These Facts About The Navy Reveal What Really Happens At Sea

Not For Fashionistas

Like every other aspect of its operation, the Navy is meticulous when comes to what kind of hairstyles that female soldiers can have. Hairstyles are required to be of a conventional style and it is “not authorized” to have pigtails or ponytails. If you consider yourself stylish, stay away from the Navy.

NCIS Is Real

One of the most common misconceptions surrounding NCIS is that it is purely a fictional TV show. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The show takes much inspiration from the real-life Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence are just a couple of issues that are tackled in this quality representation of Naval Investigation. The show was originally titled Navy NCIS, but the word “Navy” was later dropped as, understandably so, it was considered redundant.

Banned From Submarines

The amount of movies that have been made about submarines is absolutely staggering. This water vehicle has been associated with the Navy since the 1800’s, before being truly utilized at the turn of the 20th century. Amazingly, women were banned from using submarines up until 2010. Nowadays, there are many females who operate submarines, with a total of 80 female officers at this moment in time. After previous issues, the Navy is now ensuring that women have sufficient level of privacy.

Secret Life Of A Marine

Shannon Ihrke joined the Navy when she was 19 years of age. For four years, she was part of the Navy’s armed forces and during her time serving, she believes she grew tremendously. She claims that she “pushed [her] body harder than [she] could have ever imagined.” Although the connection wasn’t clear at the time, it would prove to be a huge stepping stone for her entry into a modeling career. As of now, Ihrke has 72,000 followers on Twitter.

Pull-up Inequality

Pull-ups are a standard fitness exercise in the Marine Corps. Initially, every single Marine, whether you were a man or a woman, was required to do them. The only difference was that women did a lower number of pull-ups. But stats showed that over 50% of women were unable to complete the training they were given. As a result, changes were made, providing different levels of exercise for men and women. Women are still encouraged to do pull-ups, but it’s not compulsory.

Special Uniforms

Pregnancies in the Navy are treated in a sensitive manner. Any woman, no matter how big or small their role is, is sent home for a certain time period. After reaching 20 weeks of pregnancy, female Marines are taken off the ships. After developing a bump, women are unable to fit comfortably into their shirts. As a result, the Navy has created maternity friendly uniforms. They are officially approved by the Navy and are designed to be comfortable for pregnant Marines.

Pregnancy Complications

The military tries to be as patient and as accommodating as possible when it comes to soldiers having babies. Like any other organization, they give maternity and paternity leave as well as giving pregnant soldiers uniforms which are more comfortable, but this has come at a cost. Pregnant women are more costly due to medical care and appropriate transportation that they need. In addition, maternity leave means that someone leaving the military for a period of time and their job must be filled in.

Life Off-Base

Unlike the movies, the reality of being on a Navy ship is much more manageable than expected. Rather than being at sea for years on end without seeing friends or family or touching land, boats will dock in major cities for Fleet Week. During this time, servicemen and women are given a chance to explore and take some time for themselves. In addition, the Navy are given 30 vacation days which rollover from year to year, allowing them to have well earned time off.

Training Is Torture

There were many exposes on torture imposed by the United States on terrorists in an attempt to drive classified information out of them. The controversial technique was condemned in many societies and in some extreme cases, it can kill the suspect. However, it might come as a surprise that elite military personnel are expected to undergo this method as a part of tough training. In recent years, it was reported that the Navy SEALs had to phase it out over time.

The Real Top Gun

The United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program is more commonly known as Topgun and has a genuine reason why it was put in place. During the Vietnam War, the communist forces were maneuvering their way out of air-to-air missile attacks shot by the US pilots. One of the reasons why they were successfully avoiding them was potentially down to inaccuracy and to avoid this for the future, they introduced Topgun. You can thank Tom Cruise for bringing it to attention in his blockbuster movie.

What’s In A Name

Ever since the early 19th century, there is a specific way that Navy vessels are named. The Secretary of the Navy is partially responsible for this but there is also a procedure which is undertaken. Every ship must start with USS (United States Ship) and then everyone is allowed input for significant names who have contributed something monumental to US history. When the person’s name is approved, their oldest female descendent is given the honors of christening the ship.


Not all recruits in the Navy SEALs are required to have the same skill set. One important team is comprised of elite trained dogs which accompany the SEALs on missions, even the skydiving ones. The specific breed chosen is the Malinois, also known as the Belgian Shepherd dog. These dogs have a reputation of being incredibly intelligent and obedient, making them increasingly useful to sniff out explosives and toxic materials. In many cases, the dogs will be sent in on a mission first, prior to the soldiers.

