM
Why doesn't it say, "General Hawk"? Since these packs are about rank, shouldn't all the characters have their ranks on their bases?

Hawk's gone through a lot of trash. In the early '00s, he became General Tomahawk (Awful, awful name--but his second figure was pretty cool. Still my favourite older Hawk) and then for VvV and the comic packs, he became General Clayton Abernathy--which they did a lot around then. Now they're back to calling him Hawk, though, finally.

I suspect the reason he's GI Joe Hawk and not General Hawk, however, is because he first had to come out in the comic pack, where he distinctly was Issue #1 Hawk and not General Hawk From 1986. GI Joe Hawk is more universal, as he's a character who apparently *does* change rank at some point, and he'd be portrayed as doing so.

Think of it like this--Stalker, Flash and Rock'n'Roll et al. aren't going to get promoted from the ranks they're initially given, right? So they can stick with one name. And that's fine. But if Flash were noticably promoted in the original '86 toyline to, say, General Flash, well, now he'd need a different name--and rather than trademark both Sgt. Flash and General Flash, they come up with a decent comprimise.

Anyway, I've never paid attention to this kind of flubbery because, honestly, I could care less what the ranks are--I don't know jack shit about the real military and I'd prefer to keep it that way--but if I *need* an explaination that works, then the Rank thing is not their actual rank within GI Joe but rather their rank in the regular Army/Navy/Marines/etc. So maybe Flint was an E-6 in the regular Army, but within GI Joe, he's a Warrant Officer.