What Are Some Interesting Facts About the Navy?

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Interesting facts about the Navy include that the firing of gun salutes occurs in odd numbers at five-second intervals, that Navy tattoos have special significance, that the Secretary of the Navy names the ships and that the Naval mascot is a goat. Some notable celebrities have served in the Navy.

Gun salutes occur at military funeral services and on certain holidays, such as Memorial Day and Independence Day. Although the Navy officially discourages tattoos, the history of naval tattoos goes back for hundreds of years, and many sailors still use tattoos as a way to tell the story of their service. The Naval Historical Center gathers potential ship names, which it draws from suggestions from the public and service members as well as from naval history.

Bill the Goat has been the official Navy mascot since the early 1900s. A famous story tells of two ensigns who ran onto the field during a football game donning a goat skin. The tale holds that the crowd loved the spectacle, and the Navy team won the game. Some famous people who have served in the Navy are actor Humphrey Bogart, author Robert Heinlein, performing artist MC Hammer, game-show host Bob Barker and astronaut Neil Armstrong.