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), (unofficial).
"''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold
  , colors_label = Colors , march = "
Anchors Aweigh "Anchors Aweigh" is the fight song of the United States Naval Academy and unofficial March (song), march song of the United States Navy. It was composed in 1906 by Charles A. Zimmermann with lyrics by Alfred Hart Miles. When he composed "Anchors Aw ...
" , mascot = , equipment = List of U.S. Navy equipment , equipment_label = , start_date = 27 March 1794
()
(''as current service'') ---- 13 October 1775
()
(''as
Continental Navy The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. The fleet cumulatively became relatively substantial through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron John Adams and vigor ...
'') ---- , battles = , anniversaries = 13 October , decorations =
Presidential Unit Citation

Navy Unit Commendation The Navy Unit Commendation (NUC) is a United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , ...


Meritorious Unit Commendation The Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC; pronounced ''muck'') is a mid-level unit awardA unit citation is a formal, honorary mention by high authority of a military unit's specific and outstanding performance, notably in battle. Similar mentions ...

Meritorious Unit Commendation
, battle_honours = , website = , commander1 =
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...

President
Joe Biden Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. ( ; born November 20, 1942) is an American politician who is the 46th and current president of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party, he served as the 47th Vice Pres ...

Joe Biden
, commander1_label =
Commander-in-Chief A commander-in-chief or supreme commander is the person who exercises supreme command and control Image:CIC-USS-CarlVinson-2001.jpg, A watchstander at her station in the combat information center of USS Carl Vinson, USS ''Carl Vinson'' in the ...
, commander2 =
Lloyd Austin Lloyd James Austin III (born August 8, 1953) is an American retired United States Army Four-star rank, four-star General (United States), general serving as the 28th United States Secretary of Defense, United States secretary of defense since J ...
, commander2_label =
Secretary of Defense A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet official position in charge of a ministry of defense, which regulates the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force ...
, commander3 = Carlos Del Toro , commander3_label =
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer) of the United States Department of the Navy, Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States D ...
, commander4 = ADM
Michael M. Gilday
Michael M. Gilday
, commander4_label =
Chief of Naval Operations#REDIRECT Chief of Naval Operations The chief of naval operations (CNO) is the professional head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office () held by an admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, a ...
, commander5 = ADM William K. Lescher , commander5_label =
Vice Chief of Naval Operations A vice is a practice, behaviour, or habit A habit (or wont as a humorous and formal term) is a routine of behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see ...
, commander6 = MCPON
Russell L. Smith Russell L. Smith is a United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march ...
, commander6_label =
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy#REDIRECT Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON ) is a unique non-commissioned rank and position of office of the United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not f ...
, notable_commanders = , identification_symbol = , identification_symbol_label =
Flag A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crochetin ...

Flag
, identification_symbol_3 = , identification_symbol_3_label =
Jack Jack may refer to: Places * Jack, Alabama Jack is an unincorporated community File:Entering Heinola, Minnesota.jpg, Sign at Heinola, Minnesota, Heinola, an unincorporated community in Otter Tail County, Minnesota An unincorporated area is a re ...

Jack
, identification_symbol_4 = , identification_symbol_4_label =
Pennant Pennant may refer to: Flag or banner * Pennon (or pennant), a narrow, tapering flag commonly flown by ships at sea ** Commissioning pennant, the traditional sign of a warship, flown from its masthead while the ship is in commission ** Broad penn ...
, identification_symbol_5 = , identification_symbol_5_label = Anchor, ''Constitution'', and Eagle , identification_symbol_6 = , identification_symbol_6_label = Logo The United States Navy (USN) is the
maritime Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes, the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince ...
service branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the national armed forces of a sovereign nation or state. Types of branches Unified forces The Canadian Armed Forces is the unified arm ...
of the
United States Armed Forces The United States Armed Forces are the Military, military forces of the United States of America. The armed forces consists of six Military branch, service branches: the United States Army, Army, United States Marine Corps, Marine Corps, Uni ...

United States Armed Forces
and one of the eight
uniformed services of the United States The United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washin ...
. It is the largest and most powerful
navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense ...

navy
in the world, with the estimated tonnage of its active battle fleet alone exceeding the next 13 navies combined, including 11 U.S. allies or partner nations as of 2015. It has the highest combined
battle fleet tonnage A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force c ...
(4,635,628 tonne as of 2019) and the world's largest
aircraft carrier An aircraft carrier is a that serves as a seagoing , equipped with a full-length and facilities for . Typically, it is the of a fleet, as it allows a naval force to worldwide without depending on . Carriers have evolved since their incepti ...
fleet, with eleven in service, two new carriers under construction, and five other carriers planned. With 336,978 personnel on
active duty Active duty is a full-time occupation as part of a military force, as opposed to reserve duty. In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is ...
and 101,583 in the
Ready Reserve The Ready Reserve is a U.S. Department of Defense program which maintains a pool of trained service members that may be recalled to active duty should the need arise. It is composed of service members that are contracted to serve in the Ready Reser ...
, the U.S. Navy is the third largest of the U.S. military service branches in terms of personnel. It has 290 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft . The U.S. Navy traces its origins to the
Continental Navy The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. The fleet cumulatively became relatively substantial through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron John Adams and vigor ...
, which was established during the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
and was effectively disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter. After suffering significant loss of goods and personnel at the hands of the
Barbary pirates 1650 The Barbary pirates, or Barbary corsairs or Ottoman corsairs, were Muslims, Muslim privateers who operated from North Africa, based primarily in the ports of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. This area was known in Europe as the Barbary Coast ...
from Algiers, the U.S. Congress passed the
Naval Act of 1794 The Act to Provide a Naval Armament (Sess. 1, ch. 12, ), also known as the Naval Act of 1794, or simply, the Naval Act, was passed by the 3rd United States Congress on March 27, 1794, and signed into law by President George Washington G ...

Naval Act of 1794
for the construction of six heavy frigates, the first ships of the U.S. Navy. The U.S. Navy played a major role in the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon nove ...
by blockading the
Confederacy Confederacy may refer to: A confederation, an association of sovereign states or communities. Examples include: * Battle of the Trench, Confederate tribes * Confederate States of America, a confederation of secessionist American states that existed ...

Confederacy
and seizing control of its rivers. It played the central role in the
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
defeat of Imperial Japan. The U.S. Navy emerged from World War II as the most powerful navy in the world. The 21st century U.S. Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in strength in such areas as the Western
Pacific The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. ...

Pacific
, the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
, and the
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Another definition is "any of the large ...

