The Navy is a mysterious place most of us don't have access to, and not a lot of people know what it's really like once you actually enlist. We all heard stories of how difficult it is to serve in the Navy, the extreme training, the tattoos, and all the different rules, but most people don't really know the details. Want to be among the few who have the secrets of what happens behind the Navy's closed doors? Read on!
They Undergo the Toughest Training of All
There is nothing quite like training to be in the Marine Corps. It is infamous worldwide for the difficult days and endless nights of physical and mental challenges. The Marine Corps is already difficult enough, but there is an entirely higher level that is even more difficult...the Navy SEALs. The brutal training of the navy SEALs enables those who pass to participate in elite missions and top-secret activities during their service.
Not surprisingly, the Navy SEALs are considered the most elite unit in the military. It takes a special type of person to be able to complete that training and the following missions.
From the Marines to Modeling
Some people have a very traditional career path. They finish high school, go to college, and then start a job in what they studied. However, others decide to do things a little differently. Shannon Ihrke served for four years in the United States Marine forces, starting at the young age of 19. After her service, she went into modeling saying that her time in the marines helped her get in the perfect physical shape for modeling.
Besides preparing her body physically for the modeling life, she learned of her insane strength and willpower from her time in the marines. She pushed her abilities to a level she never thought would be possible. But what happens if a woman gets pregnant while serving?
Specials Pregnancy Uniforms
Although this is something that can only affect a portion of the service people in the navy, they have become very inclusive in recent years to ensure that the women in the navy would be able to serve even when they become pregnant. There is a special uniform that women can use until about the 20th week of pregnancy. Beyond that point, the baby bump prevents them from fitting in the uniform.
It's not very often that you see a pregnant navy service-woman, but it is apparently often enough in the navy that they have created an entire uniform for the women who get pregnant while in service.
Women Training to Be Navy SEALS
It was fairly recent that the ban on women in combat units in the US was lifted, just in 2015. Although the military in general saw a rise in female recruits, it was particularly interesting to see those who applied for the Navy SEALs. The Navy SEALs go through the most difficult training in the military perhaps leading to only one woman applying. She did not graduate from the training, but other women would soon after.
Very few people are able to pass the incredibly difficult training that is required to become a Navy SEAL and most people thought women weren't capable at all, but that is clearly not the case. But do women actually go through the exact same training?
The Only Exception for a Double Standard
Nobody is particularly fond of double standards, especially when it comes to males and females. Both sides want to be treated as equals, and in the Marines, that is almost always the case. There is one small exception, however, and that is when it comes to pull-ups. Normally men and women would be expected to complete the same amount of pull-ups during training, however, it was discovered that this simply was not usually physically possible.
As male and female anatomy is quite different, the Navy made an exception and allowed women to do the flexed arm hand instead of pull-ups in order to make the training equal.
Living Next to a Nuclear Reactor
You probably have never given much thought to how the crews are designated and chosen when it comes to submarines. You, like most of the population, probably think that they are just randomly assigned by commanders in the navy. However, that is not the case. Did you know that the entire crew on submarines is made up of volunteers? The difficult conditions, along with the close proximity to a nuclear reactor are just some of the reasons for this.
The navy doesn't want to be responsible for anyone having to bear the difficulties of submarine life, by force. Each and every member of a submarine crew has volunteered to be there.
It's Not Easy to Speak Like a Sailor
Everyone has heard the phrase "to curse like a sailor." Sailors are infamous for the excessive amount of cursing that they include in normal conversation. However, what is less known is the general slang that they have for everyday words. Instead of saying left and right, naval crews will use the phrases port and starboard. They have an entire maritime language of their own that you have to learn when going to the navy.
Every branch of the military (and every unique place in general) has its own terminology and phrases that only those who are no longer novices will understand, but the navy has a bit more than some of the others. The need to have special words to discuss all that rigorous training, which can sometimes include actual torture!
