I guess I don't worry so much about rank and age/unwritten requirements when I write about my favorite UFO character. Because to me red tape is merely there to get around. Besides, my dad was Air Force, and he always said that Straker could easily have been promoted beyond what was the norm for courage above and beyond duty (which sounds just like him!) So I'm taking my dad's word over what the 'normal requirements' say. I've written Straker anywhere from 45 (since my stories usually take place after the 1st season) to 52. It's an age range that is very difficult to pin down to an exact year if a man has kept himself fit and well-groomed, which Straker obviously has.
For me, the things I focus on when writing about Straker are his personality, mannerisms, and treatment of others. These are the things that tell me what manner of man he was. The rest is all trappings.
I usually write him as someone who has an adversarial relationship with his father (for whatever reason seems good for the storyline) and a mother who died when he was still young enough to be at home. I write him that way with his dad, since most men do
have a difficult relationship with their fathers. And I write him that way with his mom, because it explains a few of the layers of his loneliness.
I love it that he's a hard-ass! As Deb said once, would you want any other kind of man in charge of our planet's protection? I love his sarcasm. He plays the straight man to Alec's charm so well.
Men as rigidly disciplined as he comes across in the series tend to also be rigidly moral. It just goes with the territory. So I always portray him that way, even though on occasion I've taken him outside that barrier when given a strong enough reason. (After all, he ditched his moral code with Jo Fraser without any reason whatsoever!) I at least give him solid reasons for doing so when I have him deviate from his normal code in my stories.
He's also portrayed in the series as a man on the edge. Through different episodes, we see why he is on the edge, which engenders a great deal of sympathy for him. But nonetheless, he is there. And I can't stand it! Which is why in all my stories, he meets someone (a special woman, of course!) who helps him deal with the enormous load he carries. This in turn allows him to begin to heal from the wounds that his job has inflicted, and he is able to finally relax and show that side of him that has been shut down for so long. I love being able to do this for him! And I won't apologize for it! I have a deep-seated need to see him happy.
His treatment of women in the series was exemplary. He was always polite, always chivalrous, but also always respectful of their intelligence and insight. He treated them as equals, except in those instances when it conflicted with his chivalry. In fact, he was the perfect boss for any woman to have! Never lecherous, never condescending! Who cares if he was occasionally rude? I'll take rude any day over lecherous!
With men he was tougher, setting himself up as the authority figure and brooking no interference. Notable exceptions were Alec (who could and did question his decisions from time to time without inciting his anger) and Foster (who he treated rather like a younger brother or even a son, allowing him liberties that he would instantly squash in anyone else.) He occasionally treated Henderson with deference (probably due to the general's position as his superior officer then and now), but this was not universal, and there were several times in the series where he openly fought him. Because of this inconsistency, I've interpreted his relationship with the general as that of a student/mentor who has outgrown his teacher, but whom his teacher has not yet trusted to be on his own. It seems to work well with the dynamics portrayed in the show and allows for a great deal of storytelling opportunities.
Because the show rarely said
anything, but left so much open for interpretation, every writer portrays the commander differently, according to their own view of him from the show. He's probably the most controversial character to discuss, and it's easy to tell what writers think of him by the way they treat him in their stories. I like to think that Ed Bishop would have been pleased with the way I have treated his character in my stories.