Indian Ocean
. It is a
blue-water navy A blue-water navy is a maritime force capable of operating globally, essentially across the deep waters of open oceans. While definitions of what actually constitutes such a force vary, there is a requirement for the ability to exercise sea cont ...
with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward deployments during peacetime and rapidly respond to regional crises, making it a frequent actor in U.S. foreign and military policy. The U.S. Navy is part of the Department of the Navy, alongside the U.S. Marine Corps, which is its coequal sister service. The Department of the Navy is headed by the civilian
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer) of the United States Department of the Navy, Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States D ...
. The Department of the Navy is itself a military department of the
Department of DefenseDepartment of Defence or Department of Defense may refer to: Current departments of defence * Department of Defence (Australia) The Department of Defence (DoD) is a Government department, department of the Government of Australia charged with ...
, which is headed by the
Secretary of Defense A defence minister or minister of defence is a cabinet official position in charge of a ministry of defense, which regulates the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force ...
. The
Chief of Naval Operations#REDIRECT Chief of Naval Operations The chief of naval operations (CNO) is the professional head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office () held by an admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, a ...
(CNO) is the most senior Navy officer serving in the Department of the Navy.


Mission

The U.S. Navy is a seaborne branch of the
military of the United States The United States Armed Forces are the military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between ...
. The Navy's three primary areas of responsibility: * The preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war. * The maintenance of naval aviation, including land-based naval aviation, air transport essential for naval operations, and all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the Navy. * The development of
aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly by gaining support from the Atmosphere of Earth, air. It counters the force of gravity by using either Buoyancy, static lift or by using the Lift (force), dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in ...

aircraft
, weapons, tactics, technique, organization, and equipment of naval combat and service elements. U.S. Navy training manuals state that the mission of the U.S. Armed Forces is "to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations in support of the national interest." The Navy's five enduring functions are
sea control Command of the sea (also called control of the sea or sea control) is a naval military concept regarding the strength of a particular navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a Nation's armed forces principally designate ...
,
power projection Power projection (or force projection) is a term used in military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and ma ...
, deterrence,
maritime security Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes The Maritimes, also called the Maritime provinces, is a reg ...
, and
sealift Sealift is a term used predominantly in military logistics Military logistics is the discipline of planning and carrying out the movement, supply, and maintenance of military forces. In its most comprehensive sense, it is those aspects or milita ...
.


History


Origins

The Navy was rooted in the colonial seafaring tradition, which produced a large community of sailors, captains, and shipbuilders. In the early stages of the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from Thirteen Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
,
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * ...

Massachusetts
had its own
Massachusetts Naval Militia The Massachusetts Naval Militia (at first called the Massachusetts Colonial Navy and later the Massachusetts State Navy), was a naval militia active during the American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also ...
. The rationale for establishing a national navy was debated in the
Second The second (symbol: s, also abbreviated: sec) is the base unit of time Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occurs in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession from the past, th ...
Continental Congress The Continental Congress was a series of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...
. Supporters argued that a navy would protect shipping, defend the coast, and make it easier to seek support from foreign countries. Detractors countered that challenging the British
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
, then the world's preeminent naval power, was a foolish undertaking.
Commander in Chief A commander-in-chief or supreme commander is the person who exercises supreme command and control Command and control is a "set of organizational and technical attributes and processes ... hat A collection of 18th and 19th century men' ...

Commander in Chief
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American soldier, statesman, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Appointed by the Continenta ...

George Washington
resolved the debate when he commissioned the ocean-going schooner USS ''Hannah'' to interdict British merchantmen and reported the captures to the Congress. On 13 October 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels to be armed for a cruise against British merchantmen; this resolution created the
Continental Navy The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. The fleet cumulatively became relatively substantial through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron John Adams and vigor ...
and is considered the first establishment of the U.S. Navy. The Continental Navy achieved mixed results; it was successful in a number of engagements and raided many British merchant vessels, but it lost twenty-four of its vessels and at one point was reduced to two in active service. In August 1785, after the Revolutionary War had drawn to a close,
Congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, ...
had sold , the last ship remaining in the Continental Navy due to a lack of funds to maintain the ship or support a navy.Abbot 1896, Volume I Part I Chapter XV In 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral
Elmo Zumwalt Elmo Russell "Bud" Zumwalt Jr. (November 29, 1920 – January 2, 2000) was a United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold&nbs ...

Elmo Zumwalt
, authorized the Navy to celebrate its birthday on 13 October to honor the establishment of the Continental Navy in 1775.


From re-establishment to the Civil War

The United States was without a navy for nearly a decade, a state of affairs that exposed U.S. maritime merchant ships to a series of attacks by the
Barbary pirates 1650 The Barbary pirates, or Barbary corsairs or Ottoman corsairs, were Muslims, Muslim privateers who operated from North Africa, based primarily in the ports of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. This area was known in Europe as the Barbary Coast ...
. The sole armed maritime presence between 1790 and the launching of the U.S. Navy's first warships in 1797 was the U.S. Revenue-Marine, the primary predecessor of the U.S. Coast Guard. Although the USRCS (United States Revenue Cutter Service) conducted operations against the pirates, the pirates' depredations far outstripped its abilities and Congress passed the
Naval Act of 1794 The Act to Provide a Naval Armament (Sess. 1, ch. 12, ), also known as the Naval Act of 1794, or simply, the Naval Act, was passed by the 3rd United States Congress on March 27, 1794, and signed into law by President George Washington G ...

Naval Act of 1794
that established a permanent standing navy on 27 March 1794. The Naval Act ordered the construction and manning of six frigates and, by October 1797, the first three were brought into service: , , and . Due to his strong posture on having a strong standing Navy during this period,
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific stud ...

John Adams
is "often called the father of the American Navy". In 1798–99 the Navy was involved in an undeclared
Quasi-War The Quasi-War (french: Quasi-guerre) was an undeclared naval war fought from 1798 to 1800 between the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country ...
with France. From 1801 to 1805, in the
First Barbary War The First Barbary War (1801–1805), also known as the Tripolitan War and the Barbary Coast War, was the first of two Barbary Wars, in which the United States and Sweden fought against the four North African states known collectively as the "Barb ...
, the U.S. Navy defended U.S. ships from the Barbary pirates, blockaded the Barbary ports and executed attacks against the Barbary' fleets. The U.S. Navy saw substantial action in the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
, where it was victorious in eleven single-ship duels with the Royal Navy. It proved victorious in the
Battle of Lake Erie The Battle of Lake Erie, sometimes called the Battle of Put-in-Bay, was fought on 10 September 1813, on Lake Erie Lake Erie (; french: Lac Érié) is the fourth largest lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin ...
and prevented the region from becoming a threat to American operations in the area. The result was a major victory for the U.S. Army at the
Niagara Frontier The Niagara Frontier refers to the stretch of land in the United States that is south of Lake Ontario Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes File:Location of the Great Lakes in North America.jpg, upright=1.3, Location in North Ameri ...
of the war, and the defeat of the Native American allies of the British at the
Battle of the Thames The Battle of the Thames , also known as the Battle of Moraviantown, was an American victory in the War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the and its against and its allies in , with lim ...