Ban On Combat

For centuries, women were completely banned from taking to the front line and fight for their country. This position was reserved for men only and it wasn’t until 2015 that a lobby pushed through the decision to allow women to go into combat. Defense Secretary Ash Carter was responsible for giving it the green light but the decision also warranted condemnation and disapproval from other high ranking officials. Nevertheless, Carter insisted that it must happen “right away,” despite the controversial nature.

Sheer Quantities

With a total of 1.4 million soldiers on active duty in the United States military, only 15% of those are women. The Navy has 53,000 women, and the Marine Corps has 14,000. In regards to those who have achieved top of the rank status, there is one lone female general in the Marine Corps and 21 female Admirals in the Navy. The Navy does have many female officers, of whom just under half are involved in in the medical professions.

Disappointing Start

Since the ban on women in combat positions was lifted, many women have flooded in to enlist in the Army. One woman signed up to be part of the SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection Program, even though the Navy SEALS is one of the hardest units in the Army. As one of the toughest programs, where only the physically and mentally fittest in the world can handle, the woman had to drop out of the course after a few weeks.


The Navy uses blocky squares for their uniform as a form of pixelated camouflage and, although it looks quite strange, it is considered to be the best camouflage developed so far. This is because, compared to the old camouflage, solid lines are easily picked up by the human brain, and the new design has none of that. Although the design has been working well and is the best so far, the plan is for the Navy to switch the color to green by 2019.

Most Aircraft Carriers

Aircraft carriers are some of the most impressive machines which can somehow float on the ocean, while also having the ability to allow for take-off and landing of fighter planes. The United States Navy has the best modern form of marvel engineering, and the American is the biggest in the world with 81 aircraft carriers. This is followed by Britain with 54, and France with 15, with the rest of the list falling steeply. There are only 20 in service in the world, and 11 of those are American.

Sydney Prank

When it comes to security on aircraft carriers, it seems that it is not as great as one would expect. This was proven in 1957 after 10 Australian college students managed to board the USS Bennington which was docked in Sydney. The students were dressed as pirates, and the pranksters somehow managed to make it to the bridge where they announced the ship had been “captured” by pirates. It seems the Navy was in need of some humor and found it funny, so no legal action was taken.

Connection To Budweiser

In an unexpected turn of events, there is a connection between the Navy and Budweiser beer. The Navy SEALS uniform can be found to have a pin on it called the “Special Warfare Insignia,” and this SEAL is also known colloquially as the “Budweiser.” The reason is because the training course to become is a SEAL is called the “BUD/S,” and secondly, the insignia looks like the Anheuser-Busch logo with its wings, which is the company that makes the beer.

Fraud Of Seal Team Six

Richard Marcinko is the man who first led Seal Team Six, the group renowned for taking out the terrorist behind the 9/11 attacks. Marcinko also founded Red Cell, the organization which finds the holes in security systems of the military. Meanwhile, he found himself in trouble when it was found that he had misused funds when it came to buying supplies and was convicted of defrauding the government. Although considered as a SEAL Team Six legend in the military, he was sentenced to 21 months in Federal prison.

War Will End Us

H. G. Wells put it best: “If we do not end war, war will end us.” And indeed, it’s hard to consider any side a winning one when counting the fatalities both sides endured. It is always favorable to be in a state of peace, but unfortunately, the past taught us there’s a need for a strong sovereign not only to avoid social chaos but also so someone with strength, bravery, and maturity to make tough decisions. Knowing this, is it really that surprising the Navy produced six presidents?

Talk The Talk

Professional Navy jargon, much like lingo used in other fields, consists of terms that others are not familiar with. The Navy specifically uses coded words that originate from old maritime terms, and are combined with military acronyms. For example, if someone says ‘the mess deck’, they are referring to the cafeteria. Meanwhile, windows are called ‘portholes’, and even simple terms like right and left are no in common use. Instead of the well-known words we use to this day, the two are replaced with port and starboard.

Devil Dogs

Leathernecks is a term commonly used when referring to Marines. The colloquial term was chosen seeing as how Marines are so tough. Notwithstanding with the former fact, this does not go to show that Marines are heartless. In fact, they are known for being dog lovers – the Marine Corps mascot is a bulldog, and Marines are nicknamed “Devil Dogs.” The nickname comes from an old tale that originated in World War I – apparently, German soldiers cursed the Marines, saying “Teufel Hunde,” which translates into devil dogs.

