On this day in history . . .
The United States of America formally introduced the Continental Navy, 1775.
The Navy traces all the way back to the American Revolution. Congress purchased and prepared a small fleet of military ships to take the fight to the seas. This included heavier warships that were armed for battle (known as frigates), and smaller sailing ships such as brigs, sloops, and schooners. They searched the Atlantic for ships that supplied the British army with weapons and ammunition.
When the U.S. won the war, we were a poor country. We had poured our resources into the Revolution, which included taking foreign loans to aid us. The Confederation discontinued the Navy and sold off the battleships. The last one, the frigate Alliance, was sold in 1785.
As the Continental Army dwindled to 700 men, President George Washington maintained the importance of defending American soil. In order to secure peace, he said, we needed to be ready for war at all times. His cause was helped by America’s need for foreign trade. U.S. commerce was rapidly expanding through Europe, and in December 1793, it was introduced to a new threat…
Forged by the Sea
“We shall take leave to be strong upon the seas,” said Thomas Jefferson.
The Naval Act of 1794 ignited the flame of the new Navy. Six frigates were produced to defend trading ships from Algerine pirates. As Atlantic trading routes grew more treacherous, America’s naval forces grew stronger. With the 1798 creation of the Department of the Navy, its place within our nation has never wavered since.
Today’s Navy boasts over 300,000 active duty personnel and 100,000 in Reserve. They handle U.S. military operations on and under the sea, as well as in the air and on the ground. It is a fast-paced, high-tech organization with over 60 different career fields to choose from. The Navy stretches across the world at 100 international ports; containing 271 deployable ships, and training one of the most elite Spec Ops forces known to man: the SEALs.
Navy personnel, veterans, and their families all celebrate the service’s birthday. It is marked by the annual Navy Ball, a formal event with dinner and entertainment. As our maritime forces near three centuries in age, they only continue to strengthen the power and security of the United States military.
Thank you for your service, Sailors!
Landmarks in History:
The first successful submarine launch occurred in 1898, 23 years after its designs were set in place.
In 1908 the USS Michigan (BB-27) kicked off our use of modern battleships. It was known as a South Carolina-class battleship and was armed with a main battery of eight, foot-long guns in superfiring twin gun turrets.
The Curtiss A-1 Triad was purchased in 1911 and began the Navy’s involvement in aircraft technology.
After a successful flight from the deck of a Navy cruiser in 1910, Lexington-class aircraft carriers were introduced in 1927.
Special Forces Boats
Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats joined SEALs operations in 1992. They were originally meant to be lifeboats in the ‘60s, but their durability and speed made them more useful for special forces.
“Navy Birthday in the United States.” Timeanddate.com, www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/navy-birthday.
“Navy Birthday.” Military.com, www.military.com/navy-birthday.