Battle of the Thames
. Despite this, the U.S. Navy could not prevent the British from blockading its ports and landing troops. But after the War of 1812 ended in 1815, the U.S. Navy primarily focused its attention on protecting American shipping assets, sending squadrons to the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, where it participated in the
Second Barbary War The Second Barbary War (1815) or the U.S.–Algerian War was fought between the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primar ...
that ended piracy in the region, South America, Africa, and the Pacific. From 1819 to the outbreak of the Civil War, the Africa Squadron operated to suppress the
slave trade Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property Property is a system of rights that give ...
, seizing 36 slave ships, although its contribution was smaller than that of the much larger British Royal Navy. During the
Mexican–American War The Mexican–American War, also known in the United States as the Mexican War and in Mexico as the (''U.S. intervention in Mexico''), was an armed conflict between the United States and Second Federal Republic of Mexico, Mexico from 1846 ...

Mexican–American War
the U.S. Navy blockaded Mexican ports, capturing or burning the Mexican fleet in the
Gulf of California The Gulf of California ( es, Golfo de California), also known as the Sea of Cortés (''Mar de Cortés'') or Sea of Cortez, or less commonly as the Vermilion Sea (''Mar Bermejo''), is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocea ...

Gulf of California
and capturing all major cities in
Baja California Baja CaliforniaSometimes informally referred to as ('North Lower California') to distinguish it from both the Baja California Peninsula The Baja California Peninsula ( en, Lower California Peninsula, es, Península de Baja California) is ...
peninsula. In 1846–1848 the Navy successfully used the
Pacific Squadron The Pacific Squadron was part of the United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = ...
under Commodore Robert Stockton and its marines and blue-jackets to facilitate the capture of California with large-scale land operations coordinated with the local militia organized in the
California Battalion The California Battalion (also called the first California Volunteer Militia and U.S. Mounted Rifles) was formed during the Mexican–American War (1846–1848) in present-day California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western Unite ...
. The Navy conducted the U.S. military's first large-scale amphibious joint operation by successfully landing 12,000 army troops with their equipment in one day at
Veracruz Veracruz (), formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave), is one of the 31 states which, along with Me ...
, Mexico. When larger guns were needed to bombard Veracruz, Navy volunteers landed large guns and manned them in the successful bombardment and capture of the city. This successful landing and capture of Veracruz opened the way for the capture of Mexico City and the end of the war. The U.S. Navy established itself as a player in
United States foreign policy The foreign policy of the United States is its interactions with foreign nations and how it sets standards of interaction for its organizations, corporations and system citizens of the United States The United States of America (USA), ...
through the actions of
Commodore Commodore may refer to: Ranks * Commodore (rank) Commodore is a senior naval rank used in many navies which is equivalent to brigadier and air commodore that is superior to a navy captain, but below a rear admiral. It is either regarded as ...
Matthew Perry Matthew Langford Perry (born August 19, 1969) is a Canadian-American actor, comedian and producer. He is best known for his role as Chandler Bing on the NBC television sitcom ''Friends'', which ran from 1994 to 2004. Due to the immense populari ...
in Japan, which resulted in the
Convention of Kanagawa The Convention of Kanagawa, also known as the Kanagawa Treaty (, ''Kanagawa Jōyaku'') or the Japan–US Treaty of Peace and Amity (, ''Nichibei Washin Jōyaku''), was a treaty signed between the United States The United States of America ( ...
in 1854. Naval power played a significant role during the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon nove ...
, in which the Union had a distinct advantage over the
Confederacy Confederacy may refer to: A confederation, an association of sovereign states or communities. Examples include: * Battle of the Trench, Confederate tribes * Confederate States of America, a confederation of secessionist American states that existed ...

Confederacy
on the seas. A
Union blockade The Union blockade in the American Civil War was a naval strategy by the United States to prevent the Confederate States of America, Confederacy from trading. The blockade was proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln in April 1861, and required t ...
on all major ports shut down exports and the coastal trade, but blockade runners provided a thin lifeline. The
Brown-water navy The term brown-water navy or riverine navy refers in its broadest sense to any naval force A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a Nation's armed forces principally designated for naval warfare, naval and amphibious warf ...
components of the U.S. navy control of the river systems made internal travel difficult for Confederates and easy for the Union. The war saw
ironclad warship An ironclad is a steam-propelled warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forc ...
s in combat for the first time at the
Battle of Hampton Roads The Battle of Hampton Roads, also referred to as the Battle of the ''Monitor'' and ''Merrimack'' (rebuilt and renamed as the CSS ''Virginia'') or the Battle of Ironclads, was a naval battle during the American Civil War. It was fought over two ...

Battle of Hampton Roads
in 1862, which pitted against . For two decades after the war, however, the U.S. Navy's fleet was neglected and became
technologically obsolete Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer maintained, required, or degraded even though it may still be in good working order. The international standard EN62402 Obsolescence Management - A ...
.


20th century

A modernization program beginning in the 1880s when the first steel-hulled warships stimulated the American steel industry, and "the new steel navy" was born. This rapid expansion of the U.S. Navy and its easy victory over the
Spanish Navy The Spanish Navy ( es, link=no, Armada Española) is the maritime branch of the Spanish Armed Forces The Spanish Armed Forces are in charge of guaranteeing the sovereignty and independence of the Kingdom of Spain, defending its territorial in ...
in 1898 brought a new respect for American technical quality. Rapid building of at first pre-dreadnoughts, then dreadnoughts brought the U.S. in line with the navies of countries such as
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...

Britain
and
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
. In 1907, most of the Navy's battleships, with several support vessels, dubbed the
Great White Fleet The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the group of United States Navy battleships which completed a journey around the globe from December 16, 1907 to February 22, 1909 by order of United States President of the United States, Pre ...

Great White Fleet
, were showcased in a 14-month circumnavigation of the world. Ordered by President
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or his initials T. R., was an American politician, statesman, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26th president o ...

Theodore Roosevelt
, it was a mission designed to demonstrate the Navy's capability to extend to the global theater. By 1911, the U.S. had begun building the super-dreadnoughts at a pace to eventually become competitive with Britain. The 1911 also saw the first naval aircraft with the navy which would lead to the informal establishment of United States Naval Flying Corps to protect shore bases. It was not until 1921 US naval aviation truly commenced.


World War I and interwar years

During
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, the U.S. Navy spent much of its resources protecting and shipping hundreds of thousands of soldiers and marines of the
American Expeditionary Force The American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F. or AEF) was a formation of the United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight Uniformed service ...
and war supplies across the Atlantic in
U-boat U-boats were naval submarines operated by Germany, particularly in the First First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most importa ...

