It would appear when they're not busy liberating developing nations from a sinister despot or encouraging UFO stories after their new toy gets spotted by the International Space Station, the US Army likes nothing more than rifling through Reddit debates.
Following the release of Captain America: Civil War, Reddit user anon33249038 (catchy) raised a pertinent point with his girlfriend about Steve Rogers' relatively low-level rank:
"I made the joke to girlfriend that Captain America has been in the Army for 66 years and is still just a captain," mused anon. "She told me yeah but he's been frozen since 1945. Then I said oh my gosh that means that they owe him 66 years back pay because technically he was never relieved of Duty. So I did the math."
The Reddit user the set about outlining the various pay grades and rates that would apply to Rogers' 66 years of service, stating that the US government owes him $3,154,619.52 (£2,187,806).
Looks like Tony Stark isn't the millionaire in the Avengers then?
At some point during the resulting Reddit discussion, the theory came to the attention of the US Army: yes, the Cap would be owed some back pay, but they had a quibble about how much the amount would be. Army spokesman Wayne Hall outlined the Reddit user's error:
"If Capt. Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) were not a fictional character [thanks for clarifying that] 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."
Apparently the original fan theory was off due to 'misinterpreted military pay scales' - and Steve Rogers would actually be owed a lot more than his $3 million.
Someone get Marvel on the phone - we've got an idea for the next Captain America sequel: Civil Pay Dispute.