Military Appreciation Month: 10 Things You Didn’t Know
May is National Military Appreciation Month, and Chevrolet is joining the National Navy SEAL Museum to honor the men and women who have served in the U.S. military, particularly its special forces.
Chevrolet will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the all-new, Special Operations 2016 Chevrolet Silverado to benefit the Navy SEAL Museum and its foundation.
Although many know Chevrolet has supported the U.S. armed forces – and institutions such as the Navy SEAL Museum – for many years, most people don’t know:
Chevrolet’s Tradition of Military Support
1.- The Unlikely General: William Knudsen, president of Chevrolet and later General Motors, accepted President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s request to lead U.S. war production efforts during World War II, giving up his $300,000 annual salary in 1940 (equivalent to more than $5 million today) to work for $1 per year in Washington. Knudsen became a U.S. Army Lieutenant General, and received the Distinguished Service Medal in 1944.
2.- The Arsenal of Democracy: As World War II began, Chevrolet and General Motors answered President Roosevelt’s call to build “An Arsenal of Democracy.” Between 1942 and 1945, Chevrolet manufactured 60,000 Pratt & Whitney bomber and cargo plane engines; 500,000 trucks; 8 million artillery shells; 3,000 90 mm cannon barrels; 1 million tons of aluminum forgings; 1 million tons of grey iron castings; 2,850 tons of magnesium forgings; and 3,800 T-17 Staghound armored scout cars.
3.-National Military Appreciation Month: May was selected as Military Appreciation Month because it has most days set aside for celebrating and commemorating our military’s achievements. These days include Loyalty Day, established in 1921; Victory in Europe (VE) Day, commemorating the end of WWII in Europe on May 8, 1945; Armed Forces Day, created in 1949; Military Spouse Appreciation Day, established in 1984; and Memorial Day. Chevrolet is celebrating National Military Appreciation Month by expanding its Military Discount Program to include all 21 million military veterans, regardless of separation date. To learn more, visit ChevySalutes.com.
The National Navy SEAL Museum
4.- Born in Ft. Pierce: The National Navy SEAL Museum is located in Ft. Pierce, Fla. because the Navy’s first Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT)—nicknamed “frogmen” for their swimming skills – trained on the museum grounds during World War II.
5.-Not Always SEALs: The UDT teams were not known as SEALs until 1962, when President John F. Kennedy recognized their value and commissioned them as Sea Air Land Teams, again expanding their mission beyond their traditional role.
6.-The Naked Warriors: Because UDT teams went to battle wearing little more than swimming trunks, they were nicknamed “The Naked Warriors.” A statue in their likeness salutes their bravery at the museum.
7.- Saving Captain Phillips: In 2009, Maersk Alabama Capt. Richard Phillips – portrayed by Tom Hanks in the 2013 film “Captain Phillips” — was held hostage by pirates off the coast of Somalia until U.S. Navy SEALs rescued him from the ship’s lifeboat. This lifeboat is on display at the museum.
8.- A Unique Memorial: The Navy SEAL Museum is the only memorial in the world dedicated to the UDT divers and Navy SEALs who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., their names are carved into black granite panels on the walls surrounding the sculpture of a modern Navy SEAL diver and its reflecting pool.
9.- More Than a Museum: Through its Trident House Charities program, the Navy SEAL Museum provides assistance to military families. The Trident House itself provides complimentary respite to the families of Navy SEALs and other special operations forces. The Navy SEAL Museum Scholarship Program provides assistance to children from the families of special operations forces as they pursue their education.
10.- Tools of the Trade: The UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-lift helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. The helicopter on display at the Navy SEAL Museum was donated by the “Night Stalkers” 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR). In 2012, it was used during an operation to rescue hostages Jessica Buchanan and Danish citizen Poul Hagen Thisted from pirates in Somalia.