U-boat
infested waters with the Cruiser and Transport Force. It also concentrated on laying the
North Sea Mine Barrage The North Sea Mine Barrage, also known as the Northern Barrage, was a large minefield A land mine is an explosive device concealed under or on the ground and designed to destroy or disable enemy targets, ranging from combatants to vehicles ...
. Hesitation by the senior command meant that naval forces were not contributed until late 1917. Battleship Division Nine was dispatched to Britain and served as the Sixth Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet. Its presence allowed the British to decommission some older ships and reuse the crews on smaller vessels. Destroyers and U.S. Naval Air Force units like the Northern Bombing Group contributed to the anti-submarine operations. The strength of the United States Navy grew under an ambitious ship building program associated with the
Naval Act of 1916 The Naval Act of 1916 was also called the "Big Navy Act" was United States federal legislation that called for vastly enlarging the US Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colo ...
. Naval construction, especially of battleships, was limited by the
Washington Naval Conference The Washington Naval Conference was a disarmament Disarmament is the act of reducing, limiting, or abolishing weapons. Disarmament generally refers to a country's military or specific type of weaponry. Disarmament is often taken to mean total elim ...
of 1921–22. The aircraft carriers and were built on the hulls of partially built battle cruisers that had been canceled by the treaty. The
New Deal The New Deal was a series of programs, public work projects, financial reforms, and regulations Regulation is the management of complex systems according to a set of rules and trends. In systems theory Systems theory is the interdisciplinar ...
used
Public Works Administration Public Works Administration (''PWA''), part of the New Deal of 1933, was a large-scale public works construction agency in the United States headed by United States Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes. It was cre ...
funds to build warships, such as and . By 1936, with the completion of , the U.S. Navy possessed a carrier fleet of 165,000 tonnes
displacement Displacement may refer to: Physical sciences Mathematics and Physics *Displacement (geometry), is the difference between the final and initial position of a point trajectory (for instance, the center of mass of a moving object). The actual path c ...
, although this figure was nominally recorded as 135,000 tonnes to comply with treaty limitations.
Franklin Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt (, ; January 30, 1882April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is th ...
, the number two official in the Navy Department during World War I, appreciated the Navy and gave it strong support. In return, senior leaders were eager for innovation and experimented with new technologies, such as magnetic torpedoes, and developed a strategy called
War Plan OrangeWar Plan Orange (commonly known as Plan Orange or just Orange) refers to a series of United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primar ...
for victory in the Pacific in a hypothetical war with Japan that would eventually become reality.


World War II

The U.S. Navy grew into a formidable force in the years prior to
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, with battleship production being restarted in 1937, commencing with . Though ultimately unsuccessful, Japan tried to neutralize this strategic threat with the surprise
attack on Pearl Harbor The Attack on Pearl HarborAlso known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike In the United States Armed Forces, military of the United States, strikes and raids are a group of military operations that, alongside quite ...

attack on Pearl Harbor
on 7 December 1941. Following American entry into the war, the U.S. Navy grew tremendously as the United States was faced with a two-front war on the seas. It achieved notable acclaim in the
Pacific TheaterPacific Theatre or Pacific Theater may refer to: Spanish–American War * Pacific Ocean Theater, a theater of operations during the Spanish–American War#Pacific theater, Spanish–American War World War I * Asian and Pacific theatre of World War ...
, where it was instrumental to the Allies' successful "
island hopping Island hopping is the crossing of an ocean by a series of shorter journeys between islands, as opposed to a single journey directly to the destination. Oceanic dispersal in biology, where terrestrial species migrate by sea from one landmas ...
" campaign. The U.S. Navy participated in many significant battles, including the
Battle of the Coral Sea The Battle of the Coral Sea, from 4 to 8 May 1942, was a major naval battle Naval warfare is human combat in and on the sea, the ocean, or any other battlespace involving a major body of water such as a large lake or wide river. History ...

Battle of the Coral Sea
, the , the
Solomon Islands Campaign The Solomon Islands campaign was a major campaign Campaign or The Campaign may refer to: Types of campaigns * Campaign, in agriculture, the period during which sugar beets are harvested and processed *Advertising campaign, a series of advertise ...

Solomon Islands Campaign
, the
Battle of the Philippine Sea The Battle of the Philippine Sea (June 19–20, 1944) was a major naval battle of World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It inv ...

Battle of the Philippine Sea
, the
Battle of Leyte Gulf The Battle of Leyte Gulf (Filipino Filipino may refer to: * Something from or related to the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas), ...
, and the
Battle of Okinawa The , codenamed Operation Iceberg, was a major battle of the Pacific War fought on the island of Okinawa Island, Okinawa by United States Army and United States Marine Corps (USMC) forces against the Imperial Japanese Army. The initial invasion ...

Battle of Okinawa
. By 1943, the navy's size was larger than the combined fleets of all the other combatant nations in World War II. By war's end in 1945, the U.S. Navy had added hundreds of new ships, including 18 aircraft carriers and 8 battleships, and had over 70% of the world's total numbers and total tonnage of naval vessels of 1,000 tons or greater. At its peak, the U.S. Navy was operating 6,768 ships on
V-J Day Victory over Japan Day (also known as V-J Day, Victory in the Pacific Day, or V-P Day) is the day on which Imperial Japan surrendered in World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was ...
in August 1945. Doctrine had significantly shifted by the end of the war. The U.S. Navy had followed in the footsteps of the navies of Great Britain and Germany which favored concentrated groups of battleships as their main offensive naval weapons. The development of the aircraft carrier and its devastating utilization by the Japanese against the U.S. at Pearl Harbor, however, shifted U.S. thinking. The Pearl Harbor attack destroyed or took out of action a significant number of U.S. Navy battleships. This placed much of the burden of retaliating against the Japanese on the small number of aircraft carriers. During World War II some 4,000,000 Americans served in the United States Navy.


Cold War

The potential for armed conflict with the Soviet Union during the Cold War pushed the U.S. Navy to continue its technological advancement by developing new weapons systems, ships, and aircraft. U.S. naval strategy changed to that of forward deployment in support of U.S. allies with an emphasis on carrier battle groups. The navy was a major participant in the Vietnam War, blockaded Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and, through the use of ballistic missile submarines, became an important aspect of the United States' Mutual assured destruction, nuclear strategic deterrence policy. The U.S. Navy conducted various combat operations in the Persian Gulf against Iran in 1987 and 1988, most notably Operation Praying Mantis. The Navy was extensively involved in Operation Urgent Fury, Operation Desert Shield (Gulf War), Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Deliberate Force, Operation Allied Force, Operation Desert Fox and Operation Southern Watch. The U.S. Navy has also been involved in search and rescue/search and salvage operations, sometimes in conjunction with vessels of other countries as well as with U.S. Coast Guard ships. Two examples are the 1966 Palomares B-52 crash incident and the subsequent search for missing hydrogen bombs, and Task Force 71 of the Seventh Fleet's operation in search for Korean Air Lines Flight 007, shot down by the Soviets on 1 September 1983.


