A military mascot, also known as a ceremonial pet or regimental mascot, is a pet animal maintained by a military unit as a mascot for ceremonial purposes and/or as an emblem of that unit. It differs from a military animal in that it is not employed for use directly in warfare as a weapon or for transport.  Animals, of varying types, have served as mascots in the military for generations.  The navy is no exception.  In recognition of National Pet Day, join museum curator, Gordon Calhoun as he delivers an insightful, family-friendly look at various pets (both famous and infamous) in naval history.

Register for this event through Eventbrite or email at  paul.h.perry.civ@us.navy.mil.

About the Speaker: Gordon Calhoun is a historian and curator with the National Museum of the United States Navy.  A graduate of the College of the Wooster and Old Dominion University, he has worked with Navy museums for 27 years as a curator, editor, and historian and has given numerous talks on a variety of U.S. Naval subjects.   Outside of his official duties, he owns and operates a thoroughbred horse farm with his wife just north of Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Mask Guidelines: A mask is not required for visitors while inside the museum (Bldgs. 70 and 76) or while attending any programs. A mask is not required anywhere outside on the Washington Navy Yard grounds.

Parking Option: Harris Teeters underground parking garage (401 M Street SE). Parking is free for 90 minutes.  Once you park, you will need to go into the store and validate your ticket.  Keep your ticket since you will need it to exit the garage.  After validating your ticket, exit the store and walk to the 11th and O Street entrance of the Navy Yard.  Be at the entrance by 11am and wait on the sidewalk outside the entrance gate.  Have your driver’s license or other form of government issued I.D. with you.

A museum educator will be at the gate at 11:00am to escort you onto the base and to the museum. 

A second and final pick-up from the gate will made at 11:20am.

Note: Note: Due to security requirements at the Washington Navy Yard, you will need to be escorted onto the base then to the museum building. If taking Metro, exit the Navy Yard/Ballpark stop.  Exit the metro then walk to the base entrance at 11th and O Street SE (about 10 minutes). Plan to arrive at the entrance one hour before the start of the program. Be at the entrance by 11am and wait in the area adjacent to the Visitor Center.  A museum educator will be there to bring you onto the base.  If you need to contact the museum on the day of the program, call our front desk at 202.685.0589.


80-G-42090:   “Scuttlebutt” mascot of a U.S. Navy minesweeper in the San Diego area, July 3, 1943.  He is being shown given his ID and being logged in.    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

80-G-42090:   “Scuttlebutt” mascot of a U.S. Navy minesweeper in the San Diego area, July 3, 1943.  He is being shown given his ID and being logged in.    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.