The Rock : Frank Hummel's timeline

Frank Hummel's timeline

I was watching The Rock again today for the umpteenth time and one thing that always puzzled me was General Hummel's age. Is he really old enough to have been a major in the Vietnam War? So I did a little googling

The Rock was made, and presumably set, in 1996. Hummel says his military career (and that of David Morse's character) stretches back to the Tet offensive in '68.

In the CIA briefing scene we are shown a photo of Hummel as a Major in Vietnam where he served 3 tours.

Ed Harris was 18 in 1968, Morse was 15

The last US Marines left Vietnam from the roof of the embassy in Saigon in April 1975. If we assume the photo seen in the CIA briefing is dated at the last point possible, 1975, then Harris/Hummel was 25 years old when holding the rank of Major.

The average age of a Major in the Marines is 34, however, battlefield commissions have been granted as early as the age of 20 during WWII.

So the answer to my own question is yes, it was possible, for an exceptional, battle-hardened marine to be a major at the age of 25.

David Morse, though, was still too young to be a marine in 1968 :)

Re: Frank Hummel's timeline

The characters don't necessarily have to be the same age as their actors.