21st century

The U.S. Navy continues to be a major support to U.S. interests in the 21st century. Since the end of the Cold War, it has shifted its focus from preparations for large-scale war with the Soviet Union to special operations and strike missions in regional conflicts. The navy participated in War in Afghanistan (2001–2021), Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and is a major participant in the ongoing War on Terror, largely in this capacity. Development continues on new ships and weapons, including the and the Littoral combat ship. Because of its size, weapons technology, and ability to project force far from U.S. shores, the current U.S. Navy remains an asset for the United States. Moreover, it is the principal means through which the U.S. maintains international global order, namely by safeguarding global trade and protecting allied nations. In 2007, the U.S. Navy joined with the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard to adopt a new maritime strategy called A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower that raises the notion of prevention of war to the same philosophical level as the conduct of war. The strategy was presented by the
Chief of Naval Operations#REDIRECT Chief of Naval Operations The chief of naval operations (CNO) is the professional head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office () held by an admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, a ...
, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Commandant of the Coast Guard at the International Sea Power Symposium in Newport, Rhode Island, Newport, RI on 17 October 2007. The strategy recognized the economic links of the global system and how any disruption due to regional crises (man-made or natural) can adversely impact the U.S. economy and quality of life. This new strategy charts a course for the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps to work collectively with each other and international partners to prevent these crises from occurring or reacting quickly should one occur to prevent negative impacts on the U.S. In 2010, Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, noted that demands on the Navy have grown as the fleet has shrunk and that in the face of declining budgets in the future, the U.S. Navy must rely even more on international partnerships. In its 2013 budget request, the navy focused on retaining all eleven big deck carriers, at the expense of cutting numbers of smaller ships and delaying the SSBN replacement. By the next year the USN found itself unable to maintain eleven aircraft carriers in the face of the expiration of budget relief offered by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 and CNO Jonathan Greenert said that a ten ship carrier fleet would not be able to sustainably support military requirements. The British First Sea Lord George Zambellas said that the USN had switched from "outcome-led to resource-led" planning. One significant change in U.S. policymaking that is having a major effect on naval planning is the East Asian foreign policy of the Barack Obama administration, Pivot to East Asia. In response, the Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus stated in 2015 that 60 percent of the total U.S. fleet will be deployed to the
Pacific The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. ...

Pacific
by 2020. The Navy's most recent 30-year shipbuilding plan, published in 2016, calls for a future fleet of 350 ships in order to meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive international environment. A provision of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, National Defense Authorization Act called for expanding the naval fleet to 355 ships "as soon as practicable", but did not establish additional funding nor a timeline.


Organization

The U.S. Navy falls under the administration of the Department of the Navy, under civilian leadership of the
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer) of the United States Department of the Navy, Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States D ...
(SECNAV). The most senior naval officer is the
Chief of Naval Operations#REDIRECT Chief of Naval Operations The chief of naval operations (CNO) is the professional head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office () held by an admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, a ...
(CNO), a four-star admiral who is immediately under and reports to the Secretary of the Navy. At the same time, the Chief of Naval Operations is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which is the second-highest deliberative body of the armed forces after the United States National Security Council, although it plays only an advisory role to the President and does not nominally form part of the command hierarchy, chain of command. The Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations are responsible for organizing, recruiting, training, and equipping the Navy so that it is ready for operation under the commanders of the unified combatant commands.


Operating forces

There are nine components in the operating forces of the U.S. Navy: the United States Fleet Forces Command (formerly United States Atlantic Fleet), United States Pacific Fleet, United States Naval Forces Central Command, United States Naval Forces Europe, Naval Network Warfare Command, United States Navy Reserve, Navy Reserve, United States Naval Special Warfare Command, Operational Test and Evaluation Force, and Military Sealift Command. Fleet Forces Command controls a number of unique capabilities, including Military Sealift Command, Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, and Navy Cyber Forces. The United States Navy has seven active numbered fleets – United States Second Fleet, Second, United States Third Fleet, Third, United States Fifth Fleet, Fifth, United States Sixth Fleet, Sixth, United States Seventh Fleet, Seventh Fleet and United States Tenth Fleet, Tenth Fleets are each led by a Vice admiral (United States), vice admiral, and the United States Fourth Fleet, Fourth Fleet is led by a Rear admiral (United States), rear admiral. These seven fleets are further grouped under Fleet Forces Command (the former Atlantic Fleet), Pacific Fleet, Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and Naval Forces Central Command, whose commander also doubles as Commander Fifth Fleet; the first three commands being led by four-star admirals. The United States First Fleet existed after the Second World War from 1947, but it was redesignated the Third Fleet in early 1973. The United States Second Fleet was deactivated in September 2011 but reestablished in August 2018 amid heightened tensions with Russia. It is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, with responsibility over the East Coast and North Atlantic. In early 2008, the Navy reactivated the United States Fourth Fleet to control operations in the area controlled by Southern Command, which consists of US assets in and around Central and South America. Other number fleets were activated during World War II and later deactivated, renumbered, or merged.


Shore establishments

Shore establishments exist to support the mission of the fleet through the use of facilities on land. Among the commands of the shore establishment, , are the Naval Education and Training Command, the Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, the Naval Supply Systems Command, the Naval Air Systems Command, the Naval Sea Systems Command, the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, the Bureau of Naval Personnel, the United States Naval Academy, the Naval Safety Center, the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (formerly known as the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center), and the United States Naval Observatory. Official Navy websites list the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Chief of Naval Operations as part of the shore establishment, but these two entities effectively sit superior to the other organizations, playing a coordinating role.


Relationships with other service branches


United States Marine Corps

In 1834, the United States Marine Corps came under the Department of the Navy. Historically, the Navy has had a unique relationship with the USMC, partly because they both specialize in seaborne operations. Together the Navy and Marine Corps form the Department of the Navy and report to the
Secretary of the Navy The secretary of the Navy (or SECNAV) is a statutory officer () and the head (chief executive officer) of the United States Department of the Navy, Department of the Navy, a military department (component organization) within the United States D ...
. However, the Marine Corps is a distinct, separate service branch with its own uniformed service chief – the Commandant of the Marine Corps, a four-star general. The Marine Corps depends on the Navy for medical support (dentists, Medical doctor, doctors, nurses, medical technicians known as Hospital corpsman, corpsmen) and religious support (chaplains). Thus Navy officers and enlisted sailors fulfill these roles. When attached to Marine Corps units deployed to an operational environment they generally wear Marine camouflage uniforms, but otherwise, they wear Navy dress uniforms unless they opt to conform to Marine Corps grooming standards. In the operational environment, as an expeditionary force specializing in amphibious operations, Marines often embark on Navy ships to conduct operations from beyond territorial waters. Marine units deploying as part of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) operate under the command of the existing Marine chain of command. Although Marine units routinely operate from amphibious assault ships, the relationship has evolved over the years much as the Commander of the Carrier Air Group/Wing (CAG) does not work for the carrier commanding officer, but coordinates with the ship's CO and staff. Some Marine aviation squadrons, usually fixed-wing assigned to carrier air wings train and operate alongside Navy squadrons; they fly similar missions and often fly sorties together under the cognizance of the CAG. Aviation is where the Navy and Marines share the most common ground since aircrews are guided in their use of aircraft by standard procedures outlined in a series of publications known as NATOPS manuals.


