243 Years on October 13!
Happy Birthday to the United States Navy
In an effort to curb British Sea Control, the Continental Congress established the Continental Navy, which later, on October 13, 1775, became the United States Navy. When the infant Navy was first formed, it consisted of just two armed vessels – tasked with disrupting munition ships supplying the British Army in America. Yet over the past nearly two and one-half centuries, our Navy has grown to become the largest, most advanced, and most lethal fighting force the world has ever known.
In 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, designated October 13 as the Navy’s offical birthday, and directed that it be commemorated so as to “enhance [the] appreciation of our Navy heritage” and reinforce “pride and professionalism in the Naval Service.”
In addition to this year marking the Navy's 243rd birthday, the year ahead will mark several other historic milestones for the Navy. Throughout the year, Navy will celebrate the 25th anniversary of women’s first assignment aboard a combat ship, the 50th anniversary of Navy’s Fighter Weapons school -- Top Gun, the 75th anniversary of Navy’s success during Operation Overlord (D-Day) and the Battle of Leyte Gulf and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
Forged by the Sea
The theme for the Navy’s 243rd Birthday is “Forged by the Sea.” This year’s theme captures the aspirations of every Sailor’s journey in uniform, and conveys the notion that every Sailor is shaped and strengthened by service in the Navy. It also highlights the fact that our Navy is a team that has been forged, tempered, and toughened over 243 years of maritime operations. And, quite naturally, it speaks to the Navy’s unique and fundamental relationship with the sea.
For 243 years, our U.S. Navy has celebrated the seekers of knowledge and adventure. Our Sailors proudly continue this tradition, so this year, we celebrate the security they provide for all Americans by their creativity, their dedication, and their enterprising sense of adventure.
Since its earliest days, the U.S. Navy has operated to deter our adversaries and to fight and win in the event deterrence fails. As our adversaries strive to match and outpace the capabilities of our fleet, it is imperative that we continue to grow, develop, and innovate – principally through the dedication and sacrifice of the Navy men and women “forged by the sea” – in order to retain our maritime superiority.
From the Navy’s original six frigates to the fighting force today comprised of a ready and resilient submarine, aviation, and surface force, our Navy continues to challenge old boundaries, develop new alliances, and forge new strengths. And – thanks to our proud, 243-year history – we are Forged by the Sea.