Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Is This Something We Should Be P.O.'d About?

Over at Rontini's BBS, Myron (of Myron's Mind Meanderings) brought up a subject I haven't really thought too much about: non-submariners wearing dolphins. In this case, "Kinky" Friedman, who's running for Texas Governor (I really couldn't tell from looking at his website if his campaign is a joke or not, but he apparently is doing well enough to get included in the televised debate), has some pictures on his web site from last month where he was wearing dolphins (along with jump wings.) Here's one of the pictures:

From looking at his biography, it appears Mr. Friedman doesn't have any military experience, let alone being a qualified submariner. I know that SEALS, for one, get very upset when someone who hasn't earned it tries to wear their warfare insignia. So my question remains -- Is this something we need to get mad about, or do we accept it as a compliment from someone intending to show support for us?

Because, let's face it -- aside from the question of someone wearing something they haven't earned, the fact remains that as a fashion accessory, dolphins look gooood.

(Please, keep the discussion clean; no mention of how some young ladies may have "earned" the right to wear some submariner's dolphins in some liberty port or local bar.)

Update 1110 11 Oct: Kinky's people respond:
About Kinky's pins:
The "Jump Wings" were given to Kinky by his father, who was a proud veteran of WWII. Kinky is proud of him too, and wears this as requested.
A very close friend of Kinky's who recently passed away gave the "Dolphins" to him to wear before he died. Kinky is proud of his friend, and was abliged to uphold this wish.
On Kinky's right lapel is a badge that a fan made him in the style of the Texas Ranger's "badge" that instead says "Governor of Texas."
You are free to use this information as you like, and have a great day!
Kinky himself addresses the issue in this article; his explanation is quite different from the E-mail that "Team Kinky" sent out:
He says the dolphins were given to him by a submarine widow.
Hoff asks: "And, she wanted you to wear it?"
Friedman says: "Absolutely, she's been working very hard for our campaign in East Texas."
Some guy with a blog in Texas is claiming Texas submariner Ray is trying to "Swift Boat" Friedman. The guy's clearly an asshat (the blogger, not Ray). "Swift Boat" implies an attack on the specifics of someone's military record; the question Ray brought up is about someone who was never in the military wearing a qualification pin he didn't earn.


Blogger ninme said...

I was on a cross-country flight a couple years ago and there was a guy (later thirties, earlier forties) in a near-by seat who wore a couple medals on his blue blazer, and when everyone was hunched around at the end of the flight avoiding making eye-contact with each other, and his medals were a natural place for the eye to fall, and they looked really shiny and cool, one of the other guys asked him what they were for and he said he collected them. Collecting them, now that's cool. Wearing them, that really skeezes me out.

10/08/2006 12:19 AM

Anonymous rebootinit said...

When I was on the Florida Gold crew, the Group Chaplain rode us the entire patrol. (This was just after the Blue Crew CO was shytcanned by CSS-17 in '97). We had a fun time with him and he understood we were a happy crew. M-div did some interesting metalwork and the crew presented him with the only "chaplain dolphins" in the Navy. It was a pair of officer dolphins with a cross in place of the sail, looked pretty damn good. He was only allowed to wear them on our ship though, and he wore them proudly when he visited us for chats.
Many are made "honorable submariners" that ride the boats by the commands they ride. I have no issue with somebody wearing them in a non uniform status, and that they do not claim to be a boat rider. Most wear it to draw comments, what the hell else a politicion have to brag about? LOL>
My only other relative in the Navy has been exposed as a SEAL faker for claiming to have earned the coveted Budweiser. He is only actually a SBU member out of Norfolk. No mercy on fakes who try to garner attention from a status symbol and fakery in the public.

10/08/2006 2:30 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel didn't you do a post awhile back wondering why nobody every impersonates submariners like they do seals? Well here's your answer!

10/08/2006 4:45 AM

Blogger SonarMan said...

When I was in high school there were a bunch of us who had military style jackets and inignia on them. I asked my dad if I could have his "old dolphins" for my jacket. He set his jaw, and through clenched teeth, not wanted me to know how much that pissed him off, answered, "Nope, you gotta earn'em."

Besides the fact that it's against the law to wear military insignia of any kind that you didn't earn, Friedman should be told that it's highly offensive to submarine sailors to wear Dolphins if you didn't qualify on submarines.

