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Why past simple "joined", not past perfect "had joined" in this sentence:

His dad joined the army before he was born.

This sentence is from a course of the A.J. Hoge.

My opinion is:

"...before he was born" here is marking of the times, answer to question when and in that circumstances always go past simple. It is as we say:

His dad joined the army last Wednesday.

last Wednesday = before he was born.
Am I right?

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Because the past perfect (had) is often not used when the temporal relations are clear without it.

Both are possible here, and there is a subtle difference, but not in the objective meaning.

His dad had joined the army before he was born.

sets the temporal focus at the time when he was born, so that you expect the following sentences to be about the time when he was born, unless they carry on being in the past perfect, in which case they are about the time when his father joined the army. (Such expectations can be overridden by explicit expressions of time).

His dad joined the army before he was born.

does not set a temporal focus: the next sentence is as likely to be about the time when his dad joined the army as the time when he was born.

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