Meet the penguin brigadier beloved by Norwegian soldiers

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Meet the penguin brigadier beloved by Norwegian soldiers

Sir Nils Olav III marched down the line of uniformed soldiers standing at attention, eyeing each imperiously, before being presented with an insignia – on his wing.

A king penguin is definitely an unlikely candidate for military success, but Olav has just been promoted to Brigadier in the Royal Norwegian Guard.

Edinburgh Zoo’s highly-decorated resident penguin was awarded the prestigious title during a special ceremony in the Scottish capital, with 50 of Norway’s guardsmen in attendance.

The zoo has a long history with penguins. Nils Olav I was adopted by Norway’s Guard in 1972 and named the army’s mascot. The Olav family has since marched up the ranks, first from Corporal to Sergeant, then Colonel-in-Chief. And in 2008, Nils Olav III was knighted.

Edinburgh Zoo says Brigadier Sir Nils Olav III is regarded very highly among the Norwegian guardsmen and has received the string of honors due to his “outstanding service and good conduct.”

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