Old salt

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Quartermaster Dick Libby, USN, an Old Salt: "Twenty years in the Navy. "Never drunk on duty - never sober on liberty." [1] Portrait painted circa 1834 by Charles O. Cole

An "old salt" is an old sailor who is often a raconteur, or teller of sea stories. Much of the history and traditions of mariners are passed from generation to generation by these sea stories as told and retold by old salts. Sea stories may be truthful, half-truths, or falsehoods. However, they always enhance the reputations of sailors.

In the United States Navy, the "Old Salt" is a title passed to the longest-serving Surface Warfare Officer on active duty.[2] The award, currently held by Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, Commander, U.S. Southern Command, honors the officer with the earliest standing SWO qualification.[3]


  1. ^ http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/kn00001/kn00582l.htm
  2. ^ Rafael, Martie. "Navy Passes "Old Salt" Award". U.S. Navy. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  3. ^ Morris, Tyrell. "Vice Adm. Tidd Receives Surface Navy Association's "Old Salt" Award". U.S. Navy. Retrieved 16 April 2018.