Celebrate the Navy Birthday

By Robert Martin, PAO    07 October 2020

Navy resident students and staff celebrate the Navy's 245 birthday.

Celebrate the Navy Birthday

On October 13, 1775, the United States Navy was established. It was known as the Continental Navy at that time and was consisted of a small fleet of ships patrolling to intercept ships sent to resupply British Army troops at or near the colonies.

Originating over 240 years ago when the Continental Congress authorized two armed vessels to search for ships supplying the British army with weapons and ammunition during the American Revolutionary War.

After the war, the Continental Navy was dismantled. However, pirate ships continued to threaten American merchant shipping, the Naval Act of 1794 created a permanent standing US Navy.

It wasn’t until 1972 when Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo Zumwalt declared an official recognition of the holiday, intended to honor all who served in a Navy uniform, past and present.

Important first for the U.S. Navy

1. First use of submarines: While the Navy's first commissioned designs for a submarine were handed over in 1875, it wasn't until 1898 that the first Holland submarine launched successfully.

2. First use of modern battleships: While America had battleships before, the 1908 South Carolina class dreadnought, which started with the USS Michigan and was based on British ships, was the first in the new era of battleships.

3. First use of naval aircraft: In 1911, the U.S. Navy bought its first airplane, the Curtiss A-1 Triad.

4. First use of aircraft carrier: The first flight from the deck of a U.S. Navy cruiser in 1910 led to the 1927 Lexington-class aircraft carriers, the first operational aircraft carriers in the U.S. Navy.

5. First use of Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat: Introduced in 1992, these rubber boats were originally meant for life boats in the 1960s, but the Navy now uses them for SEALs due to their lightweight, high speed, all-weather specifications.

The United States Navy has more than 300,000 personnel on active duty and around 100,000 personnel in the Navy Reserve.