In March 1942, Nazi officer Johann Schmidt and his men invade Tønsberg, Norway, to steal a mysterious Tesseract[a] possessing untold powers. Meanwhile, in New York City, Steve Rogers is rejected for World War II military duty because of various health and physical issues. While attending an exhibition of future technologies with his friend Bucky Barnes, Rogers again attempts to enlist. Overhearing Rogers' conversation with Barnes about wanting to help in the war, Dr. Abraham Erskine allows Rogers to enlist. He is recruited in the Scientific Strategic Reserve as part of a "super-soldier" experiment under Erskine, Col. Chester Phillips, and British agent Peggy Carter. Phillips is unconvinced by Erskine's claims that Rogers is the right person for the procedure, but relents after seeing Rogers commit an act of self-sacrificing bravery. The night before the treatment, Erskine reveals to Rogers that Schmidt underwent an imperfect version of the procedure and suffered side-effects.