U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus at the "Godzilla" special screening at AMC Uptown on May 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images) U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus at the “Godzilla” special screening at AMC Uptown on May 14, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images)

You’d think with its catastrophic idea of a good time — knocking down office buildings like Legos, capsizing naval war ships as if they were rubber duckies — the Pentagon and Godzilla wouldn’t make the friendliest playmates. Turns out that the mythic monster and the military had some fun together.

On Wednesday night, Warner Bros. Pictures, the folks behind the latest “Godzilla” reboot, hosted an advanced screening of the action flick for 500 military personal from the Department of Defense including U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who introduced “Godzilla” director Gareth Edwards.

It was a “thank you” note of sorts because the DoD had provided the filmmakers access to several naval aircraft carriers and technical experts to ensure that what audiences see on the big screen matched up with reality.

“The relationship between the U.S. military and the commercial entertainment industry goes back a very long way — even before there was a Department of Defense,” Phil Strub, the entertainment liaison at the Department of Defense, said. The DoD doesn’t make a profit from its involvement, according to Strub, but it is reimbursed for costs incurred during filming.

Strub, who’s been at his post since 1989, pointed to “Captain Phillips” and “Man of Steel” as recently successful collaborations between the department and Hollywood. There are several factors that play into whether the DoD offers its help. Chief among them is whether the film spit shines the military’s image. That is why other potential projects, like “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Crimson Tide,” where torture and mutiny respectively take center stage, didn’t get the Pentagon’s official seal of approval. Authenticity is also key, but that’s relative.

“Obviously we don’t have any war plans in dealing with Godzilla or other giant creatures,” said Strubs.

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