History Main / LimitedAdvancementOpportunities

13th Oct '17 7:59:23 AM CosmicFerret
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* Averted on ''BabylonFive''. Ivanova starts the series as a Lt Commander, gets promoted to Commander at the beginning of season two, gets promoted to Captain at the end of Season 4, and has reached flag rank in the series finale which takes place twenty years later. Most other characters with military careers don't get promoted within the military, but do achieve high rank in a non-military field later on. Vir has the biggest promotion over the course of the series - Ambassador's aide to Emperor. Played straight in one of the ExpandedUniverse novels where the man who founded [=PsiCorps=] turned down a chance to ''run for President'' because he felt that would be a demotion.

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* Averted on ''BabylonFive''.''Series/BabylonFive''. Ivanova starts the series as a Lt Commander, gets promoted to Commander at the beginning of season two, gets promoted to Captain at the end of Season 4, and has reached flag rank in the series finale which takes place twenty years later. Most other characters with military careers don't get promoted within the military, but do achieve high rank in a non-military field later on. Vir has the biggest promotion over the course of the series - Ambassador's aide to Emperor. Played straight in one of the ExpandedUniverse novels where the man who founded [=PsiCorps=] turned down a chance to ''run for President'' because he felt that would be a demotion.
4th Sep '17 2:25:53 PM ProfessorGrimm
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* ''Series/{{Castle}}'': The core quartet of Beckett, Castle, Esposito, and Ryan remains constant throughout the show's entire eight-year run. Castle is a civilian who theoretically tags along to use Beckett and her team as source material for his ''Literature/NikkiHeat'' novels, but the other three should've been promoted at some point. Beckett spends a couple episodes at the start of season six working as an investigator for the attorney general but gets fired for political reasons, and in a couple season seven episodes is heard complaining about her lack of advancement (though the WhatIf universe shown in "[[Recap/CastleS7E6TheTimeOfOurLives The Time of Our Lives]]" has her as the squad captain, and stuck investigating her desk all day).

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* ''Series/{{Castle}}'': The core quartet of Beckett, Castle, Esposito, and Ryan remains constant throughout the show's entire eight-year run. Castle is a civilian who theoretically tags along to use Beckett and her team as source material for his ''Literature/NikkiHeat'' novels, but the other three should've been promoted at some point. Beckett spends a couple episodes at the start of season six working as an investigator for the attorney general but gets fired for political reasons, and in a couple season seven episodes is heard complaining about her lack of advancement (though the WhatIf universe shown in "[[Recap/CastleS7E6TheTimeOfOurLives The Time of Our Lives]]" has her as the squad captain, and stuck investigating her desk all day). Eventually Beckett ''does'' get promoted in the last season, while Ryan and Esposito decide to take the Sergeant's Exam.
21st Aug '17 11:24:21 AM SeptimusHeap
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** In Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy, Pellaeon was a sixty-year-old captain of an Imperial Star Destroyer. Being unwilling to rule, he just followed the Empire's current leaders and tried to scrape it back together again whenever those leaders inevitably fell, never getting promoted. But as time went on and he outlived those superiors, one of them [[YouAreInCommandNow put him in charge]] before fleeing into obscurity, and so by the HandOfThrawn duology he was Admiral Pellaeon, the Supreme Commander of the [[VestigialEmpire Imperial Remnant]]. And by the time of the Literature/NewJediOrder series, the Empire has expanded sufficiently that he was promoted again, to the same rank of ''Grand Admiral'' that his late mentor Thrawn had held.

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** In Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy, Pellaeon was a sixty-year-old captain of an Imperial Star Destroyer. Being unwilling to rule, he just followed the Empire's current leaders and tried to scrape it back together again whenever those leaders inevitably fell, never getting promoted. But as time went on and he outlived those superiors, one of them [[YouAreInCommandNow put him in charge]] before fleeing into obscurity, and so by the HandOfThrawn Literature/HandOfThrawn duology he was Admiral Pellaeon, the Supreme Commander of the [[VestigialEmpire Imperial Remnant]]. And by the time of the Literature/NewJediOrder series, the Empire has expanded sufficiently that he was promoted again, to the same rank of ''Grand Admiral'' that his late mentor Thrawn had held.
22nd Jul '17 6:27:37 AM Piterpicher
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* ''MajorDad'' had in its final season made the 'Up or Out' system an important plot point. The Major was up for promotion the second time. There is no third time. Lieutenant Colonel Dad doesn't have the same ring to it.

