Was Matt Groening in the Navy?
A sea story in the U.S. Navy's nuclear program holds that Groening is a former Navy nuclear operator. The story goes on to claim that the character of Mr. Burns is based on Admiral Hyman Rickover, and that the Ned Flanders character was inspired by a former commander of a moored training ship prototype unit (MTSPU) located north of Charleston, South Carolina. All good sea stories ignore the truth in some fashion, and this story ignores the facts that Groening was never in the Navy, and that the MTSPU did not open to students until July 1989 when Groening was in his second year of creating The Simpsons for the Tracey Ullman Show.
Matt Groening grew up in Portland, Oregon where he attended Ainsworth Elementary School and Lincoln High School. From 1972 to 1977, Matt attended a liberal arts school called The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Groening described it as "a hippie college, with no grades or required classes, that drew every weirdo in the Northwest."