When Torture Was a Part of the Training
You probably know how difficult training for the Navy can be, especially in the U.S. It isn't infamous for no reason, after all. However, you probably didn't know that the training actually used to include a form of official torture. The training itself could probably seem like torture to some people, but they took things to a whole new level by including waterboarding in the experience of all Navy servicemen and women.
Fortunately, the practice of waterboarding, which is a procedure that simulates drowning, without actual physical harm, has since been removed from the general training of those who go to the Navy.
Tattoos Are a Part of the Navy
There was a time when tattoos were considered an integral part of the navy and something that only navy men would even put on their bodies. So, in case you had any doubt, tattoos are most definitely allowed while in active service. However, there are still some rules when it comes to the type of tattoo, the type of art, and the size, on different parts of the body.
Tattoos are allowed to be visible, but you cannot have anything that would be discriminatory or obscene in any way. Tattoos also cannot be larger than the span of the person's hand that has them.
The First Female Infantry Officer
Passing an infantry course is not an easy task. There are hundreds, if not more, of people who attempt and fail on a regular basis. As women have only really been integrated into the entire military pretty recently, they have not always had the same opporutinies as male recruits. For that reason, it is no surprise that only recently did the world see the first female officer to pass the 13-week infantry course.
This 13-week course is a particularly difficult one and not easy to pass. Generals in the military were thrilled to see her pass the course, knowing that it would help pave the way for more women to be in similar positions. But what is it like to be a woman in the Navy?
Women Versus Workout
Lauren Berlingeri was one of the minorities of women who participated in Navy SEALs training. It was an experience she found incredibly difficult and one of the most challenging times of her life. After her service, she became a model, and then started a YouTube series for workouts called "Women Versus Workout". This series is based entirely on the training and exercises that she had to complete while in the navy.
One of the exercises is quite extreme and lasts for a full 24 hours. Anyone who chooses to follow along to her series is sure to be in for an exercise surprise.
Is Makeup Allowed?
Although when you think of the navy, the first thing to come into your mind is most likely not how much makeup you are or are not allowed to wear, it is a very strict rule when it comes to women in the navy. Navy servicewomen are allowed to wear makeup, however, there are many regulations in place. Essentially, everything must appear very natural. Fake eyelashes and bright-colored lipstick are strictly forbidden.
You are allowed to wear light-colored lipstick and foundation, as long as it still looks natural and blends in with the person's true coloring and skin tone. In short, you can wear makeup but can't have anyone notice you are wearing makeup.
The Difficulties of Pregnancies
Perhaps one of the bigger reasons that people were so hesitant to have women in the military for so many years was concerns about how they could accommodate them in the case that they were to get pregnant. The military is not an easy place for anyone, especially for a pregnant woman. However, they have found accommodations and offered decent maternity and paternity leave along with comfortable and flexible uniforms.
Just as with any organization or company, it can be hard to find replacements for the individuals who go on maternity leave.
Fashion and the Navy Do Not Align
Besides having very strict rules of what you can and cannot do with your hair, obviously, there is not much wiggle room when it comes to fashion. Women and men in the military and the navy have to wear a very strict set of uniforms each and every day. There is no leniency with this or ability to fashion it into something unique. If you are interested in fashion, perhaps the military is not the place for you.
Military uniforms can be considered pretty fashionable if you look at them as a matching suit set. It is trendy for both men and women!
Devil Dogs Really Exist
When you think about the Marine Corps, and the toughness of the people serving there, you probably don't think of man's best friend in the same thought. However, did you know that the official mascot of the Marine Corps is a furry friend? Since 1922, there has been a bulldog representing the Marine Corps. It's fitting as well, considering the nickname the Germans gave the US marines in World War I...Devil Dogs.
It looks like not even the rough and tough marines can resist the cute and friendly face of man's best friend. There is nothing quite like a furry friend hanging around.
