Celebrate the Navy’s Birthday on October 13 and recognize the brave men and women who have served our country — past and present. Established during the Revolutionary War, the original Continental Navy was formed, disbanded, and then reestablished nearly 10 years later. Today it’s the largest and most capable navy in the world, with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage. The Navy also boasts the world’s largest aircraft carrier fleet, over 300,000 active personnel, and nearly 100,000 in the Ready Reserve.
Navy Birthday - History
September 30, 1954
The Navy launched its first nuclear submarine
The Navy deployed the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine — the USS Nautilus.
December 7, 1941
"A day that will live in infamy"
Japanese forces sent 353 aircraft to launch a surprise attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This led directly to America's involvement in World War II.
The Navy built its armada
Three ships were commissioned and pressed into service. These were the USS Constitution, the USS United States and the USS Constellation.
March 27, 1794
The Navy became permanent.
Congress passed the Naval Act of 1794 — establishing a permanent standing navy.
How to Observe Navy Birthday
1. Visit the U.S. Navy Memorial
You'll find it on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C. It honors those who have served — or are currently serving in the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marine.
2. Tour a naval ship
The Navy makes a number of decommissioned ships available for public tours. Make it a part of your next vacation.
3. Go to a museum
With maritime museums all across the country, there's ample opportunity to learn about the Navy and its history.
5 Shipshape U.S. Navy Facts
1. George Washington's the father of our navy too
General Washington commissioned two small schooners to patrol in and around Boston Harbor as the Revolutionary War heated up — eventually leading to the Navy we have today.
2. The Navy’s birthplace is in dispute
The Massachusetts cities of Beverly and Marblehead have long argued over which was the birthplace of the Navy — which takes no official position on its place of origin.
3. All submariners are volunteers
Those serving on submarines are among the most highly trained personnel in the military.
4. If not for the Navy, James T. Kirk would have been captain of the USS Yorktown
Star Trek’s USS Enterprise was originally called the Yorktown. After some debate, creator Gene Roddenberry eventually renamed it.
5. Best of the best
SEAL Team 6, officially known as United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group — along with Delta Force — are the most highly trained elite forces in the U.S. military.
Why Navy Birthday is Important
A. It’s a tribute to those who serve
Celebrating the men and women who are currently enlisted shows our appreciation for what they do for us.
B. It's our proud history
It's vital to remember the Navy’s history and honor the men and women who have given their service and lives for our country.
C. Super ships
Featuring a massive flight deck equipped with an electromagnetic aircraft launch system, the Gerald R. Ford Class has the capacity to carry more than 75 aircraft and accommodate 4,539 personnel. It's the world’s biggest aircraft carrier.