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* ''MajorDad'' ''Series/MajorDad'' had in its final season made the 'Up or Out' system an important plot point. The Major was up for promotion the second time. There is no third time. Lieutenant Colonel Dad doesn't have the same ring to it.
28th Jun '17 10:26:43 PM ApeAccount
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Added DiffLines:

** Emphasising the point with Harry, his actual role was "Operations Officer", the same as Data from "The Next Generation" who was second in command of the ship. He even regularly took command of the night shift, something otherwise only done by the three most senior officers on the ship. Yet he remains the lowest ranked.
10th Jun '17 10:44:21 AM nombretomado
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* Averted in ''TheWire''. Throughout the series, several people are promoted, sometimes more than once, including policemen, politicians, and street hustlers.

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* Averted in ''TheWire''.''Series/TheWire''. Throughout the series, several people are promoted, sometimes more than once, including policemen, politicians, and street hustlers.
2nd Apr '17 11:43:02 AM nombretomado
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* Long-running soaps can avoid this by following the progression of the characters as they grow. ''HomeAndAway'''s Sally Fletcher appeared in the show's pilot as a nine-year old schoolgirl; by the time she left twenty years and four thousand, six hundred and nine episodes later she was the school's principal.

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* Long-running soaps can avoid this by following the progression of the characters as they grow. ''HomeAndAway'''s ''Series/HomeAndAway'''s Sally Fletcher appeared in the show's pilot as a nine-year old schoolgirl; by the time she left twenty years and four thousand, six hundred and nine episodes later she was the school's principal.
31st Mar '17 2:19:37 PM xneon
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* In ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'', Obiwan tells his master Qui-gon Jinn that he would already be on the Jedi High Council if he would just stop arguing with them. Qui-gon doesn't mind, since he prefers following his own interpretation of the will of the Force.

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* In ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'', Obiwan Obi-wan tells his master Qui-gon Jinn that he would already be on the Jedi High Council if he would just stop arguing with them. Qui-gon doesn't mind, since he prefers following his own interpretation of the will of the Force.
4th Mar '17 1:19:04 PM StarSword
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Series/{{Castle}}'': The core quartet of Beckett, Castle, Esposito, and Ryan remains constant throughout the show's entire eight-year run. Castle is a civilian who theoretically tags along to use Beckett and her team as source material for his ''Literature/NikkiHeat'' novels, but the other three should've been promoted at some point. Beckett spends a couple episodes at the start of season six working as an investigator for the attorney general but gets fired for political reasons, and in a couple season seven episodes is heard complaining about her lack of advancement (though the WhatIf universe shown in "[[Recap/CastleS7E6TheTimeOfOurLives The Time of Our Lives]]" has her as the squad captain, and stuck investigating her desk all day).
26th Feb '17 6:43:37 AM StFan
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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]

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[[folder:Anime and & Manga]]



* Followed in ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'' with Sousuke, who, throughout the entire series, despite being incredibly competent and single-handedly saving the day numerous times, stays a [[AlmightyJanitor sergeant and receives no promotions]]. Most likely, however, he actively avoids moving up ranks, and apparently prefers to simply [[ObfuscatingStupidity keep a low profile]] and do his work. Another possibility is that his organization is GenreSavvy enough to know that to promoted him would take him out of situations that only he can resolve. Interestingly, Mao gets promoted to SRT second in command (despite not doing ''nearly'' as much as Sousuke).[[note]]This is because officers like Mao are managers, and [=NCOs=] like Sousuke are specialists. The higher up the chain you go, leadership becomes more important and personal badassery less so.[[//note]]
* Played straight in a canon chapter of ''OnePiece'' made to promote the tenth movie: Vice-Admiral Garp refused promotion to Admiral, despite having the strength and renown for such a promotion to be possible, because being an Admiral would give him less freedom to do what he wanted.

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* Followed in ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'' with Sousuke, Sōsuke, who, throughout the entire series, despite being incredibly competent and single-handedly singlehandedly saving the day numerous times, stays a [[AlmightyJanitor sergeant and receives no promotions]]. Most likely, however, he actively avoids moving up ranks, and apparently prefers to simply [[ObfuscatingStupidity keep a low profile]] and do his work. Another possibility is that his organization is GenreSavvy enough to know that to promoted him would take him out of situations that only he can resolve. Interestingly, Mao gets promoted to SRT second in command (despite not doing ''nearly'' as much as Sousuke).Sōsuke).[[note]]This is because officers like Mao are managers, and [=NCOs=] like Sousuke Sōsuke are specialists. The higher up the chain you go, leadership becomes more important and personal badassery less so.[[//note]]
* Played straight in a canon chapter of ''OnePiece'' ''Manga/OnePiece'' made to promote the tenth movie: Vice-Admiral Garp refused promotion to Admiral, despite having the strength and renown for such a promotion to be possible, because being an Admiral would give him less freedom to do what he wanted.



