The credibility of beloved cereal character Cap’N Crunch is being called into question after a report said that he has been lying for the past 50 years and he’s not even a captain—he’s a commander.
Cap’N Crunch has been wearing the same uniform since his debut in 1963, with three yellow stripes on the wrist. Captains have four stripes, but commanders have three, according to the U.S. Navy website.
But Cap’N maintains that he is not a fraud.
Regarding today's rumors... of course I'm a Cap'n! It's the Crunch - not the clothes - that make a man. #PaidMyDues
— Cap'n Crunch (@RealCapnCrunch) June 14, 2013
He and cereal maker Quaker Oats explain that captain is not just a rank; it’s also a position. Since Cap’N Crunch runs his ship, the S.S. Guppy, he is the captain of that vessel and there is no disparity, they said.
The scandal escalated Wednesday when a Pentagon official "revealed" that the Cap’N hasn’t even served in the U.S. Navy.
“We have no Cap’n Crunch in the personnel records – and we checked,” Navy spokesman Lt. Commander Chris Servello told The Wall Street Journal. “We have notified NCIS and we’re looking into whether or not he’s impersonating a naval officer – and that’s a serious offense.”
If convicted of the offense, the cartoon character could be dishonorably discharged, and jailed for up to three years.
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) June 19, 2013
Since food writer Charisma Madarang posted the story last week, the faux controversy has ignited a conversation across social media. Many fans of Cap’N Crunch proclaimed his innocence: