To most people, “NCIS” is just another American TV show. But it is actually a real organisation. However, up until the early Nineties, the NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) was known as the NIS (the same, but without “Criminal”).
Now many organisations and corporations change their name. The reasons are many – but often it is because their old name has become tarnished by a colossal cock-up. Whether this last is the case with the NIS, I leave YOU to be the judge…
In the Seventies, the Navy brass had decided to use Village People’s latest hit – “In The Navy” – in a series of recruitment ads on TV. Luckily someone TOLD them about Village People before the details were set.
But of course, the NAVY could not very well change its name.
However in the Eighties, the NIS were given the task of investigating the INCIDENCE of homosexuality in the Navy. And during their enquiries, they found gay men often referred to their brethren as “friends of Dorothy”.
So they began a concerted effort to FIND this Dorothy, believing her to be at the centre of a “ring” of homosexual military personnel. The woman had to be traced, in order to force her to reveal the names of members of this ring.
Only later did they discover the phrase “friends of Dorothy” was gay slang, derived from the fact that Judy Garland (who famously played “Dorothy” in “The Wizard Of Oz”) – was a gay icon.