'Top Gun' legends Tom Cruise and Jerry Bruckheimer become honorary naval aviators

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·2-min read
Vice Adm. DeWolfe H. Miller III (c), Commander, U.S. Naval Air Forces, presents Honorary Naval Aviator designations to actor Tom Cruise (l), and film producer Jerry Bruckheimer (r), in recognition of their significant and continuous support of Naval Aviation throughout the production of films Top Gun and Top Gun: Maverick (Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Alex J. Berliner)
Vice Adm. DeWolfe H. Miller III, Commander, U.S. Naval Air Forces, presents Honorary Naval Aviator designations to actor Tom Cruise and film producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Alex J. Berliner)

Top Gun icons Tom Cruise and producer Jerry Bruckheimer are now officially honorary naval aviators.

The pair were honoured for their service to the US Navy on screen in a special ceremony at the Paramount Studios lot in Los Angeles.

Vice Admiral DeWolfe Miller III, commander of the Naval Air Forces, presented Cruise – appearing online as he's still shooting Mission: Impossible 7 – and Bruckheimer with their certificates.

Read more: Tom Cruise’s most dangerous stunts

They were also presented with their 'wings of gold', given to US naval aviators, which afford them 'all honors, courtesies and privileges' associated with the military post.

Watch: Trailer for Top Gun: Maverick

In a statement, the US Navy said that Cruise and Bruckheimer 'significantly promoted and supported Naval Aviation and put aircraft carriers and naval aircraft into popular culture', with their work on the Top Gun movies.

It adds that the filmmakers made admirable effort to 'ensure the Top Gun franchise is as authentic as possible, staying true to the unparalleled tactical excellence of the Navy Fighter Weapons School, the ethos of Naval Aviation, and the fighting spirit of the men and women of the world’s greatest Navy'.

(Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Alex J. Berliner)
(Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Alex J. Berliner)

Among the previous honourees are the likes of Bob Hope, who was named an honorary navel aviator in 1986.

The honour comes in part for Cruise and Bruckheimer's work on the forthcoming Top Gun: Maverick.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Top Gun: Maverick

The long-awaited sequel finds Cruise reprising his role as Pete 'Maverick' Mitchell, the wildcard pilot from Tony Scott's 1986 action classic.

Maverick, now an instructor at the elite Top Gun flight school is joined by Miles Teller, playing late pilot Goose's son Bradley 'Rooster' Bradshaw, alongside Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris and Val Kilmer.

Delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, it's now slated for release on 2 July, 2021.