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Young Sheldon Fans Have A Question About Dr. Sturgis' Past

CBS sitcom "Young Sheldon" faces an issue every prequel to a popular work inevitably must, in that telling a compelling story becomes all the more difficult when viewers already know its principal character's future. That said, the viewer base of "Young Sheldon" appears to be plenty engaged in the life of Sheldon Cooper (Iain Armitage) as a child, at least partially on the strength of its supporting cast.

For instance, fans are so wrapped up in the story of Sheldon's father George Sr. (Lance Barber) that more insight into his character is what viewers most want to see in "Young Sheldon" Season 6. Some fans have even shared conspiratorial theories about George Sr. in "Young Sheldon," alleging that the series may reveal one character-defining detail mentioned in "The Big Bang Theory" to be a fabrication. In fact, this interest in George Sr.'s dramatic arc is in line with a tendency some fans have noticed of "Young Sheldon" to gradually stray away from comedy, veering increasingly into dramatic territory as the series progresses.

Of course, George Sr. isn't the only character to spark fans' interest. East Texas Tech guest professor Dr. John Sturgis (Wallace Shawn) is another such character to inspire questions from fans, specifically regarding his past.

Did Dr. Sturgis serve in World War II?

One Reddit user started a thread on the "Young Sheldon" subreddit titled "Did Dr. Sturgis go to WW2?," in which they proposed that, because Dr. John Sturgis was born in 1921, he would be old enough to qualify for the US military draft that was instituted in 1940 and lasted through World War II (via History). "Seems weird to think about," they wrote.

In response, some users provided reasons that Sturgis might not, in fact, have ultimately been conscripted into the US military. User Tennis121897, for example, suggested that studying at a university at the time may have disqualified him from the draft. A history of the US military draft on the Selective Service System website confirms that this could have been the case, noting that, prior to 1971, active student status was indeed grounds to be deferred from conscription.

Meanwhile, user my3boysmyworld wrote that, even if Sturgis did join the military, his smarts most likely would have kept him away from active combat. User HCIBSW corroborated this theory, noting that if Sturgis were drafted, he would have probably remained in the US to serve an intellectual role in the military.

Most likely, then, Sturgis' academic background affected his draft status, whether that meant landing him a non-combat job, or disqualifying him from conscription altogether.