Kicking And Screaming

As an entity on its own, the Marine Corps wanted to develop its fighting method. Martial arts master Bruce Lee did so as well, and called it Jeet Kune Do. Come 2001, the Marine Corps made it official and named their technique the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. The technique involves a blend of different fighting styles, including boxing, kung fu, and krav maga. They too have a belt that symbolizes the stage of training the person is at, but unlike others that start at white, their first belt is tan.

Amazing Innovation

The Self Defense Test Ship is an innovation like no other, as it enables the Navy to test the weaponry on board when attacks are made on the ship without any crew members having to be on board. This way, the Navy can test the ship’s self-protecting and external attacking capabilities without causing any harm to sailors. Usually, a ship this size would require approximately 200 sailors to man the controls, which is what makes this innovation all the more amazing.

Take Your Time

The Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marines all need to handle and work with different sorts of fields of medicine. For example, Air Force doctors must have a fluent comprehension of atmospheric oxygen levels. Navy doctors must also understand the consequences of water pressure and dissolved oxygen since one of the most significant problems is the bends, which is also referred to as decompression sickness. This occurs when divers rise too quickly to the surface and consequently get sick, as often happens when under attack.

Thirteen Stripes

On each USS boat, a special flagpole called the jackstaff can be found. The jackstaff was added to US Navy vessels sometime during the 1800’s. While the boat is docked, the jackstaff crosses to the First Navy Jack. This special flag has thirteen stripes, which represents the original 13 colonies. Additionally, it has an American rattlesnake on that reads “DONT TREAD ON ME.” The snake was inspired by the Gadsden flag – a flag designed by the American revolutionary and patriot, Christopher Gadsden.

Stealthy Move

The Navy has a new ship sailing the seas that looks like it’s straight out of a science fiction movie. The USS Zumwalt, also known as the DDg1000 was designed specifically so that it would be nearly undetectable on radar. The ship is also shaped in such a way to optimize it’s journey through the water. Even funnier, this futuristic floating fortress is captained by James Kirk, who shares his name with the famed Star Trek  captain.

Fights With Pirates

America first commissioned its Navy during the Revolutionary War, when it had to contend with the British, who commanded the biggest and most powerful navy in the world at the time. Following the war, however, the Navy was disbanded, though that didn’t last very long. Only 20 years later, America realized they needed their navy back, but not to fight the British (yet). The Navy was recommissioned in order to protect American merchant ships from Barbary pirates, though they quietly built a few warships as well.

Barbara Ives

Inspired by her uncles’ stories from their time in the Navy, Barbara Ives want to experience that same thrill of adventure. She enrolled in the United States Naval Academy as one of the women in the first female class to attend in the Academy’s history. Barbara was one of the women who had to contend with the Navy’s lack of preparedness for accepting women, as there weren’t proper uniforms, in addition to rampant discrimination. Regardless, she was committed to the Navy and served a total 26 years.

Top Secret Operations

Many people have heard of the Navy’s special forces, known as the SEALs, which stands for “SEa, Air, Land”. The elite unit has one of the most difficult physical tests in any branch of the American military. Basic training for the SEALs is also one of the longest training bootcamps, lasting a total of seven months, and many don’t make it to the finish line. If you want to see their bootcamp for yourself, head to Imperial Beach in California, but the rest of their operations are top secret.

Famous Sailors

A number of celebrities have served time in the Navy, including Humphrey Bogart, the star of the classic film Casablanca. Bogart served in the 1920s on two separate ships. MC Hammer is another Navy veteran, though he was better known as Stanley Burrel at that time. One of the most well known people to have spent time in the Navy, however, was Neil Armstrong himself. Before he went to the moon, he flew planes for the Navy and took a hit during the Korean War.

Model Behavior

It can be hard to truly comprehend the intensity of the Navy SEAL training, but one model, Lauren Berlingeri, wanted to take it on herself. As part of a YouTube series, she titled “Women Versus Workout” she attempted a number of different exercise routines, including a particularly difficult SEALs regimen. The episode had to be split into three parts because the routine took 24 hours to complete. Despite their doubts, the men were surprised when Berlingeri managed to keep up.

First Female Infantry Officer

It may have taken some time, but since women’s introduction into the naval forces, there had never been a female infantry officer, until recently. The number of men who have completed the 13 week Marine Corps Infantry Course are practically countless. Commandant General Robert Neller shared his pride for this ground breaking woman. She has asked to remain anonymous to the public, but hopefully her dedication and hard work will inspire many more to follow in her footsteps.