After her role in the movie Battleship a lot of people have become curious as to whether or not Rihanna was in the navy.
Rihanna was in the navy, specifically in the Barbados Cadet Corps, which is a program intended to get youth interested in the military. It was in the 2012 film Battleship that Rihanna played the role of a navy officer. She trained with the US Navy to prepare for the role and was made an honorary shipmate.
Scroll down to learn more about the military in Barbados, the cadet program Rihanna attended, as well as her role in the film Battleship.
As you may know, Rihanna is originally from Barbados and still maintains her citizenship and owns a house there. She grew up in and around the capital of the country, Bridgetown. Barbados does have its own armed forces known as the Barbados Defence Force. Unlike many countries around the world, Barbados does not maintain what is known as conscription.
Conscription is mandatory military service for any citizen of a country when they are a specified age. This is quite common in many countries around the world. Although it may seem that only countries that are embroiled in active conflict would have conscription, it is actually common in others. Norway and Switzerland are both good examples of this.
In Barbados, anyone can join the military once they reach the age of eighteen. The Barbados Defence Force is separated into three areas: The Barbados Regiment, Barbados Air Wing, and Barbados Coast Guard. The coast guard would be the component of the military that is like the navy, but it is not called that.
Rihanna’s Cadet Program
Since Rihanna left Barbados when she was sixteen to pursue her singing career, she would have never had the chance to enroll in the military or the coast guard. She also would have never been able to enroll in the US Navy. However, she was in the pre-military program known as Barbados Cadet Corps. Rihanna attended one of the cadet camps where she has said she was combat and weapon trained.
In a 2009 BBC interview, Shontelle, another Barbadian R&B singer, revealed that she knows Rihanna. When asked if she was Rihanna’s drill sergeant, she replied “Yes, I was! We were both in cadets together – it wasn’t compulsory or anything. But picture me and Rihanna in combat boots and fatigues crawling through mud and things like that.”
Acting as a Navy Officer in Battleship
Even though Rihanna was not in the Navy, she was in a movie where she played a naval officer and the role took some intense training. In the 2012 film Battleship, Rihanna played petty officer Cora Raikes. This was her first ever role on the silver screen that was not a cameo.
The film starred Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, and Alexander Skarsgard. With the actor who went on to land the huge role of Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic, Rami Malek, playing a minor role. Notice that there weren’t any women listed as leading roles? Well, that’s because Rihanna had one of the only female roles in the entire film.
Although Riri felt fairly prepared for the role as a naval officer due to her training in the Barbados Cadet Corps camp, she still partook in training with the navy. In an interview with the BBC, Rihanna discussed her training for the film. She said that “The trainer, he was a soldier. He yelled at me so many times, right in my face. He would never call me Rihanna, he would never respond to me.”
You can watch Rihanna discussing her training for the movie Battleship by following the YouTube link below.
So Rihanna was not in the Navy, she only trained with them in order to prepare for her first acting role. Interestingly enough, Rihanna’s fans refer to themselves as the Rihanna Navy. Maybe she isn’t part of the real navy, but she does have a navy of her own.