lilacs_roses (lilacs_roses) wrote in military_beta,

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Rank & Duties - First Lieutenant, Captain, Major (specific to Colby Granger of Numb3rs)

In my fic, ‘Regrets I Have Lived,’ I made the character of Colby Granger a First Lieutenant – I can’t recall how I came up with that rank so… don’t ask /chuckle.  I’m thinking that, shortly after the humvee incident, Colby got promoted to Captain.  I would really like to have him be the rank of Major before he ends up joining the FBI, which is going to be happening in my fic for the Numb3rs Mini Big Bang over at Numb3rs_Novella.


Since canon never gave us much backstory, Colby’s service in the Army is kind of a mess to decipher – as shown by segments of several discussions over at SaveColby, which I’ve placed behind the cut for length.


I’m giving ‘you’ as many details as possible to help with the questions I have at the bottom.


thoughts on Colby's rank when he was in the Army


Referencing episodes: 2.05 - Assassin, 2.14 -Harvest, 3.04 - The Mole, and 4.15 - End Game... here's what I think.

Colby would have had to be an officer if he went to the Army after college. He would be a commissioned officer, most likely a Second Lieutenant with a BS degree... 1st Lt. with a Masters and Captain with a PhD. In times of war, commissioned officers can and often are sent overseas. Colby saw some action (because he mentions several times the things that he saw) and specifically in 4.15 - he says he was pulled off the lines to work with CID. He mentions three years of counter intelligence training so he was in the service for at least 4 years, but to make him the right age - he could have been in for two terms. They have never said one way or the other on that fact. When I write, I always assume he was in for 8 years... working for CID for most of that.



… your explanation makes sense. I always assumed he was in for eight, too-Megan kinda implies in [3.01] Spree that Colby is 30, so him going from college to the Army to Quantico would work perfectly.



In order to work for the CID (if I am remembering what I have been told by numourous members of my family who were in the military), you have to have a college degree and be an officer or at least of rank. So he would have had to have been an officer.

… plus in one of the other ones when Colby goes to the base (I believe Assassin) the guy there refers obliquely to Colby being an officer.

But yeah they've never come right across and said he was an officer. I would say from what he said--he went from the Army (hitches are 4, 7, 9, etc years) to the FBI. I doubt he served only 4 years (the shortest hitch), but also doubt he served a 15 year hitch either. I've always assumed he was ROTC in college and possibly high school and that's how he ended up in the military.


MISC Inquiry Colby Background


Well, I can tell you for sure that Colby has to have at least a bachelors degree because it's required for all FBI Special Agents, military experiance doesn't negate that requirement.

I'd think that he would have been in ROTC in college, which would explain how he managed to be both a ranger and in CID at a relatively young age (especially since he specifically said he had 3 years of interrogation techniques at one point) but I'm 99% sure it's never actually been mentioned in cannon.



3 & 8. Colby had to finish college to be an FBI agent, and again because he mentioned that college kept him off the front lines (2.05 Assassin) he had to go before he joined the Army. We don't know what he studied *scowls again* but my guess is that it would be something to do with criminology (but then again, joining the FBI may not have been his intention... in 2.05 he kids about joining the FBI because what else would he do with 3 years of interrogation techniques? He could have been an English major for all we know.)


6. I don't know why but I always imagine him doing his basic training in Missouri, then of course going to Aberdeen for specialist training. My guess is he would have been in Hawaii and then Afghanistan. I don't think he had much time for anything else.

7. Given the limited information we do have - I think one four year term in the army: basic, specialist training, he was in Afghanistan a couple months before they pulled him for CID (4.15 End Game) and we know he had three years of that. So, four years would be my guess.

9 - 10. I would say Colby is 32-ish now... and the reason for that is in Season 3 (3.01 - Spree) Megan comments to him that asking what a hot history teacher is doing with a high school kid is only a question that a 30 year old man would have to ask. That was two years ago... so 32. And in my mind it sort of fits with the timeline: graduate college at ~ 22, four years of Army ~ 26, FBI at Quantico ~ 27... so he would have been 28 - 29 in Season 2 when he joined the FBI. But, again, this is just what I think given the information we do have from canon.



