you would think that after all he did for the alliance he would become and admiral at least
Too much red tape. Between his connections with Cerberus and the Alpha relay incident there's too much bureaucracy for Shepard to get promoted. It doesn't really matter though, as Shepard command the respect of an admiral when ME3 happens. On top of that Shepard, Hackett, and Anderson are the one running the war on the human though the course of in ME3.Forever224 (talk) 20:13, September 1, 2014 (UTC)
There's also more to reaching the higher ranks than pure ability to command. You have to play the political game. You don't become a captain, never mind an admiral, without having a few friends in the right places. Part of an officer's professional development is acquiring those friends. Shepard doesn't really play the game. He tends to wave uncomfortable truths in people's faces. Even ignoring Forever224's examples of political suicide (didn't Anderson say that anyone else would have been court martialed?), having a very public argument with the Council about Saren was not the sort of thing to do in order to make admiral some day, even though he was right. Being right rarely matters in these things. Biscuitry (talk) 22:30, September 1, 2014 (UTC)
Mainly because he died for two years in the weeks following the attack on the Citadel, Alliance command knew he was working with Cerberus for a time, then he blew up an entire star system which killed billions, and then nearly the entire political and military leadership were wiped out when the Reapers hit Arcturus station. Generally that gets in the way of promotion. --Apache287 (talk) 02:15, September 2, 2014 (UTC)
I know less than nothing about the military, but certainly after saving the entire galaxy, a posthumous promotion to Captain after getting blasted by the Collectors would've been in order? I'm guessing that it's the same reason as to why Captain America never got so much as a promotion to Major despite all these years.The Supreme Deity (talk) 03:13, September 8, 2014 (UTC)
Remember, The Alliance and Council both denounced Shepard's Reaper claims, insinuating they, along with the public, did not believe (s)he had actually saved the entire galaxy. While I think saving the Citadel alone would warrant a promotion, they thought he/she was exaggerating the true nature of the threat. He was not promoted after Mass Effect 2 because he had been working with a terrorist organization and was removed from active service after the events of ME2: Arrival--WaffleKing110 (talk) 20:57, September 11, 2014 (UTC)
It's entirely possible Shepard may have refused a promotion to stay with their crew, since being an Admiral would probably mean Shepard would be placed somewhere far from the lines. Additionally, promoting Shepard could have given the brass an excuse to ship the Commander off to Antarctica, saying they were needed there, which would have left Shepard isolated from the only ones who knew what was really happening. --188.8.131.52 01:13, September 12, 2014 (UTC)
I can understand all the political red tape that would get in the way of Admiral, its more about politics then action and service. Captain however should have been in the bag. Getting promoted to Spectre was a BIG deal for Earth, they even gave Shep his/her own ship because of it...that in and of itself should have made him/her captain. Typically when you command a ship, you are made captain. This was also early enough in the game series that nothing damaging had happened to his/her career yet. he/she claimed Saren was a traitor, then backed it up with hard evidence, they were impressed enough to make Shep a Specter so why didn't Alliance command pat him/her on the back with a shiny captain's pin?