WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Academy Award winning actor Ernest Borgnine obtained a lifelong dream of advancement to chief petty officer in Washington, D.C. this weekend. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20041018/DCM062 Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030516/DCF023LOGO ) The actor who played Lt. Cmdr. Quniton McHale in the 1960s television show, "McHale's Navy," not only played a sailor on TV, he served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years. Borgnine enlisted in the Navy in 1935 serving on destroyers and submarine chasers. He served his commitment until 1941, but after just three months of being a civilian again, Pearl Harbor was hit by the Japanese and Borgnine returned to active duty. Borgnine went to sea with the Navy -- helping to guard the U.S. Atlantic Coastline during the height of World War II. He rose to the rank of gunner's mate 1st Class. He left the Navy after the war in 1945, but he says he never forgot what he learned. "Of all of my successes in life, including all that I've earned in acting, being in the Navy is my greatest achievement," Borgnine told an audience at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, Oct. 17. "The camaraderie and the work ethic is something that I always remembered ... and it's what got me through things the rest of my life." Borgnine was presented with a chief's pin, hat and given the title, "honorary chief petty officer" from the highest ranking enlisted man in the U.S. Navy -- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Terry D. Scott. Scott does not give out such honorary titles very often, but he said because of Borgnine's Navy service, and his support of the Navy and it's families, Borgnine deserves this special advancement. At 87, Borgnine is still very busy. While in Washington he spoke at the National Press Club, served as master of ceremonies for the United States Navy Band's annual Navy Birthday Concert and he attended a viewing of his latest film, "A Trail to Hope Rose," which is a Hallmark Original movie -- a western -- that aired July 3. He's about to begin shooting in Florida for an upcoming film. He is also the voice of the character, "Mermaid Man," on the Nickelodeon show, "SpongeBob SquarePants." For more information on Ernest Borgnine's visit to the Navy Memorial call Tami Faram, director of Public Relations for the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation at 202-380-0718.
SOURCE U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation