In March 2012, Army Colonel Gregory Gadson, who plays Retired Army Lt. Col Mick Canales, became Garrison Commander of Fort Belvoir, just south of Washington D.C.. Col. Gadson is the first bilateral amputee to serve as a Garrison Commander to any post in the United States Army.
The movie is based on the Milton Bradley game "Battleship", which has been manufactured since 1931. Some of the artillery in the film is shaped like the pegs used in the game. The original paper and pencil version of the game predates World War I.
While filming the soccer game, an American and a Japanese warship each pulled into a dock near the field. The crews were promptly drafted as extras. They are standing on the prows of their respective ships, cheering and clapping.
At the beginning of the RIMPAC exercise, Admiral Shane orders the Commanding Officer of USS Ronald Reagan to begin air operations. The Carrier CO who then gives the order to "commence air ops" is played by Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy.
The destroyers in the movie are Arleigh Burke class destroyers. The USS Hopper (DDG-70) is an Arleigh Burke class destroyer named after Rear Admiral "Amazing Grace" Hopper. Its home port is Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
According to journalist Pat Jordan, when Peter Berg was researching "Battleship," he spent a few days on a Navy destroyer, and before he left, he made a short film for the captain and crew. The captain had earlier joked that Berg was a 'Hollywood lame ass" to ever think he could understand how the destroyer worked in only three days. Berg, in turn, joked that he could because he'd seen a lot of films, like Pearl Harbor (2001). To settle their 'argument', the two played the "Battleship" board game in front of the ship's crew while Berg sent a helicopter to film the action from above.
Although the movie never comes out and says it, Alex Hopper was enlisted in the Navy before he became an officer. The movie gives clues to it, as one of Hopper's warfare device on his uniform is silver, and in several scenes, a tattoo of a "mustang" can be seen on his right forearm. A Mustang is a term used for officers that are prior enlisted.