Nils Olav, a king penguin, was adopted in 1972 to be the mascot of the Norwegian Guard. He is named after Majols Nils Egelien and former King of Norway King Olav.
Since then, he has only moved up in ranks. In 1982, he became a Corporal. In 1987, he reached the rank of Sergeant. In 1993, he became a Regimental Sergeant Major, and in 2001, he became an Honourable Regimental Sergeant Major.
Nils is often visited by Norway's armed forces and has received much regard and respect because of his outstanding service and good conduct. In 2005, Edinburgh Zoo was presented with a bronze statue of the penguin due to the esteem Nils has generated.
2008, however, was the pinnacle of Olav’s career. That year, King Harald V knighted Nils Olav. The ceremony was lavish, and a crowd of several hundred joined 130 guardsmen as Nils received his knighthood. He reportedly was on his best behavior and stood proudly as he was knighted.