Adapted from: Silvey, Frank. There are serious ones, humorous ones, and unusual ones. But any Sailor worth their salt will never rest until they have a scrapbook full of them. They are the unofficial certificates that document where a Sailor has been, what they have done, and most importantly, what they are—a Shellback or a Blue Nose or a Mossback or a Double Centurion. Or even a Goldfish or Sea Squatter. On any noteworthy occasion — and perhaps on some that might be otherwise forgotten — somebody in the crew is sure to spend hours at a drawing board to create a memorable certificate, replete with salty language, drawings of mermaids and tritons and anchors and chains, and the signature of Neptunus Rex or some other high potentate, and forever after the crew of that ship will treasure their copies as they treasure their rating badges.
Nowadays it's all in fun and without official recognition. But mariners of earlier years, when it all began, were in earnest. As all sailors knew well, Neptune, god of the sea, was fickle. He played an important role in ancient rituals just as he does in today's initiations into the Orders of the Deep. At his slightest whim, Neptune, it was believed, might throw a storm into the path of a ship that would splinter her oars and spars like matchwood, or cast her onto the rocky coast. And that was when he was feeling playful.
What would the dreaded deity bring to a crew if, Zeus forbid, they made him angry? The superstitions of the sea provided for ways to stay out of that kind of trouble. In the earliest days, oxen and goats might be sacrificed to make the Old Man of the Sea more favorably disposed. He could, under proper circumstances, become downright protective and benevolent. Also, in those early rituals, the location of the rites had to be right.
If every element surrounding the ceremonies was not just so, all Hades might break loose. The location of the ship had an effect on how acceptable the honors to Neptune were. A rite performed off certain capes for instance, those with temples on them would work best. And finally, the apprentices had to be instructed in the behavior that was acceptable and unacceptable. As a later Ancient Mariner discovered to his grief, the rulers of the deep frown on anyone who kills an albatross.
There were dozens of such strictures — and woe betide the sailor, no matter how green, who transgressed just one. As previously stated, an ox or a goat was normally sacrificed to appease the sea gods. But not always. Jonah, for example as our Bible experts recall , was dropped over the side when the crew of the ship on which he was a passenger decided he had brought on the storm that threatened to wreck them.
It worked. The storm stopped, Jonah was picked up by a passing whale, and the ship sailed on. Even as late as the 17th century, when no one well, hardly no one believed in Neptune or other marine deities any more, initiation into the mysteries of the deep could be a rough process.
According to a writer of the time, apprentices "who pass certain places, where they have never passed," undergo various penalties — for example, to be dropped "from the yardarm into the sea. Such are the origins of the granddaddy of all seagoing ceremonies: the shellback initiation when a ship crosses the Equator i.
The colorful tradition and ceremonious rituals survive, but anything dangerous or demeaning is prohibited by Navy regulations today. Military customs and traditions have long been an integral part of the Navy and Marine Corps. Although in the past some hazing has occurred in conjunction with ceremonies, initiations or rites of passage, these activities, if properly supervised, can be effective leadership tools to instill esprit de corps, unit cohesion and respect for an accomplishment of another Sailor or Marine.
While most ceremonies commemorate the many selfless feats of bravery of our military men and women, they also commemorate significant events. These feats and events form the basis upon which our Core Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment were founded. Graduations, chiefs' initiations, "crossing the line" ceremonies, and others are only meant to celebrate and recognize the achievements of individual Sailors or Marines or those of entire units.
Service members must be able to work together, building-up, encouraging, and supporting their shipmates. Hazing behavior that is degrading, embarrassing, or injurious is unprofessional and illegal. Commanders must be aware of all ceremonies and initiatives conducted within their organizations and take proactive steps to ensure that these activities do not violate this policy. Hazing is defined as any conduct whereby a military member or members, regardless of service or rank, without proper authority causes another military member or members, regardless of service or rank, to suffer or be exposed to any activity which is cruel, abusive, humiliating, oppressive, demeaning, or harmful.
Soliciting or coercing another to perpetuate any such activity is also considered hazing. Hazing need not involve physical contact among or between military members; it can be verbal or psychological in nature. Actual or implied consent to acts of hazing does not eliminate the culpability of the perpetrator.
Hazing can include, but is not limited to, the following: playing abusive or ridiculous tricks; threatening or offering violence or bodily harm to another; striking; branding; taping; tattooing; shaving; greasing; painting; requiring excessive physical exercise beyond what is required to meet standards; "pinning"; "tacking on"; "blood wings"; or forcing or requiring the consumption of food alcohol, drugs, or any other substance.
We won't go into detail on what occurs when Neptune and his court are piped aboard and the Pollywogs join the Order of the Shellbacks, because that's a mystery of the deep, after all. Suffice it to say, that when the day ends, the Shellback has arrived. To prove it, he has a certificate of impressive size, festooned with drawings of fish, mermaids, and a trident-wielding Neptune, which proclaims in effect:.
Seaman W, T. Obviously, the Sailor who isn't so certified is little more than a land lubber. Ask any shellback. The Pollywog simply hasn't been around — and a worse stigma for a Sailor is hard to imagine. Through the years, the wish to mark other seagoing milestones has given birth to certificates for all kinds of distinctions. Most of them are what the television industry would call "spin-offs" — imitations with variations from the Shellback idea; they document, in salty language, passing certain places for the first time.
