Let’s be clear, shall we? By raising the question of whether Cap’n Crunch is indeed a captain, or as some have suggested, a commander, our intent was never to lay the beloved cereal sailor low. Nay, we only seek the truth, so as to be undistracted by such trappings when it comes time to break our fast. We want to get to the bottom of this man of mystery, and the U.S. Navy appears to have the same goal.
As noted before on Consumerist, inspired by a post on FoodBeast earlier this week, there’s some confusion regarding the Cap’n’s uniform. The stripes on his cuffs* would seem to indicate that, at least according to U.S. Naval uniform codes, he holds the rank of a commander, not a captain. But again, a commander is also addressed as “captain” by his crew.
The Cap’n himself replied to Consumerist on Twitter to address the controversy, and as is befitting of his esteemed place in marine society, he’s taking the whole thing with aplomb.
So no biggie, right? Sure. But we wouldn’t consider ourselves journalists here at Consumerist if we didn’t look at this thing from every angle. As such, the U.S. Navy has confirmed to Foreign Policy that the Cap’n looks like an impostor based on uniform alone.
“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, tells Foreign Policy. “Oddly, our personnel records do not show a ‘Cap’n Crunch’ who currently serves or has served in the Navy.”
The Cap’n maintains on Twitter that the uniform is nothing to be concerned with, as “It’s the Crunch — not the clothes — that make a man.”
So is he even wearing a U.S. Naval uniform? It’s likely not a French outfit, as Foreign Policy points out that that insignia consists of five stripes — three yellow, two white — while Crunch is sporting something similar to the rank of frigate captain in the German and Portuguese navies.
While we’re newly secure in the rightness of calling him a captain, now we’re left wondering exactly who it is that Cap’n Crunch sails for. He’s never claimed an affiliation to any of the above mentioned countries, only worn clothing that would seem to suggest some sort of loyalty.
We think we’ve got the answer: He sails for you. He sails for me. He sails for cereal and all it stands for. Whether your bowl be big or small, your milk fatty or skim, the Cap’n is all of us. And that will never change.
*It’s also worth nothing through all of this, as Consumerist reader Mike pointed out, that a quick Google search of Cap’n Crunch throughout the years shows him sporting one and two stripes as well. We’re not even going to dig into what is surely a Quaker Oats conspiracy to drive us all crazy.
Navy Responds to Crunch Scandal [Foreign Policy]