The video opens innocently enough. A bell sounds as we gaze onto a U.S. Navy frigate, safely docked at port at Naval Base San Diego. A cadre of sailors, dressed in "crackerjack" style enlisted dress uniforms and hauling duffel bags over their shoulders, stride up a gangplank aboard the vessel. The officer on deck greets them with a blast of a boatswain's call. It could be the opening scene of a recruitment video for the greatest naval force on the planet.
Then the rhythmic clapping begins.
This is no recruitment video. It's 'In The Navy,' the legendary 1979 hit from disco queens The Village People, shot aboard the very real Knox-class USS Reasoner
(FF-1063) frigate. And one of those five Navy sailors who strode up that gangplank during filming was Ronald Beck, at the time a legal yeoman and witness to one of the strangest collisions between the U.S. military and pop culture of the 20th century.
"They picked the ship and they picked us, I don't know why," Beck, who left the Navy in 1982, told Task & Purpose in a phone interview from his Texas home in October. "I was just lucky to be one of 'em picked."
Hugh Hefner, the founder and avatar of Playboy, died of natural causes on Sept. 27 at age 91. With his characteristic smoking jacket, pipe, and bevy of Playboy Bunnies at his side, Hefner became a controversial pop culture icon who built a publishing and entertainment empire which put conservative views of sex and sexuality that defined America in the 1950’s squarely in its crosshairs.
There is a theory, that every situation in life can be related to “Seinfeld," the famous NBC sitcom about nothing. Late in the second decade of the 21st century, Seinfeld maintains its relevance in spite of some elements, such as the absence of cell phones, being a little dated. Culturally, “Seinfeldisms" remain pertinent. These are the phrases and descriptions that made their way into everyday American language. In the modern U.S. military, Seinfeldisms serve to describe many things, ranging from personalities of commanders to strategic planning and combat system acquisitions.