Tom Cruise has been awarded the 35th Honourary Naval Aviator certificate in celebration of his work to promote Naval Aviation.
The actor starred as U.S. Navy pilot Lt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in the classic ’80s movie “Top Gun”.
According to a release from the Naval Air Forces, shared with the Daily Mail, the film “significantly promoted and supported Naval Aviation and put aircraft carriers and naval aircraft into popular culture.”
The organization explained: “In the history of motion pictures, there is not a more iconic aviation movie than the 1986 Paramount Pictures film ‘Top Gun’.”
“Its characters, dialogue, and imagery are ingrained in the minds of an entire generation of Americans,” the statement added. “The movie captured the hearts of millions, making a profound positive impact on recruiting for Naval Aviation.”
Cruise accepted the award via video call. Meanwhile, “Top Gun: Maverick” producer Jerry Bruckheimer became the 36th Honorary Naval Aviator.
The original “Top Gun” follows cadets at a Naval Fighter Weapons School where they learn elite flying skills.
“Top Gun: Maverick” is slated for release in 2021.