The thing with Colby's timeline is that it's so filled with conflicting information, it makes no damn sense. Colby's an officer, which meant he joined at 21-22, after college. Army hitches are eight years (minimum four active duty) so assuming Colby spent six years on active duty, he'd have been out at 28, after which he went to Quantico and came to LA at around 29. OK so far, right?

Here's where it gets REALLY messy. The thing about CID is that they require you to have spent two years in service to qualify, and then five years in the CID before you get out. Which means a)Colby would have had to spend 7 years on active service, throwing off his FBI timeline and b) he would have had to transfer to CID in 2000 to make the five-year requirement, which contradicts canon.

Also, Colby was a Ranger in Afghanistan. He tells David in 3.10 Brutus that he spent 'thirteen months in a tent', which means a full tour of duty. Three years of interrogation beginning in 2002 would mean his hitch with CID wouldn't end until 2007, unless he got either a dishonorable discharge (which is completely OOC for Colby) or an injury severe enough to keep him from the FBI. Also, he didn't say he went to CID, just that 'military intelligence' pulled him out, which for all we know could mean CID, PsyOps, or even JSOC (the guys in charge of Special Forces.)

3 & 8. He definitely went to college first- you need that baccalaureate to be an officer, Plus, he mentions being on a wrestling team in Hardball. No idea what he studied, but his specialty seems to be research and finding information. We know he went somewhere there was a wrestling team (so if he went to college in Idaho, he'd go to Boise State not Idaho State, 'cause ISU doesn't have one)

4. ROTC in college or high school. Maybe even West Point- they have seats open for children of servicemen, and education is free in exchange for a stint in uniform, so money wouldn't be a factor. Colby doesn't wear a West Point class ring, but then again we've never seen him in Class As.

6. As for Hawaii, assuming Colby went to CID, then when he was with them, otherwise the only way would be for his Ranger crew to have some kind of training exercise there. 75th Ranger Regiment is HQed in Fort Benning, so that's where Colby would have been stationed, plus they do regular training exercises all over the place.

7. See my rant above. Standard Army hitch is eight years, so I think Colby did six years on active and two on reserve.

9 and 10. My best guess? Born in 1976, graduated high school in 1994. Went into the Army (and likely the Rangers) in 1998. Sometime in 2002 or 2003, he got pulled out by 'military intelligence' and spent a couple years doing Hades only knows what until he quit active duty and signed up for Quantico. I'm pretty sure L.A. was his first post- David mentions in Judgment Call that Colby still has the 'Army mentality' so odds are he's fresh from the sandbox.


If Colby was West Point, obligatory service is 5 years active after graduation, 3 reserve and Military Intelligence is one of the areas you can select upon graduation.



*nods* Yeah I keep wondering if he's still in the reserves because you can work in the private sector and be a reservist. (Which just sets my mind off on a whole 'nother tangent)



So, if you’re still with me, thank goodness!!!


My questions are:


1) How long would it take for someone (Colby with all those details above) to be promoted from First Lieutenant (how long would he have been in the Army to have gotten that rank to begin with given those details?) to Captain to Major?


2) FYI: Dylan Bruno, the man who plays the character of Colby Granger, was born in September of 72.  If I go with Megan’s line in Spree of him being 30 at the beginning of the third season, he’d be about 32, 33, perhaps even 34 at the time he was found to be a (triple agent) spy at the end of season 3 but resolved in the first episode of season 4.


Given that timeline, and he’d been an FBI agent for about two years, he would have left the Army at about 29, 30, perhaps 31.  Could he have attainted the rank of Major – given all the details above – by that time?


3) What are the actual duties of a:

First Lieutenant




Yeah, I know.  Why do I want Colby to be a Major if I don’t know what the duties are.  My biggest reason is because ‘Captains’ seem to be ‘a dime a dozen’ and, not knowing anything about how any of the military works, I would think that, with everything detailed above, Colby would have been more than a Captain but… that’s where I need help.


Cross-posted to we_are_numb3rs, little_details, military_beta and savecolby.


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