* Captain Haddock, which is lampshaded in ''{{Tintin}} and the Picaros''

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* Captain Haddock, which is lampshaded in ''{{Tintin}} ''Franchise/{{Tintin}} and the Picaros''



[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* In the [[ComicBookTime sixty-odd years]] that ComicStrip/BeetleBailey has been in the Army, ''nobody'' at Camp Swampy has been promoted. Though one could make the case that nobody there deserves to be promoted. In fact many of the characters (including Beetle) appear to still be in boot camp.
[[/folder]]



* Noted in ''[[FanFic/DreamingOfSunshine Dreaming Of Sunshine]]'' by Shikako regarding the Special Jounin rank. Justified in that they are valued experts in a specialty, and thus have more difficulty getting promoted out of it.

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* Noted in ''[[FanFic/DreamingOfSunshine Dreaming Of Sunshine]]'' ''Fanfic/DreamingOfSunshine'' by Shikako regarding the Special Jounin rank. Justified in that they are valued experts in a specialty, and thus have more difficulty getting promoted out of it.



[[folder:Film]]

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[[folder:Film]][[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]



* In the StarWars ExpandedUniverse [[Literature/XWingSeries X-Wing series]], Wedge Antilles frequently passes up chances for advancement, preferring the rank of Commander and leading Rogue Squadron to taking a greater role. Eventually, though, he realizes he's being a bit selfish--that he could contribute at a much greater level. Ackbar also notes that for an upcoming campaign, he'll need rank to pull. That, and the fact that some generals are allowed to stay on commanding elite squadrons instead of flying a desk all the time, convinces him. (It's notable he's a general, and one with no small influence over the supreme commander, before he's 30, though.)

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* In the StarWars ExpandedUniverse Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse [[Literature/XWingSeries X-Wing series]], Wedge Antilles frequently passes up chances for advancement, preferring the rank of Commander and leading Rogue Squadron to taking a greater role. Eventually, though, he realizes he's being a bit selfish--that he could contribute at a much greater level. Ackbar also notes that for an upcoming campaign, he'll need rank to pull. That, and the fact that some generals are allowed to stay on commanding elite squadrons instead of flying a desk all the time, convinces him. (It's notable he's a general, and one with no small influence over the supreme commander, before he's 30, though.)






[[folder:NewspaperComics]]
* In the [[ComicBookTime sixty-odd years]] that ComicStrip/BeetleBailey has been in the Army, ''nobody'' at Camp Swampy has been promoted. Though one could make the case that nobody there deserves to be promoted. In fact many of the characters (including Beetle) appear to still be in boot camp.
[[/folder]]



[[folder:TabletopGames]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'': Several Space Marines with decades of combat experience choose to remain at their current rank to serve as instructors to the new Marines, such as Tellion and [[VideoGame/DawnOfWar Cyrus]] (Scout Sergeants in the Literature/{{Ultramarines}} and Literature/BloodRavens respectively).

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[[folder:TabletopGames]]
[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'': ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'': Several Space Marines with decades of combat experience choose to remain at their current rank to serve as instructors to the new Marines, such as Tellion and [[VideoGame/DawnOfWar Cyrus]] (Scout Sergeants in the Literature/{{Ultramarines}} and Literature/BloodRavens respectively).



[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', most characters have undergone several promotions, but Schlock was promoted rapidly to corporal and then sergeant early on, and then stopped there, because no one wants him to be an officer, especially Schlock himself. He has deliberately stayed a Sergeant even in periods where he technically owned the company and could dictate his own terms. Compare Breya, who made herself an Admiral in the same position. The closest he ever got to wanting to progress was being disappointed by the fact that only officers get "epaulet grenades".

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[[folder:Webcomics]]
[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', most ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'':
** Most
characters have undergone several promotions, but Schlock was promoted rapidly to corporal and then sergeant early on, and then stopped there, because no one no-one wants him to be an officer, especially Schlock himself. He has deliberately stayed a Sergeant even in periods where he technically owned the company and could dictate his own terms. Compare Breya, who made herself an Admiral in the same position. The closest he ever got to wanting to progress was being disappointed by the fact that only officers get "epaulet grenades".