United States Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard, in its peacetime role with the Department of Homeland Security, fulfills its law enforcement and rescue role in the maritime environment. It provides Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETs) to Navy vessels, where they perform arrests and other law enforcement duties during naval boarding and interdiction missions. In times of war, the Coast Guard operates as a service in the Navy. At other times, Coast Guard Port Security Units are sent overseas to guard the security of ports and other assets. The Coast Guard also jointly staffs the Navy's naval coastal warfare groups and squadrons (the latter of which were known as harbor defense commands until late-2004), which oversee defense efforts in foreign littoral combat and inshore areas.


Personnel

The United States Navy has over 400,000 personnel, approximately a quarter of whom are in ready reserve. Of those on active duty, more than eighty percent are Enlisted rank, enlisted sailors and around fifteen percent are commissioned officers; the rest are midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy and midshipmen of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at over 180 universities around the country and officer candidates at the Navy's Officer Candidate School (U.S. Navy), Officer Candidate School. Enlisted sailors complete basic military training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois, boot camp and then are sent to complete training for their individual List of United States Navy ratings, careers. Sailors prove they have mastered skills and deserve responsibilities by completing Personnel Qualification Standards (PQS) tasks and examinations. Among the most important is the "warfare qualification", which denotes a journeyman level of capability in Surface Warfare, Aviation Warfare, Information Dominance Warfare, Naval Aircrew, Special Warfare, Seabee Warfare, Submarine Warfare or Expeditionary Warfare. Many qualifications are denoted on a sailor's uniform with Badges of the United States Navy, U.S. Navy badges and insignia.


Uniforms

The uniforms of the U.S. Navy have evolved gradually since the first uniform regulations for officer (military), officers were issued in 1802 on the formation of the Navy Department. The predominant colors of U.S. Navy uniforms are navy blue and white. U.S. Navy uniforms were based on
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
uniforms of the time, and have tended to follow that template.


Commissioned officers

Navy officers serve either as a line officer or as a List of United States Navy staff corps, staff corps officer. Line officers wear an embroidered gold star above their rank of the naval service dress uniform while staff corps officers and commissioned warrant officers wear unique List of United States Naval officer designators, designator insignias that denotes their occupational specialty.


Warrant officers

Warrant and chief warrant officer ranks are held by technical specialists who direct specific activities essential to the proper operation of the ship, which also require commissioned officer authority. Navy warrant officers serve in 30 specialties covering five categories. Warrant officers should not be confused with the limited duty officer (LDO) in the Navy. Warrant officers perform duties that are directly related to their previous enlisted service and specialized training. This allows the Navy to capitalize on the experience of warrant officers without having to frequently transition them to other duty assignments for advancement. Most Navy warrant officers are accessed from the Chief petty officer#United States, chief petty officer pay grades, E-7 through E-9, analogous to a senior non-commissioned officers in the other services, and must have a minimum 14 years time in service.


Enlisted

Sailors in pay grades E-1 through E-3 are considered to be in apprenticeships. They are divided into five definable groups, with colored group rate marks designating the group to which they belong: Seaman, Fireman, Airman, Constructionman, and Hospitalman. E-4 to E-6 are non-commissioned officers (NCOs), and are specifically called Petty officers in the Navy. Petty Officers perform not only the duties of their specific career field but also serve as leaders to junior enlisted personnel. E-7 to E-9 are still considered Petty Officers, but are considered a separate community within the Navy. They have separate berthing and dining facilities (where feasible), wear separate uniforms, and perform separate duties. After attaining the rate of Master Chief Petty Officer, a service member may choose to further their career by becoming a Command Master Chief Petty Officer (CMC). A CMC is considered to be the senior-most enlisted service member within a command, and is the special assistant to the Commanding Officer in all matters pertaining to the health, welfare, job satisfaction, morale, utilization, advancement and training of the command's enlisted personnel. CMCs can be Command level (within a single unit, such as a ship or shore station), Fleet level (squadrons consisting of multiple operational units, headed by a flag officer or commodore), or Force level (consisting of a separate community within the Navy, such as Subsurface, Air, Reserves). CMC insignia are similar to the insignia for Master Chief, except that List of United States Navy ratings, the rating symbol is replaced by an inverted five-point star, reflecting a change in their rating from their previous rating (i.e., MMCM) to CMDCM. The stars for Command Master Chief are silver, while stars for Fleet or Force Master Chief are gold. Additionally, CMCs wear a badge, worn on their left breast pocket, denoting their title (Command/Fleet/Force).


Badges of the United States Navy

Insignia and badges of the United States Navy are military "badges" issued by the United States Department of the Navy to naval service members who achieve certain qualifications and accomplishments while serving on both active and reserve duty in the United States Navy. Most naval aviation insignia are also permitted for wear on uniforms of the Badges of the United States Marine Corps, United States Marine Corps. As described in Chapter 5 of U.S. Navy Uniform Regulations, "badges" are categorized as ''breast insignia'' (usually worn immediately above and below ribbons) and ''identification badges'' (usually worn at breast pocket level). Breast insignia are further divided between ''command'' and ''warfare and other qualification''. Insignia come in the form of metal "pin-on devices" worn on formal uniforms and embroidered "tape strips" worn on work uniforms. For the purpose of this article, the general term "insignia" shall be used to describe both, as it is done in Navy Uniform Regulations. The term "badge", although used ambiguously in other military branches and in informal speak to describe any pin, patch, or tab, is exclusive to ''identification badges'' and authorized ''Distinguished Shot Badge, marksmanship awards'' according to the language in Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 5. Below are just a few of the many badges maintained by the Navy. The rest can be seen in the article cited at the top of this section: File:Naval Aviator Badge.jpg, Naval Aviator Badge File:Submarine Officer badge.jpg, Submarine Officer badge File:Surface Warfare Officer Insignia.png, Surface Warfare Officer Insignia


Bases

The size, complexity, and international presence of the United States Navy requires a large number of navy installations to support its operations. While the majority of bases are located inside the United States itself, the Navy maintains a significant number of facilities abroad, either in U.S.-controlled territories or in foreign countries under a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).


