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  Astronauts' military ranks when selected

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Author Topic:   Astronauts' military ranks when selected
astro-nut
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Posts: 792
From: Washington, IL
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 07-29-2017 11:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would anyone know the military ranks for the following astronaut candidates when they were selected as astronauts? Some were in the Air National Guard/Reserves and/or Naval Reserves.

Any help input would be helpful. Here is the list:

  • Duane Graveline (1965)
  • James von Hoften (1978)
  • Terry Hart (1978)
  • David Griggs (1978)
  • Mike Lounge (1980)
  • Jim Bagian (1980)
  • Dave Wolf (1990)
  • Ron Sega (1990)
  • Jim Reilly (1994)
  • Yvonne Cagle (1996)
  • Mike Fossum (1998)
  • Marc Garneau (1998)
  • Kjell Lindgren (2009)

Philip
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Posts: 5614
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 08-11-2017 05:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I guess most were at least "Captain" in their respective branch...

minipci
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Posts: 307
From: London, UK
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 08-11-2017 07:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for minipci     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to Wikipedia, Marc Garneau was a Commander in the Canadian navy when he was seconded to the Canadian Astronaut Program in 1984. Apparently he had already retired from the navy as a Captain when he was selected for NASA Astronaut Group 14 in 1992.

ColinBurgess
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Posts: 1927
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 08-11-2017 07:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Duane Graveline was a Major (and Flight Surgeon) in the USAF when he was selected by NASA in 1965.

onesmallstep
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Posts: 1213
From: Staten Island, New York USA
Registered: Nov 2007

posted 08-11-2017 10:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe Griggs was a Captain, US Naval Reserve at the time of his selection. He was Rear Admiral at the time of his death in a vintage plane crash, before he flew as pilot on what was to be the STS-33 classified DoD shuttle mission.

Philip
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Posts: 5614
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 10-07-2017 06:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is there a website giving an overview of the astronauts' ranks (e.g. ranks of Gemini IV crew in 1965)?

Most astronauts got a higher rank after a mission, and we know most made it to Colonel and some to General...

Example: Mercury 7 at time of selection:

  • Navy LtCmdr Shepard
  • USAF Capt Grissom
  • USMC LtCol Glenn
  • Navy Lt Carpenter
  • Navy LtCmdr Schirra
  • USAF Capt Cooper
  • USAF Capt Slayton
Editor's note: Threads merged.

dcfowler1
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Posts: 53
From: Eugene, OR
Registered: May 2006

posted 10-07-2017 08:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dcfowler1   Click Here to Email dcfowler1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These days, promotion is fairly proceduralized by each service, and is not used as a reward for flying missions.

Michael Cassutt
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Posts: 345
From: Studio City CA USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 10-12-2017 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Cassutt   Click Here to Email Michael Cassutt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From 1965 to 1985, the Department of Defense had a policy allowing for the automatic promotion of military astronauts after a first space flight. It was changed to automatic promotion after first "interplanetary" (BEO) flight, and I believe that is still the case.

The 1965 practice began when an enthusiastic President Johnson offered spot promotions (major to lieutenant colonel) to McDivitt and White after Gemini IV. He had to be reminded to do the same for Grissom and Young from Gemini III.

All times are CT (US)

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