US Navy Shellbacks

Informant: My dad was in the US Navy for 4  years

Original Script: To become a shellback in the US Navy you have to cross the equator. Legend has it that King Neptune lives on the equator and if you cross it you become a shellback. When you become a shellback there is a ceremony were a someone dresses up as King Neptune and gives you a shellback card.

Background: A shellback is a sort of fraternity in the Navy, Navy men give respect to shellback backs because you have to sail for a long time to be able to cross the equator, some Navy men that spent 20 years in the Navy has never crossed the equator.

Thoughts: I thought the ceremony was comical, the idea that someone dresses up as King Neptune show dedication to their tradition. The shellbacks get really into it and show respect to those who made an accomplishment that goes unnoticed to a civilian.