Eastern United States

The second largest concentration of installations is at Hampton Roads, Virginia, where the navy occupies over of land. Located at Hampton Roads are Naval Station Norfolk, homeport of the Atlantic Fleet; Naval Air Station Oceana, a Master Jet Base; Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek; and Training Support Center Hampton Roads as well as a number of Navy and commercial shipyards that service navy vessels. The Aegis Training and Readiness Center is located at the Naval Support Activity South Potomac in Dahlgren, Virginia. Maryland is home to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, NAS Patuxent River, which houses the Navy's United States Naval Test Pilot School, Test Pilot School. Also located in Maryland is the United States Naval Academy, situated in Annapolis. Naval Station Newport, NS Newport in Newport, Rhode Island is home to many schools and tenant commands, including the Officer Candidate School, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and more, and also maintains inactive ships. There is also a naval base in Charleston, South Carolina. This is home to the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, under which reside the Nuclear Field "A" Schools (for Machinist Mates (Nuclear), Electrician Mates (Nuclear), and Electronics Technicians (Nuclear)), Nuclear Power School (Officer and Enlisted); and one of two Nuclear Power Training Unit 'Prototype' schools. The state of Florida is the location of three major bases, Naval Station Mayport, NS Mayport, the Navy's fourth largest, in Jacksonville, Florida; Naval Air Station Jacksonville, NAS Jacksonville, a Master Air Anti-submarine Warfare base; and Naval Air Station Pensacola, NAS Pensacola; home of the Naval Education and Training Command, the Naval Air Technical Training Center that provides specialty training for enlisted aviation personnel and is the primary flight training base for Navy and Marine Corps Naval Flight Officers and enlisted Naval aircrewman, Naval Aircrewmen. There is also Naval Support Activity Panama City, NSA Panama City, Florida which is home to the Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Divising (CENEODIVE) and the Navy Diving and Salvage Training Center and Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, NSA Orlando, Florida, which home to the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD). The main U.S. Navy submarine bases on the east coast are located in Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, NSB Kings Bay in Kings Bay, Georgia. The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard near Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which repairs naval submarines. Naval Station Great Lakes, NS Great Lakes, north of Chicago, Illinois is the home of the Navy's United States Navy Recruit Training, boot camp for enlisted sailors. The Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC is the Navy's oldest shore establishment and serves as a ceremonial and administrative center for the U.S. Navy, home to the
Chief of Naval Operations#REDIRECT Chief of Naval Operations The chief of naval operations (CNO) is the professional head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office () held by an admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, a ...
, and is headquarters for numerous commands.


Western United States and Hawaii

The U.S. Navy's largest complex is Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, which covers of land, or approximately 1/3 of the U.S. Navy's total land holdings. Naval Base San Diego, California is the main homeport of the Pacific Fleet, although its headquarters is located in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. NAS North Island is located on the north side of Coronado, California, and is home to Headquarters for Naval Air Forces and Naval Air Force Pacific, the bulk of the Pacific Fleet's helicopter squadrons, and part of the West Coast
aircraft carrier An aircraft carrier is a that serves as a seagoing , equipped with a full-length and facilities for . Typically, it is the of a fleet, as it allows a naval force to worldwide without depending on . Carriers have evolved since their incepti ...
fleet. Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, NAB Coronado is located on the southern end of the Coronado Island and is home to the navy's west coast SEAL teams and special boat units. NAB Coronado is also home to the Naval Special Warfare Center, the primary training center for SEALs. The other major collection of naval bases on the west coast is in Puget Sound, Washington (U.S. state), Washington. Among them, Naval Station Everett, NS Everett is one of the newer bases and the navy states that it is its most modern facility. NAS Fallon, Nevada serves as the primary training ground for navy strike aircrews, and is home to the Naval Strike Air Warfare Center. Master Jet Bases are also located at NAS Lemoore, California, and NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, while the carrier-based airborne early warning aircraft community and major air test activities are located at NAS Point Mugu, California. The naval presence in Hawaii is centered on Naval Station Pearl Harbor, NS Pearl Harbor, which hosts the headquarters of the Pacific Fleet and many of its subordinate commands.


United States territories

Guam, an island strategically located in the Western Pacific Ocean, maintains a sizable U.S. Navy presence, including Naval Base Guam, NB Guam. The westernmost U.S. territory, it contains a natural deep water harbor capable of harboring aircraft carriers in emergencies. Its naval air station was deactivated in 1995 and its flight activities transferred to nearby Andersen Air Force Base. Puerto Rico in the Caribbean formerly housed Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, NS Roosevelt Roads, which was shut down in 2004 shortly after the controversial closure of the live ordnance training area on nearby Vieques, Puerto Rico, Vieques Island.


Foreign countries

The largest overseas base is the United States Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, which serves as the home port for the navy's largest forward-deployed fleet and is a significant base of operations in the Western Pacific. European operations revolve around facilities in Italy (Naval Air Station Sigonella, NAS Sigonella and Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Naples, Italy, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Naples) with Naval Support Activity Naples, NSA Naples as the homeport for the United States Sixth Fleet, Sixth Fleet and Command Naval Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (CNREURAFSWA), and additional facilities in nearby Gaeta. There is also Naval Station Rota, Spain, NS Rota in Spain and Crete Naval Base, NSA Souda Bay in Greece. In the Middle East, naval facilities are located almost exclusively in countries bordering the Persian Gulf, with Naval Support Activity Bahrain, NSA Bahrain serving as the headquarters of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. Fifth Fleet. Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, NS Guantanamo Bay in Cuba is the oldest overseas facility and has become known in recent years as the location of a Guantanamo Bay detention camp, detention camp for suspected al-Qaeda operatives.


Equipment

, the navy operates over 460 ships, including vessels operated by the Military Sealift Command (MSC) crewed by a combination of civilian contractors and a small number of uniformed Naval personnel, 3,650+ aircraft, 50,000 non-combat vehicles and owns 75,200 buildings on .


Ships

The names of commissioned ships of the U.S. Navy are prefixed with the letters "USS", designating "United States Ship". Non-commissioned, civilian-manned vessels of the navy have names that begin with "USNS", standing for "United States Naval Ship" The names of ships are officially selected by the secretary of the navy, often to honor important people or places. Additionally, each ship is given a letter-based hull classification symbol (for example, CVN or DDG) to indicate the vessel's type and number. All ships in the navy inventory are placed in the Naval Vessel Register, which is part of "the Navy List" (required by article 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea). The register tracks data such as the current status of a ship, the date of its commissioning, and the date of its decommissioning. Vessels that are removed from the register prior to disposal are said to be ''stricken'' from the register. The navy also maintains a United States Navy reserve fleets, reserve fleet of inactive vessels that are maintained for reactivation in times of need. The U.S. Navy was one of the first to install nuclear reactors aboard naval vessels; today, Nuclear power, nuclear energy powers all active U.S. aircraft carriers and submarines. In the case of the carrier, two United States Naval reactor, naval reactors give the ship almost unlimited range and provide enough electrical energy to power a city of 100,000 people. The U.S. Navy previously operated Nuclear powered cruisers of the United States Navy, nuclear-powered cruisers, but all have been decommissioned. The U.S. Navy had identified a need for 313 combat ships in early 2010s, but under its plans at the time could afford only 232 to 243. In March 2014, the Navy started counting self-deployable support ships such as minesweepers, surveillance craft, and tugs in the "battle fleet" in order to reach a count of 272 as of October 2016, and it includes ships that have been put in "shrink wrap". As of July 20, 2021, the Navy possessed 297 battle force ships; the number generally ranged from between 270 and 300 throughout the late-2010s.