10/08/2006 10:36 AM

Blogger Subsunk said...

AWWW, Let Kinky wear them. Just so it pisses off enough folks like me that he'll never see the inside of the Capitol in Austin.

Kinky is just that -- kinky. He is a little looney, and he sure didn't do a damn thing to earn any dolphins. His flaunting of them, however, doesn't make me so much mad as just disgusted. Kinky is just another crazy non reg puke who wouldn't know real service to his country if it walked up and bit him on the ass as far as I'm concerned.

But I wouldn't throw him in jail for it.


10/08/2006 1:14 PM

Blogger reddog said...

Kinky is a spoiler in the Texas gov race, between him and the Libertarian, enough votes will be syphoned off so that the 34-38% fundamentalist base will elect a lackluster Republican candidate.

As for the Dolphins, I say let him wear them, Kinky has never had any evil intent in anything he's done. He was never in the military but he did spend two years in Borneo with the Peace Corps. That pays even less than the Nav. Habitability is not as good either.

10/08/2006 3:18 PM

Blogger SonarMan said...

I am not saying throw him in jail for wearing dolphins he didn't earn - that would be pointless. Just as it would be for anyone who buys something cool looking to wear out of an Army/Navy Surplus shop. But, you will go to jail for wearing the CMH or Purple Heart if you didn't earn those, as well as trying to pass yourself off as a member of the military. Which obviously Kinky is not doing. He's just wearing them for atention, more than likely.

But, if the Submarine Warfare Dolphins are to mean anything, we have to say to the world "If your not a submarine sailor you don't get to wear dolphins." Period. Hell, I couldn't even wear a ship's belt buckle until I qualified, why does Friedman get to wear them on his jacket?

My point is, is that anyone who wears the Submarine Dolphins, who did not earn them, cheapens them. My dad, who served on submarines during the 60's, and was trained by guys who had served during WWII, considered the dolphins almost sacred, and on one occassion chastised me for calling them "fish". I never did so again.

Where is our respect today for the Dolphins, and what they mean? Maybe you all think I'm taking this too serious, but if Kinky was wearing a Green Beret, or a Ranger Tab, or as BH said, a SEAL Trident, I'm pretty sure they'd be pretty upset about it. I think we should get upset about, too. If we don't, and we just let anyone have them, why does the Qualification Program matter? Why don't we just issue a set of Dolphins to every sailor who checks aboard a submarine? It would be no different.

10/08/2006 3:55 PM

Anonymous Byron Audler said...

Sonarman, 99% of the civilians out there don't know dolphins from waterwings. They don't even know what a qualification pin is, or what has to be done to earn the right to wear it. Don't waste your time or energy on jackasses like this, just keep on being proud that you and your brothers achieved a goal that mere civilians like me never will.

BZ to you, sirs.

10/08/2006 5:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the photo it appears Kinky may be attempting to recruit a female lawyer to join some elite fraternity. More power to him.

Seriously though, we should be flattered by Kinky's willingness to wear dolphins and not surprised by the persuaviveness of one of our own who got him to do it (or created the fauxtography). My real question is, which Houston establishment was this, and why couldn't Gus get Kinky to wear the
International Ayn Rand Award emblem?

10/08/2006 7:01 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

I'm pretty sure it's not a photo-shopped image, since I got it from Kinky's website.

10/08/2006 8:49 PM

Blogger Zoe Brain said...

I've spent some considerable time on board subs, but I'm not entitled, and I would never, ever, EVER wear The Dolphins unless someone qualified to do so awarded them to me.

Others can do what they want.

I am an honourary member of the Sankt Petersburg Submariners club, for work I did to financially help the families of the Kursk sailors. But that's it.

10/09/2006 2:27 AM

Blogger Gus Van Horn said...

I'm with subsunk.

Kinky Friedman's a complete idiot and I'll be quite happy if "his" pin helps torpedo him. Let him wear the damn thing!

As for the race as a whole, it's almost as big a joke as Friedman himself is. We have in Rick Perry an incumbent who is so unpopular that every Tom, Dick and Harry has entered the race to beat him -- ensuring that no one opponent will collect enough votes to beat him and therefore making him a shoe-in for another term.

But just to be on the safe side, I'm casting a vote for Perry to make sure this turkey doesn't make it in. Sad to say, but he usually leads the pack of challengers in the polls.

