General Billy, a 6-month-old black Lebanese goat who served as mascot to a Marine unit on peacekeeping duty in Beirut, has been turned down for admission to the Naval Academy in Annapolis.
Despite his veteran status--General Billy spent three months with the 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit--William E. Goat has been rejected for mascot status by the academy because there reportedly are two goats already on duty there.
The 24th MAU, which is replacing the 22nd in Beirut, turned thumbs down on extending General Billy's term. So remaining friends are searching for a new assignment. Pan American World Airways has offered to fly him to the States free.
General Billy was drafted in April as a "U.S. Marine Corps-issued grassoline-powered lawn mower" by Col. James Mead, the 22nd MAU commander. Mead paid $30 for what he saw as a combination headquarters lawn trimmer and farewell feast.
However, Billy, only 3 months old, arrived in need of medical treatment and bottle-feeding, a task that fell to Warrant Officer Frank Fields. Eventually, the goat took to following Fields around like a puppy.
"Nothing will happen to that goat while we're here," Warrant Officer Bill Henderson said, "but the last of us leave on June 20, and we don't know what will happen to it after that."