Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sergeant Major Penguin

Nils Olav, a king penguin, is the first bird to ever hold a military rank of honourable regimental sergeant major in Norway. Yep, you read that correctly. Nils Olav is a penguin.
Nils Olav was promoted at a ceremony in Edinburgh Zoo on Friday. Officers had been keeping quiet over his new rank, which was known only to a select few, including King Harald of Norway and senior advisers. Retired Major Nils Egelien of the Royal Norwegian Guards said: "It all started in 1961 when the King's Guard of Norway came to the military tattoo and we were very very interested in the king penguins. "In 1972 we came back again and adopted a king penguin in the name of Nils Olav and the rank of lance corporal." [BBC News]
So Nils has quite the history with the Norwegian army. Only ... the penguin promoted on Friday is not the original Nils Olav. He died almost 20 years ago and was replaced with another penguin. Congrats Nils ... both the original and the current.
Nils Photo Nils Olav at the ceremony (photo: BBC News | Scotland)

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