Special Rules for Your Hair
Most people are aware that men who go into the military have to keep their hair short, in a buzz cut, and shaved almost entirely off. Women also have their own set of requirements. While they, luckily, do not have to shave their heads, their hair has to be kept short or able to be worn in a bun if they want it longer. Ponytails, beards, multiple buns, and pigtails are strictly prohibited (along with a long list of other hairstyles).
To quote the military itself...women and men are not allowed to have any "outrageously multi-colored or faddish" styles for their hair.
The First Female Navy Pilot
Pilots are considered to be pretty elite when it comes to military rankings...and the navy as well. Combine these two and you have some of the army's top personnel. Kara Hultgreen put all of her efforts into becoming a navy pilot, even though it meant being the first woman to do so. In 1994, she succeded and became the Navy's first aviator, becoming combat certified and fulfilling her dreams.
Sadly, Kara was only able to live her dream for a few months, as she was killed while serving as her jet crashed into the sea as she attempted a carrier landing.
Vacation Time in the Navy
Everyone deserves a little time to rest and relax...especially people serving in the military and the navy. Don't worry, people serving in the navy also get some paid time off each year. They have 30 days of paid time off where they go head home and spend time with their families and friends, relaxing or doing whatever they want. There is also something known as Fleet Week when vessels dock in large cities and the sailors and crew members can travel around.
Fleet Week sounds like a pretty fun concept, depending on the city where the boat is docked. Either way, it must be nice to have some time in a new city and location to explore and enjoy.
How to Christen a Ship
Every ship has to have a name...and the naming process is quite a science in the navy. There are plenty of rules when it comes to how to name a ship. Aircraft carriers are usually named after U.S. presidents or historical battles or events. For all other ships, the naming process has to go through the Secretary of the Navy. This person decides and approves all ship names.
People can submit name suggestions for a ship, however, it is all in the hands of the Secretary of the Navy at the end of the day. Once the name is chosen, the oldest female descendant of the person being honored is given the right to officially christen the ship.
The First Navy Jack
At the front of every boat, there is a little place to hold a flag. It is known as the jackstaff and can be used to fly the flag of the country or another important and meaningful flag. In the U.S. Navy, they have their own flag, known as the First Navy Jack. It consists of 13 stripes (for the original 13 colonies) and a rattlesnake across all of the stripes.
"Don't Tread on Me" is written across the bottom of the flag, sending a very loud and clear message to anyone who goes against the US Navy.
The Inspiration for Top Gun
It was not always known or considered that when a pilot missed a target, that it could be the fault of the plane and not just human error on the side of the pilot. This was particulatly common during the Vietnam war, which ended up leading to the creation of the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program, also known as Top Gun. This school would train the best pilots in the military.
Even if the plane could also be at fault, it can never hurt to train the pilots even more and teach them the extreme precision that is needed to win in battle.
The Largest Fleet in the World
It probably comes as no surprise that the U.S. Navy consists of the largest fleet of boats in the world. Everyone would expect the military of the United States of America to be among the largest in the world, especially in the naval portion of it. Among many other ships and carriers, they have 10 full-sized aircraft carriers. Do you know who is next in line for the largest fleets? The United Kingdom and France.
You probably expected some of the larger countries to have the largest fleets. France was probably not your first guess. However, ever since World War II, these countries have maintained a large and comprehensive fleet.
Pregnant and in the Navy
Pregnancy is a very challenging part of life, regardless of where you are. However, things can get even more complicated for women who are pregnant and serving in the U.S. Navy. Fortunately, the U.S. Navy does make serious efforts to make the lives of pregnant servicewomen as smooth as possible considering the circumstances. They offer special uniforms and extended leave, however, it is not always the easiest to actually obtain these things.
Many servicepeople go out to sea for long periods of time which make it very difficult for them to get back to land easily. Sometimes, women have had to be airlifted to the mainland in order to get the time on land that is needed.
