Now that Carol Danvers has returned to Earth, does the Air Force owe here backpay?
That question has been answered thanks to military news outlet Task & Purpose. After seeing Captain Marvel, the website reached out to the Air Force to find out what the policy would be regarding a situation like the one Carol Danvers is involved in during the film.
If you haven't seen the movie (SPOILERS) or need a refresher, Danvers is presumed dead after a supposed accident involving an experimental aircraft. Since she would most likely have been declared dead, her next of kin would be eligible to receive her military benefits.
"If that was the case, then her family most likely would have received her [Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance] benefits if she had elected them as beneficiaries," an Air Force spokesperson speaking anonymously told Task & Purpose. The spokesperson also says that those beneficiaries "would have also received the Death Gratuity."
But that doesn't answer the question of what happens when Carol shows up alive after six years of being considered dead. Truth & Purpose asked around about that and came up with a few possible answers to the question of backpay"
"1) Danvers could be expected to pay back the SGLI and death gratuity once it's revealed she's alive, but then she'd rate her pay for the last several years; 2) her return could simply be ignored, and she'd remain legally dead, (which actually happened in real life), which might be the case if she's loaned out to S.H.I.E.L.D. on the down low; or 3), the service's top brass could pause for a minute and realize 'hey, she's a living weapon, how about we get payroll in order and not touch a cent of those survivor's benefits, before she flies over and pays us an angry visit?"
They also did some research into Danvers' likely annual income at the time of her disappearance in 1989. By the time she returns six years later, the Air Force would owe her an estimated $171,036 in back pay.
So there's the answer to the question you probably never thought to ask. Now we're left wondering what the Avengers pay and benefits package looks like for when Carol joins the team in Avengers: Endgame.
Do you think Carol Danvers deserves her backpay? Let us know in the comments.
Captain Marvel is now playing in theaters.
Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Avengers: Endgame on April 26th, and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5th.
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