13 October 2013

A joyous birthday to America's Navy: A Global Force for Good

“It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definite, and with it, everything honorable and glorious.” – George Washington
October 13th commemorates the birthday of the United States Navy, 238 years ago today. It was founded in 1775, before the official birth of our country.

The US Navy traces it origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on this day over 200 years ago, by authorizing the procurements, fitting out, manning, and dispatch of two (yes, two) armed vessels to cruise around in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America. The legislation also established a Naval Committee to supervise the work. Over the course of the Revolution, the Continental Navy numbered about 50 ships, with approximately 20 warships active at its maximum strength. It was disbanded at the end of the war.

The Constitution, ratified in 1789, empowered Congress “to provide and maintain a navy.” Acting on this authority, Congress ordered the construction and manning of six frigates in 1794 and the War Department administered naval affairs from that year until Congress established the Department of the Navy on April 30, 1798.

Today, the US Navy has exceeded its modest roots by now being larger than the next thirteen largest navies (combined in terms of battle fleet tonnage). It also has the world’s largest carrier fleet, with ten in service, one under construction (two planned), and two in reserve. The service has over 317,000 personnel on active duty and over 100,000 in the Navy Reserve. It operates 285 ships in active service and more than 3,700 aircraft.

The US Navy is a blue-water navy (a maritime force capable of operating across the deep waters of open oceans) able to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward areas during peacetime, and rapidly respond to regional crises, making it an active player in US foreign and defense policy.
“The mission of the United States Navy is to protect and defend the right of the United States and our allies to move freely on the oceans and to protect our country against her enemies.” – New Recruits Handbook
The Navy’s three primary areas of responsibility are: 
  1. The preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war;
  2. The maintenance of naval aviation, including land-based naval aviation, air transport essential for naval operations and all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the Navy; and
  3. The development of aircraft, weapons, tactics, technique, organization, and equipment of naval combat and service elements.

 In 2007, the US Navy joined with the US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard to adopt a new maritime strategy called A Cooperative Strategy for21st Century Seapower that raises the notion of prevention of war to the same philosophical level as the conduct of war. The new strategy charts a course for the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps to work collectively with each other and international partners to prevent crises (man made or natural) from occurring or reacting quickly should one occur to prevent negative impacts on the United States.

 There is so much history to our US Navy, and so many positive things that it provides (and can provide to its soldiers)... Check out the official website for more information, and if you're interested in signing up, just click here