Top Gun Is Based on a Real Place
Most people are very familiar with the Hollywood classic called Top Gun. Tom Cruise played a legendary role in this film, launching his career and also bringing glamor and sex appeal to military life. But did you know that Top Gun is really based on a generally true story and a real military academy that trained pilots? It was not all just a fiction film created to bring heart-throb Tom Cruise to the stage.
They did a great job at portraying military life and life at Top Gun itself throughout this film.
Women on Combat Missions
Although women were often technically allowed in various units and parts of the army and the navy, sometimes there was an unofficial ban on including them in some activities. They would often be excluded from dangerous missions and restricted overall with the types of tasks that they were included in. All of that changed in 2015 when the rules changed to allow female servicewomen to be included and deployed on any mission.
There was certainly no lack of people who tried to fight against this decision, thinking that women would negatively affect the overall success of a dangerous mission. However, their voices were overpowered.
A Pixelated Army Uniform
When you think of an army uniform, you most likely think of camouflage. However, when you think of camouflage, you probably think of shades of green and brown combined together in different oblong shapes to create the traditional camouflage that is common. In the navy, they have a special pixelated type uniform that is designed to trick the human brain by combining shapes and lines in a manner that is hard to decipher.
Although the navy uniforms used to be blue, they have recently switched the colors to green. However, they kept the pixelated design to ensure the safest possible options for their soliders.
Is It a Beer Logo or the Navy?
What does a beer logo have in common with the Navy? If you look at the logos of the Anheuser-Busch beer company next to the Navy's emblem, they look almost exactly the same. It may be a case of the chicken or the egg here, as it is not clear which one came first. However, the funniest part is that the Navy's symbol is often called the Budweiser, in reference to the nickname for the training course BUD/S.
Maybe this is a reason that sailors and Marine service men and women are known for loving beer. It is just ingrained in their subconscious.
From the Navy to Commander in Chief
It is no secret that many U.S. presidents served in the military at some point in their life. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of them did, with only a few exceptions. Beyond that, many Presidents were in the Navy (6 to be exact)...Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, JFK, Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, and George H. W. Bush. Perhaps it makes sense to go from the navy to the Commander in Chief.
It is a source of great pride among many servicemembers of the navy that their predecessors went on to lead the country that they so proudly fight and serve to protect.
A Special Type of Medic
Although you probably don't normally consider the need for every department and branch of the military to also have specially trained medics, it is definitely needed in most cases. Medics who serve in the Navy have special knowledge, especially when it comes to decompression sickness, also known as the bends. What is decompression sickness? It is something that occurs when a person rises to the surface from underwater too quickly
This can be a serious condition if not treated properly so it is very important for there to be proper and well-trained medics on hand to keep everyone safe.
Martial Arts in the Marines
It makes sense that the military would create its own special type of martial arts to teach to all of its soldiers and recruits. Many countries are so famous for their marital arts that the U.S. is usually forgotten on the list. However, they have created their own special type of Martial Arts in the navy. Their program combines techniques from Kung Fu, Krav Maga, and Boxing to create a special self-defense system.
It's hard to tell whose version of Martial Arts is the best...maybe it would be best to learn a little bit of all of them so they could be combined.
The Inspiration for NCIS
Sometimes it's hard to remember that NCIS is not a real organization. The series is so popular and believe that it's easy to be duped into thinking that it is a real organization. However, it is based on a real organization in the Navy known as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. This Service tackles cyber warfare and counter-terrorism just to name a few of their daily challenges, along with of course crimes in the navy.
Next time you watch NCIS, you can think about how there is a real service and group of people where this is actually their everyday life and responsibilities.
Dogs Fly in the Navy
Did you know that some dogs can fly? Not flying in an airplane, but parachuting out of an airplane and flying through the air. Sometimes Navy SEALs are required to parachute down into combat zones and sometimes that means that they have to take their canines with them. As there is no other way to bring them, the dogs have to parachute with their partners. It must be a pretty unique experience for a dog!
