In WaPo's Phillips' Rescue Stories (subsequently updated) I saluted with a “Well done” the SEALs for their extraordinary actions which led to Captain Phillips' rescue.
Tarheel Hawkeye, a former Navy men, let me know SEALs are saluted with Bravo Zulu. I appreciated the heads up and updated the post. Since I couldn’t find on the net why Bravo Zulu is used to salute SEALs, I asked for help.
In response, some good things happened on the post thread which I want to now acknowledge here on the main page.
John, Bravo Zulu (the 'B' hoisted above the 'Z' flag) is a long-standing international naval signal meaning 'Well Done'.That’s the right answer although I wasn’t sure of that because Tarheel Hawkeye offered a different answer.
But later TH corrected and Danvers weighed in with “more of the story" which you can read below the star line.
Lessons to take from what happened - - -
I’m right when I say readers often know much more about many things than I do.
JinC “editors’” outstanding work makes this blog much better than it would otherwise be. They certainly earned a “well done” for this latest episode.
The “editors’” work is an example of the power of open sourcing on the Net. Also, of the Net’s “reach.” Danvers, for example, did his “editing” in South Africa.
The “editors” gave a splendid example of why, if MSM reporters, editors and publishers are going to operate on the Net, they shouldn’t try to fool the public or fail to admit they’re wrong when they indisputably are. There are people out there who will nail them if they try fooling the public or refuse to admit they’re wrong when they obviously are.
Two last things I’ll mention - - -
GPrestonian hadn’t commented here in a long while, so I was delighted to see the comment and know GPrestonian still visits.
TH’s quick and public correction of his initial mistake was full and gracious; just what we wish more “real” MSMers would do.
Now to Danvers’ material.
From Wikipedia entry BRAVO ZULU
In the U.S. Navy signal code, used before ACP 175, "well done" was signaled as TVG, or "Tare Victor George" in the U.S. radio alphabet of that time. ACP 175 was organized in the general manner of other signal books, that is, starting with 1-flag signals, then 2-flag and so on. The 2-flag signals were organized by general subject, starting with AA, AB, AC, ... AZ, BA, BB, BC, ... BZ, and so on. The B- signals were called "Administrative" signals, and dealt with miscellaneous matters of administration and housekeeping. The last signal on the "Administrative" page was BZ, standing for "well done".
The term originates from the Allied Signals Book (ATP 1), which in the aggregate is for official use only. Signals are sent as letters and/or numbers, which have meanings by themselves sometimes or in certain combinations. A single table in ATP 1 is called "governing groups," that is, the entire signal that follows the governing group is to be performed according to the "governor." The letter "B" indicates this table, and the second letter (A through Z) gives more specific information. For example, "BA" might mean "You have permission to . . . (do whatever the rest of the flashing light, flag hoist or radio transmission says) "BZ" happens to be the last item in the governing groups table. It means "well done".