* TerminalLance takes its name from Marines whose climb up the rank ladder has stalled at Lance Corporal (just below NCO status), often because the cutting score (a nigh-incomprehensible mess of test scores, job evaluations, and other minutia) is so high. A common complaint in the strip is that the infantry tends to have higher cutting scores than the [[DeskJockey support and logistics elements]]. It' gotten to the point that Abe has gotten his Lance Corporal insignia tattooed on his back.

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* TerminalLance ''Webcomic/TerminalLance'' takes its name from Marines whose climb up the rank ladder has stalled at Lance Corporal (just below NCO status), often because the cutting score (a nigh-incomprehensible mess of test scores, job evaluations, and other minutia) is so high. A common complaint in the strip is that the infantry tends to have higher cutting scores than the [[DeskJockey support and logistics elements]]. It' It's gotten to the point that Abe has gotten his Lance Corporal insignia tattooed on his back.



* [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Homer Simpson]] will always get busted back down to safety inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Sometimes this is due to his own negligence, but more often, the show lampshades the inflexibility of his day-to-day existence. (We even see an elderly Homer occupying the same office in the future.)

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* [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Homer Simpson]] Simpson will always get busted back down to safety inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Sometimes this is due to his own negligence, but more often, the show lampshades the inflexibility of his day-to-day existence. (We even see an elderly Homer occupying the same office in the future.)



* The US Military's "Up or out" policy is designed to avert this, though this wasn't always the case. In the past, promotions were less focused on forcing officers to progress their careers upward. A good example is Eisenhower who spent 16 years as a major before being promoted to lieutenant colonel. In practice this means forcing a good portion of personnel to retire as options are fewer the higher one goes. Below certain levels one is not even allowed to reach the 20 year mark to qualify for retirement benefits.
** In the past, between major military actions, the US military reverted to a skeleton force (essentially a planning and training cadre), designed to be pumped up again with draftees in case of war. Eisenhower and the other WWII generals held low "permanent" ranks in the Regular Army, and "theater rank" in the provisional Army of the United States. With the large and all-volunteer post-Vietnam military, things have changed a great deal.

to:

* The US Military's "Up or out" policy is designed to avert this, though this wasn't always the case. In the past, promotions were less focused on forcing officers to progress their careers upward. A good example is Eisenhower who spent 16 years as a major before being promoted to lieutenant colonel. In practice this means forcing a good portion of personnel to retire as options are fewer the higher one goes. Below certain levels one is not even allowed to reach the 20 year mark to qualify for retirement benefits.
**
benefits.\\\
In the past, between major military actions, the US military reverted to a skeleton force (essentially a planning and training cadre), designed to be pumped up again with draftees in case of war. Eisenhower and the other WWII generals held low "permanent" ranks in the Regular Army, and "theater rank" in the provisional Army of the United States. With the large and all-volunteer post-Vietnam military, things have changed a great deal.



* Similar to the military "up or out" policy mentioned above, the [[UsefulNotes/BritishCoppers UK Metropolitan Police]] had a policy for most of the 20th century called 'tenure' which was designed to avert this. It pretty much amounted to forcing plain clothes detectives who hadn't significantly improved their careers within a certain period (i.e., somebody who had been a Detective Sergeant for a decade or more without having advanced up to Inspector) to have to go back into uniform. The purpose of this was that it was supposed to stop them getting complacent, as well as allowing others within the department the opportunity to advance rank in their wake. It often had the opposite effect though, as many detectives were said to have chosen to resign rather than face the "indignity" of being put back into uniform. UsefulNotes/ScotlandYard officially abandoned the tenure scheme in the early 21st century.

to:

* Similar to the military "up or out" policy mentioned above, the [[UsefulNotes/BritishCoppers UK Metropolitan Police]] had a policy for most of the 20th century called 'tenure' "tenure" which was designed to avert this. It pretty much amounted to forcing plain clothes detectives who hadn't significantly improved their careers within a certain period (i.e., somebody who had been a Detective Sergeant for a decade or more without having advanced up to Inspector) to have to go back into uniform. The purpose of this was that it was supposed to stop them getting complacent, as well as allowing others within the department the opportunity to advance rank in their wake. It often had the opposite effect though, as many detectives were said to have chosen to resign rather than face the "indignity" of being put back into uniform. UsefulNotes/ScotlandYard officially abandoned the tenure scheme in the early 21st century.



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