Most dogs in the Navy SEALs are Malinois as this breed had a very strong sense of smell and a very high level of intelligence, enabling them to be used as scouts in dangerous areas.
She Paved the Way for Future Women
It was not always as acceptable as it is nowadays for a woman to join the navy. In the 1970s, President Ford lifted the ban on women joining the military and there was a group of 80 women who were the first in line to enlist in the Naval Academy. Barbara Ives was one of those first women and faced a very challenging time as she entered her service. From a lack of uniforms to overall discrimination, there were many battles to be fought off of the battlefield.
Despite most of the men in the army thinking she would not even pass the training, Barbara finished first in her class, paving the way for all future women who wanted to serve in the navy.
Movie Stars in the Marines
It was not only U.S. presidents who served in the Marines, but also many famous actors and famous people who did their duty for their country and served in the military. Some of the most famous are Neil Armstrong and Humphrey Bogart. Although one is the first man to walk on the moon and the other is a famous American actor, they both served in the military before continuing to do other things in life.
Neil Armstrong was a fighter pilot during the Korean War and participated in many combat missions. At one point he was almost shot down but managed to save himself and eject at the last second.
Women in a Submarine
Submarine life can be a challenge for anyone, but that is especially the case for many females when they are in close quarters with male colleagues and unable to have any privacy. Due to this, women were only very recently (in 2010) allowed to service inside of a submarine. Now they are offered private living quarters to ensure they have the necessary privacy at all times and distance from male servicemen if needed.
But remember, all the crew members on a submarine are actually volunteers, so all the women on these submarines are also volunteers.
The Misuse of Military Funds
It doesn't take much time for someone to go from being a national hero to serving in Federal prison for 21 months, judging just from the case of Richard Marcinko. Richard Marcinko was a Navy SEAL who led the team of SEALs that took down the terrorists responsible for 9/11. Unsurprisingly, he quickly became a national hero. His image quickly changed, however, when he was found to have misused funds allocated to him during his service.
Instead of using the funds for supplies, Marcinko used the funds for personal things as well, which is a pretty serious offense that landed him in prison.
The Stats of Women in the Navy
Ok, now it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty. There has been a lot of talk about how women were excluded from the military and the navy for many years. However, things have changed in recent years...drasticially. Now there are about 53,000 women serving in the US Navy. 14,000 of those women are in the Marine Corps. There are also 21 female admirals and 1 female Marine Corps General.
This is something that would have been unimaginable just a few years back before they lifted the bans on women in various sections of the military.
Pranking the U. S. Navy
It might be hard to imagine a time when pranking the U.S. navy would not have resulted in a serious offense and possible jail time. However, in the 1950s there was a group of Australian college students who thought it would be funny to sneak aboard the USS Bennington and claim that they had captured it. Oh, and not to be forgotten, they were dressed up as pirates in the process.
The navy appreciated the joke it seemed, and they did not even file a report or charge the pranksters with anything...letting them get off without any legal repercussions at all.
The Fight Against Pirates
Sometimes it seems like pirates are a faraway and unreal concept or a legend that is not actually true. However, pirates exist all throughout the world and are a problem in many different places. After the American Revolution, Congress thought that the Navy was unnecessary and decommissioned it. However, they did not realize how important it would soon become. Not much time passed before Barbary pirates started attacking merchant vessels and there was nothing to do except to use the navy against them.
Even today the Navy is often the one that is called to deal with piracy issues. Warships were necessary then to keep the pirates abay and they are ready to be used at any time if necessary.
The Sci-Fi Boat
Although you might think that there isn't anything too interesting going on when it comes to the world of boats and their designs, there you would be wrong. This boat, the USS Zumwalt is one of the most advanced and futuristic boats in the navy. This boat has a very unique and sleek design, making it look like it comes right out of the future or a futuristic film.
This boat also has one of the most impressive narrow radar-cross sections for a ship of her size and that is just one of the many impressive features that this ship has.