10/09/2006 8:45 AM

Anonymous showertech said...

I will have to stand by my fellow sonarman and say i think its not right for him to be wearing them. My father sent the CO his first set of dolphins to have him pin them on when i earned them. It was one of the happiest days of my life and i will remember it always. Someone wearing the Fish without earning them spits in the eye of those who did.

10/09/2006 1:48 PM

Anonymous Charlie H. said...

Anyone who keeps up with Kinky knows he offends about
Heard of Kinky and the Jew Boys ???
No PC here.
I suggest someone ask him what the deal is. ( Duh )

Buy the way I'm voting for Kinky as by far the best candidate.

10/09/2006 1:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Submariners are pussies. They won't do anything about Kinky except ask pussy questions as to whether or not they should do anything about Kinky.

What would they do about it even if there was a call to "action?" Have a slap fight?

10/09/2006 2:09 PM

Blogger SonarMan said...

Of course, an anonymous poster is calling someone a pussy. Probably a skimmer puke - or worse a tender puke. Perhaps we have done something. I know I have. I emailed Kinky Friedman, and got a reply. Here is the email.

Thank you for the email and the information. I personally do not know why Kinky has or wears the Enlisted Submarine Warfare insignia, nor that that is in fact what you see in the picture. However, I will pass this information on in the hopes that it is resolved. I assure you, Kinky nor his campaign, mean any disrespect.

Thanks again.
"Xxxx" (
10/08/2006 11:52 AM
To (
Subject Military Insignia

Mr. Friedman,
On your website photogalleries, in photograph Photo Galleries Flemings - Houston kinky031 copy.jpg, you are wearing the Enlisted Submarine Warfare insignia, also known as Dolphins. Only those who have qualified in Submarines in the U.S. Navy are eligible to wear this insignia. According to everything I've read about you, you have not ever served in the military, let alone the Submarine Force. I am not criticizing your service, or lack thereof, but your displaying of a military decoration you are not entitled to wear.

This is highly offensive to those of us who have qualified in Submarines. We are an elite brotherhood, and this insignia is how we distinguish ourselves from the rest of the service and the civilian community. You would not wear a Green Beret, or a Ranger tab, or a Seal Trident; those so qualified in those specialties would be very upset if they saw someone wearing their insignia not entitled to do so. So neither should you wear the Submarine Dolphins so cavalierly.

I recommend to you, that if they were given to you by someone in the Submarine force who is a fan of your music, or a supporter of your bid for office, then you put them on a plaque, or a frame, with the sailor's name on it, in a place of prominence in your home or office. It is also important to mention that wearing any military insignia that one is not entitled to is a viloation of federal law.

STS1(SS), USN (Ret.)

So, Anomasshole, go slap fight with your girlie friends somewhere else, shitferbrains. You couldn't take one day on alert on a boomer strategic patrol, or on station on a fast attack. You'd be the first pussy scratching at the hatch, crying his eyes out to be let out. And we'd all be just laughing at your pathetic ass. Then, when we were done laughing at you, we'd have the corpsman come and sedate you, throw you in the rack with an IV drip and a catheter up your dick, because we don't come home until the mission is done.

The days of "hazing" are over, but when I first joined and qualified, clowns like you would find themselves mummified in EB green, hanging upside down from a pad-eye in the Reactor Tunnel, getting bitch slapped by both the oncoming and offgoing nuke watches.

10/09/2006 4:18 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Yeah, what Sonarman said...

10/09/2006 6:54 PM

Anonymous CWO3/USN (ret) said...

As a third generation submariner, I find it HIGHLY offensive to have ave a non-qual puke to wear our insignia. I don't care if he is a political figure or not. As a matter of fact, if he was a serrious political candidate, he would not even try to impersonate a member of any military organization. My father and grandfather would not let me touch a set of dolphins until I had qualified and I qualified on boat that was full of ex diesel boat sailors and I qualified in A gang. This idiot shold not be allowed to even view our insignia, let alone wear them. Well done sonarman, my email is not far behind this post.

10/09/2006 7:47 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! Ok, guess I better take them dolphins off of my stuffed (navy) bear that my husband got from the NEX for our 1 year anniversary huuh!

10/10/2006 12:17 AM

Anonymous testdepth68 said...

Ditto sonarman, showertech, CWO3/USN (ret) .

