Pentagon confirms that Cap'n Crunch, cereal fraudster, is wearing rank of a U.S. Navy Commander

Image: Foreign Policy

"You are correct that Cap'n Crunch appears to be wearing the rank of a U.S. Navy commander," Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Flaherty, a U.S. Navy spokeswoman, told Foreign Policy Magazine. "Oddly, our personnel records do not show a 'Cap'n Crunch' who currently serves or has served in the Navy." Michael Peck reports on military fraud and sugar pusher Cap'n Crunch's tarnished legacy. (via Noah Shachtman)


  1. That’s cool though, the Supreme Court said it’s okay to lie about winning military medals (forget the case, I think the guy claimed to have won the medal of honor), so presumably calling yourself a captain and wearing the uniform to pimp cereal is square.

      One of the important points raised in that case is that lying to gain money is not okay, and is one of the few thinly defined exceptions to the freedom to lie.

      However, in this case, the Captain’s attire is apparently that of an archaic captain, and the Pentagon is (as in so many things recently) simply wrong.

      1. Three stripes on the sleeve indicate Commander. Four Stripes on the sleeve indicate Captain. Cap’n Crunch has three stripes on his sleeve.

        1. but, since he is the highest ranking official on the SS Guppy, it’s not incorrect to refer to him as “cap’n”

  2. Prior to the civil war Captains in the U.S. Navy only wore three stripes (source: U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations of 1862). If you look at Crunch’s hat it is pretty clear that he is old school. The pentagon should do their research.

  3. I could be wrong about this, but I heard somewhere that it’s customary to address the acting commander of any vessel as “Captain” even if they hold a different military rank. So is it possible that Commander Crunch could be a Cap’n so long as he’s aboard the USS Sugarballs?

    1. I learned that from Star Trek.  (DS9, to be exact).

      So I have no idea if it’s true or not, but I assume it is just like I assume teleportation is possible..

      1. Even more pedantic: there’s not really any such thing as a Count.  In the English-speaking world, it’s an Earl.  There are Contes and Condes and Comtes.  But the order of rank is:
        Baronet (which is sort of dodgy)

        1.  Even so, Earl Chocula sounds like the name of a tow-truck driver in True Blood.

  4. his name is “Cap’n” not Captain… Maybe everyone should be ashamed for assuming he was implying some sort of military rank?

    1. actually, i believe his name is “Horatio Magellan Crunch”, so maybe that’s why they can’t find his record… they aren’t looking under his name.’n_Crunch

      1. Possibly apocryphal, but I read a story that the British tried to open negotiations with Washington by letter during the Revolutionary War: his aide, however, refused to accept delivery of the letter, on the grounds that there was no such person as “Mr George Washington” in the Continental Army. (If the letter had been addressed to General Washington, on the other hand …)

  5. As all Patrick O’Brien fans, Royal Navy commanders were traditionally titled “captain”, whether or not they commanded a vessel (e.g. Captain John Aubrey, not Commander John Aubrey): this custom seems to have survived into the early 20th century. Don’t know if it was ever the case in the USN.

      1. Sadly, I can’t find what would be a highly relevant clip of Worf walking the plank.

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