Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Penguin Nils Olav is a Colonel-in-Chief

Nils Olav is a King Penguin living in Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland. He is the mascot and Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian King's Guard.


When the Norwegian King's Guard visited Edinburgh Military Tattoo of 1961 for a Drill Display, a lieutenant called Nils Egelien became interested in Edinburgh Zoo's penguin colony. When the Guards once again returned to Edinburgh in 1972, he arranged for the unit to adopt a penguin. This penguin was named Nils Olav in honour of Nils Egelien, and King Olav V of Norway.

Wikipedia says: "Nils Olav was given the rank of visekorporal (lance corporal) and has been promoted each time the King's Guard has returned to the Tattoo.

In 1982 he was made corporal, and promoted to sergeant in 1987. Nils Olav died shortly after his promotion to sergeant, and his place of honor was taken by Nils Olav II, his two-year-old near-double.

He was promoted in 1993 to the rank of regimental sergeant major.

On August 18, 2005, he was promoted to Colonel-in-Chief. He is the first penguin to hold this rank in the Norwegian army. At the same time a four foot high bronze statue of Nils Olav was presented to Edinburgh Zoo. The statue's inscription recognises the King's Guard and the Military Tattoo. A statue also stands at the Royal Norwegian Guard compound at Huseby, Oslo."

There are more photos of Nils Olav at Amazing.

1 comment:

Hans said...

I read just today he was knighted 'Sir', so respect :)