I've belayed posting here as long as I can stand it. FYI anonymous, submarines - particularly Fleet Ballistic Missile ones of the United States Navy are the MOST FORMIDABLE KILLING MACHINES EVER DEVISED BY MAN. And MEN are at sea in them every day so that you and your kind can have your warm and fuzzy little world without fear of change or persecution. Now what in the world could be pussy about that? You're obviously one of the split-tails of the species and have no concept of what those with JUEVOS are or are like.

Fellow qualifed submariners, it is up to us to mind the Dolphin Store. If we don't do it, nobody will. Were they handing them out the day you got yours? Would you just turn yours in? It took me 2 patrols on top of working 18 hours, 7 days my first qual. Yeah, there's probably a grape sig or two in there. My philosophy - once pinned, always pinned. No such thing as an ex-submariner. These pukes have no idea what is done to protect their freedom.

I saw the debate in question last Friday and they are nice, shiny silver dolphins. My only question, Mr. Friedman, "What boat did you qualify on?". -- testdepth68 (SS, by the way)

10/10/2006 7:55 AM

Anonymous showertech said...

An email I received from Kinkys people

Thanks for the email. (Submariners are a wonderful group of people - my favorite one being my dad. He has some amazing stories to tell!)

About Kinky's pins:

The "Jump Wings" were given to Kinky by his father, who was a proud veteran of WWII. Kinky is proud of him too, and wears this as requested.
A very close friend of Kinky's who recently passed away gave the "Dolphins" to him to wear before he died. Kinky is proud of his friend, and was abliged to uphold this wish.
On Kinky's right lapel is a badge that a fan made him in the style of the Texas Ranger's "badge" that instead says "Governor of Texas."

You are free to use this information as you like, and have a great day!


Team Kinky

10/10/2006 2:28 PM

Blogger submandave said...

Seem Whitney from Team Kinkey has fielded this question a few times, as I received the exact same response.

10/10/2006 2:40 PM

Blogger G-Man said...

LOL! Same here.

10/10/2006 3:26 PM

Blogger reddog said...

The sense of accomplishment felt upon qualification.
The pride felt in the years of service.
The comradeship with my shipmates and all those who ever served in submarines.
I'm proud of what my Dolphins mean to me. On Kinky, they're just a piece of tin. I'm not concerned if Kinky want's to wear dolphins. He's a performer, it's a prop. I don't confuse Sly Stalone with real heroes of our country either, but I loved First Blood, didn't you?

10/10/2006 4:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


10/12/2006 5:32 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if Kinky has had his dolphins tacked on yet?

10/12/2006 9:11 PM

Anonymous Subvet said...

First, I'm a retired A-ganger with 22 years in the Sub Force. I've always been classified as "rude, crude, and socially unacceptable". Like I said, an A-ganger. Personally, I don't see any big deal with Kinky wearing dolphins. He's a "character" and means no disrespect by it. C'mon people, we shouldn't take ourselves so seriously that our panties wad up our butts over something like this. Hell, if nothing else it gives our community more publicity. And if some nonqual does it I'd like it to be a Jew who got famous with the song, "They Don't Make Jews Like Jesus Anymore".

10/13/2006 2:11 AM

Blogger WashingtonSquid said...

Its interesting that I happen across this. I was a Navy Submariner for 8 1/2 years. I've since transitioned to civilian life and got into riding my motorcycle. I was very interested in finding/creating a patch for the back of my jacket that only other submariners would understand. Part of the patch would have the sub qual pin, underscored by "Silent Service". Rather than place it high on the back of my jacket, being an emblem designating submariner it would be low across the bottom of the back. I was simply searching the internet for a good pic to send someone who custom makes leather patches. Thats when I saw this. Although I can apreciate someone showing respect for the submarine service I simply do not feel as though this is a good way of doing so. The pin represents something he hasn't earned. If he would like to wear one I welcome him to join the Navy and go to a boat. I'd be like some guy wearing your mom's weading dress around town to show her respect. Its redicilious and tacky. I'm not a violent person but I feel I'd have some choice words for this individual if I ever ran across him as well as the wife who gave it to him for political reasons. My pin will go to one of my three sons if they ever chose to join. Thats showing respect.

8/04/2008 9:12 PM

Anonymous Georgiana said...

Pretty helpful material, much thanks for this article.

9/14/2012 11:16 AM


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