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Happy Birthday, U.S. Navy!


Today the United States Navy turns 242 years old. On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the construction and administration of the first naval force in American history. The Continental Navy worked closely with privateers to prey upon British commerce ships and transports during the American Revolution. America’s young naval force even went on to win several victories over British warships.

After the war was over and American Independence was achieved, the Continental Navy was disbanded. What we know today as the United States Navy was formally established with the creation of the federal Department of the Navy in April 1798.

To celebrate the 242 birthday of the U.S. Navy, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven Giordano recorded this video. (YouTube Video Credit: U.S. Navy)

The hero of the American War of Independence, General George Washington believed that, “as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive-and with it, everything honorable and glorious.” In the early days of our nation, Washington understood that it was in America’s best interests to maintain a powerful navy. He would most certainly be proud of all the good that the U.S. Navy has done throughout history.

John F. Kennedy was the first Navy veteran to be elected President of the United States. In his words, “I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: ‘I served in the United States Navy.”’ Five of the next six presidents after Kennedy also served in the Navy: Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush.

John F. Kennedy was presented the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his gallantry in action during the Second World War. (Photo: historyplace.com)

748 members of the U.S. Navy have been awarded the United States military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor.

The U.S. Navy currently includes 279 deployable ships, more than 3,700 operational aircraft, 324,460 active duty personnel, 106,622 reserve personnel, and more than 260,000 civilian employees.

A motivational video released by the U.S. Navy to celebrate its 242nd birthday. (YouTube Video Credit: U.S. Navy)

I believe that today, every American shares a common feeling of gratitude to the United States Navy for 242 years of service. Our country will always be able to count on the brave men and women who defend our freedom. Semper Fortis!

Sources

Council on Foreign Relations: Happy 242nd Birthday to the U.S. Navy!

history.com: Continental Congress authorizes first naval force - Oct 13, 1775.

Military.com: Happy Birthday, U.S. Navy!

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