Of all the branches of service, the Navy has the strangest customs. Naval History and Cherished Command describes them as, “cherished rites that tie together generations of Sailors with a common bond. They reflect the true story of the Navy, and honor a shared legacy of pride, history, and heritage.”
These unofficial certificates document where a Sailor has been, what they have done, and what they are.
Many certificates have to do with line-crossings at sea. Sailors crossing into the Antarctic Circle are said to have entered the Domain of the Emperor Penguin. It’s at this point he/she becomes a “Royal Stiff.” Alternatively, if a Sailor crosses the Arctic Circle, they become a “Blue Nose.”
Crossing the International Date Line from east or west into the Domain of the Golden Dragon earns you the title of “Golden Dragon.”
Should a Sailor make use of the Panama Canal they become a member of the “Order of the Ditch.” And if the ship sails south around Cape Horn, Chile, he/she becomes a “Mossback.”
If you’re like me and you’ve never crossed the Equator, you are considered a “Pollywog.” Once traversed, you are dubbed a “Shellback” in a ceremony many Navy veterans are too embarrassed to describe.
Some are easier to obtain; a Sailor is a member of the “Goldfish Club” when they have spent time in a life raft. If they’re in the raft for more than 24 hours, they become a “Sea Squatter.”
Others are quite difficult, such as joining the “Order of the Caterpillar,” which VBC detailed in a recent blog.
Whether you’re a Pollywog or a Centurion, join us this week for part two of our six-part series focusing on the military branches. Up next, you guessed it, the Navy! This and our weekly Mail Call, Phrase of the Week, headlines from around the military, and a Scuttlebutt you won’t want to miss.
Watch this week’s episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/oo_ytZ7vtyw
Link to VBC Live with Kim Mitchell: https://www.facebook.com/289156844474817/videos/282884509578383
Watch new infantry recruits experience the Army’s replacement for drill sergeant “shark attacks” https://taskandpurpose.com/news/army-basic-training-shark-attack-replacement
Reacting to the Army Shark Attack replacement | Is it easier? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkCIvTx5S8c
Army-Navy Game to be held at West Point for first time since World War II https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2020/10/23/army-navy-game-to-be-held-at-west-point-for-first-time-since-world-war-ii/
The Navy Just Sent a Drone to Deliver cargo to One of its Ballistic Missile Submarines https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/37195/the-navy-just-sent-a-drone-to-deliver-cargo-to-one-of-its-ballistic-missile-submarines
The Royal Navy is testing jet pack assault teams https://www.wearethemighty.com/military-culture/royal-navy-jetpack-assault-teams