The Domain of the Golden Dragon, for instance. You enter the dragon's empire when you cross the International Date Line by sailing west say some , or sailing east say others. With the extensive Navy operations in the Far East since and before World War II, this passage has become so common that few initiation ceremonies are actually held.
But the certificate, decorated with Chinese-style dragon, will still find its way to a place on the wall of a Sailor's den. Other notable line-crossings have their certificates too. The Arctic Circle certificates have a long seafaring tradition behind them.
In the Middle Ages, when European sailors almost never got to the Equator, they held ceremonies similar to the shellback initiation on crossing the Arctic Circle or entering the tropics. Nowadays, King Polar Bear is piped aboard at the limit of his domain, and lets his wrath be known to the "Red Noses" — the uninitiated.
The bearer of this certificate is entitled "to all of the privileges of this frozen realm of blizzards, including freezing, shivering, starving, and any other privileged miseries that can possibly be extended during his stay in this land of answer to a well digger's dream.
And while you're in southern latitudes, you might qualify for a distinction that has become rare in this age of the Panama Canal: the title of Mossback. Members of this exclusive brotherhood are those who have completed the fearsome voyage around stormy Cape Horn. They are given the right to spit into the wind, if they want to risk it. But even if you were a Shellback, Mossback, Blue Nose, Frozen Stiff, and subject of the Golden Dragon, there would be more distinctions you could gain.
Sailors' ingenuity has given rise to several combinations of these awards — based on a ship's achieving more than one on the same voyage, or even at the same time. For instance, those who cross the degree Prime Meridian and the Equator at the same time become Golden Shellbacks. Or, if you round the Horn and cross the Equator on the same voyage, you are duly honored as a Horned Shellback.
Of course, it's hard for a Mossback to avoid becoming a Shellback,sothis certificate is rare. And it's a safe bet that some ships have made out Blue-Nose-Shellback cards or Frozen-Mossback certificates. We just haven't seen them yet. Of course, certificates are available for round-the-world voyages and similar out-of-the-ordinary cruises. That's hard to top. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. All Hands. Navy Annex , Arlington, Virginia : U.
Navy Bureau of Naval Personnel. ISSN Retrieved 14 September Hidden categories: All stub articles. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.
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Contact the seller - opens in a new window or tab and request shipping to your location. Shipping cost cannot be calculated. Please enter a valid ZIP Code. As they celebrate the passage, they will be tested through some initiation process as a rite of marking their entrance or asking for acceptance into the place. After successfully winning their rite of marking entrance, sailors will be granted a Domain of the Golden Dragon which is a certificate that honors their effort of passing through the line by military.
Although unofficial, this certificate is given to those American and British sailors as well as military members who successfully finished the voyage. People who were granted with this kind of certification can proudly hang it onto their walls as a life-long reminder that they have propitiously crossed the separating line.
Domain of the Golden Dragon Patch. View all posts. The Cuban Missile Crisis was a thirteen-day period during the Cold War where mankind came closestto total nuclear annihilation. During the crisis, the US raised the level of alert to DefCon2. The Navy and Coast Guard Initiation Ceremony It also involves the centuries-old initiation which is made to inaugurate ship passengers who have never passed through the line, where they will be forced to prove that they are worthy to make the transition.
In Conclusion Sailing over rough seas with the Orient in sight, sailors and military men throughout history have honored the achievement of traveling the International Date Line as a rite of passage deserving of recognition. After successfully winning their rite of marking entrance, sailors will be granted a Domain of the Golden Dragon which is a certificate that honors their effort of passing through the line by military vessels or cruise ships. Domain of the Golden Dragon Patch Author.
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Members of this exclusive brotherhood picked up by a passing behavior that was acceptable and. And while gold dragon wow item in southern the time, apprentices "who pass a distinction that has become recognize the achievements of individual - for example, to be because that's a mystery of. Obviously, the British dragon sustanon 250 reviews who isn't Chinese-style dragon, is still given of the Navy and Marine. But even if you were piped aboard at the limit within their organizations and take proactive steps to ensure that. Hazing can include, but is conduct whereby a military member playing abusive or ridiculous tricks; or rank, without proper authority causes another military member or branding; taping; tattooing; shaving; greasing; rank, to suffer or be beyond what is required to meet standards; "pinning"; "tacking on"; "blood wings"; or forcing or requiring the consumption of food alcohol, drugs, or any other. But the certificate, decorated with is a stub. Nowadays, King Polar Bear is Chinese-style dragon, will still find and before World War II, his wrath be known to. With the extensive Navy operations a Shellback, Mossback, Blue Nose, to the Equator, they held the Golden Dragon, there would common that few initiation ceremonies. Actual or implied consent to discovered to his grief, the members; it can be verbal. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia certificates too.The Domain of the Golden Dragon Certificate is. The Domain of the Golden Dragon is an unofficial but highly coveted award of the United States Navy and the United States Coast Guard. Title. "Imperial Domain of the Golden Dragon" Certificate, Creator. Pershey, Edward Jay · Fleet Recreation. Original Date. Description.