Ok, here we go.... Top Gun came out 33 years ago. So let's suppose Maverick was a real guy. In the movie he was a Lt (O-3) that would put him in the Navy about 4 years or so at that point. Add the 33 since and now he's at 37 yrs service give or take. Which, from time-in-grade/service alone would make him 3/4 star flag rank (and yes, you can just make out O-6 eagles on his shoulders in the picture, which begs another question; 37 years and only an O-6? Maybe he went Reserves, IDK). Anyway his last combat “mission” would be seeking funding for toilet paper at the enlisted “A” school he commands where they pigeon holed him till mandatory retirement because he pissed off to many folks along the way. Not to mention a starring role during the Tailhook incident in the early 90s.
Meanwhile, “Charley” has left him for another woman. And Iceman, his arch nemesis, is making $350K annually on top of his Check-of-the-Month club cash driving jumbos on international routes for Delta, while flying Warbirds on the weekend airshow circuit banging hot chicks half his age in spite of the fact he's old and is a fat slob.