Aircraft carriers

An
aircraft carrier An aircraft carrier is a that serves as a seagoing , equipped with a full-length and facilities for . Typically, it is the of a fleet, as it allows a naval force to worldwide without depending on . Carriers have evolved since their incepti ...
is typically deployed along with a host of additional vessels, forming a carrier strike group. The supporting ships, which usually include three or four Aegis combat system, Aegis-equipped cruisers and destroyers, a frigate, and two attack submarines, are tasked with protecting the carrier from air, missile, sea, and undersea threats as well as providing additional strike capabilities themselves. Ready logistics support for the group is provided by a combined ammunition, oiler, and supply ship. Modern carriers are United States ship naming conventions, named after American admirals and politicians, usually presidents. The Navy has a statutory requirement for a minimum of 11 aircraft carriers. Currently there are 10 that are deployable and one, , that is currently undergoing extensive systems and technologies testing until around 2021. All US aircraft carriers are Nuclear power, nuclear-powered; they and submarines are the only nuclear-powered Navy vessels.


Amphibious warfare vessels

Amphibious assault ships are the centerpieces of US amphibious warfare and fulfill the same power projection role as aircraft carriers except that their striking force centers on land forces instead of aircraft. They deliver, command, coordinate, and fully support all elements of a 2,200-strong Marine Expeditionary Unit in an amphibious assault using both air and amphibious vehicles. Resembling small aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships are capable of V/STOL, STOVL, VTOL, tiltrotor, and rotary wing aircraft operations. They also contain a well deck to support the use of Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) and other amphibious assault watercraft. Recently, amphibious assault ships have begun to be deployed as the core of an expeditionary strike group, which usually consists of an additional amphibious transport dock and dock landing ship for amphibious warfare and an Aegis-equipped cruiser and destroyer, frigate, and attack submarine for group defense. Amphibious assault ships are typically named after World War II aircraft carriers. Amphibious transport docks are warships that embark, transport, and land Marines, supplies, and equipment in a supporting role during amphibious warfare missions. With a landing platform, amphibious transport docks also have the capability to serve as secondary aviation support for an expeditionary group. All amphibious transport docks can operate helicopters, LCACs, and other conventional amphibious vehicles while the newer ''San Antonio'' class of ships has been explicitly designed to operate all three elements of the Marines' "mobility triad": Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles (EFVs), the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, and LCACs. Amphibious transport docks are typically named after U.S. cities. The dock landing ship is a medium amphibious transport that is designed specifically to support and operate LCACs, though it is able to operate other amphibious assault vehicles in the United States inventory as well. Dock landing ships are normally deployed as a component of an expeditionary strike group's amphibious assault contingent, operating as a secondary launch platform for LCACs. All dock landing ships are named after cities or important places in U.S. and U.S. Naval history.


Cruisers

Cruisers are large surface combat vessels that conduct anti-air/anti-missile warfare, surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and strike operations independently or as members of a larger task force. Modern guided missile cruisers were developed out of a need to counter the anti-ship missile threat facing the United States Navy. This led to the development of the AN/SPY-1 phased array radar and the RIM-67 Standard, Standard missile with the Aegis combat system coordinating the two. s were the first to be equipped with Aegis and were put to use primarily as anti-air and anti-missile defense in a battle force protection role. Later developments of vertical launch systems and the BGM-109 Tomahawk, Tomahawk missile gave cruisers additional long-range land and sea strike capability, making them capable of both offensive and defensive battle operations. The ''Ticonderoga'' class is the only active class of cruiser. All cruisers in this class are named after battles.


Destroyers

Destroyers are multi-mission medium surface ships capable of sustained performance in anti-air, anti-submarine, anti-ship, and offensive strike operations. Like cruisers, guided missile destroyers are primarily focused on surface strikes using BGM-109 Tomahawk, Tomahawk missiles and fleet defense through Aegis and the Standard missile. Destroyers additionally specialize in anti-submarine warfare and are equipped with ASROC, VLA rockets and Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk, LAMPS Mk III Sea Hawk helicopters to deal with underwater threats. When deployed with a carrier strike group or expeditionary strike group, destroyers and their fellow Aegis-equipped cruisers are primarily tasked with defending the fleet while providing secondary strike capabilities. With very few exceptions, destroyers are named after U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard heroes.


Frigates and Littoral combat ships

Modern U.S. frigates mainly perform anti-submarine warfare for carrier and expeditionary strike groups and provide armed escort for supply convoys and merchant shipping. They are designed to protect friendly ships against hostile submarines in low to medium threat environments, using torpedoes and LAMPS helicopters. Independently, frigates are able to conduct counterdrug missions and other maritime interception operations. As in the case of destroyers, frigates are named after U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard heroes. As of autumn 2015, the U.S. Navy has retired its most recent class of frigates, and expects that by 2020 the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) will assume many of the duties the frigate had with the fleet. The LCS is a class of relatively small surface vessels intended for operations in the littoral zone (close to shore). It was "envisioned to be a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant capable of defeating anti-access and asymmetric threats in the littorals". They have the capabilities of a small assault transport, including a flight deck and hangar for housing two helicopters, a stern ramp for operating small boats, and the cargo volume and payload to deliver a small assault force with fighting vehicles to a roll-on/roll-off port facility. The ship is easy to reconfigure for different roles, including anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, homeland defense, maritime intercept, special operations, and logistics, all by swapping mission-specific modules as needed. The LCS program is still relatively new as of 2018 with only ten active ships, but the navy has announced plans for up to 32 ships. (See: Littoral combat ship#List of littoral combat ships, List of littoral combat ships) The navy has announced that a further 20 vessels to be built after that will be redesignated as 'frigates'. A special case is the , commissioned in 1797 as one of the original six frigates of the United States Navy, and which remains in commission at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. She serves as a tribute to the heritage of the Navy, and occasionally sails for commemorative events such as Independence Day (United States), Independence Day and various victories during the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
. ''Constitution'' is currently the oldest commissioned warship afloat. is older, and in commission, but is in permanent drydock.


Mine countermeasures ships

Mine countermeasures vessels are a combination of minehunters, a naval vessel that actively detects and destroys individual naval mines, and minesweepers, which clear mined areas as a whole, without prior detection of the mines. The navy has approximately a dozen of these in active service, but the mine countermeasure (MCM) role is also being assumed by the incoming classes of littoral combat ships. MCM vessels have mostly legacy names of previous US Navy ships, especially WWII-era minesweepers.


Patrol boats

A patrol boat is a relatively small naval vessel generally designed for coastal defense duties. There have been many designs for patrol boats, though the navy currently has only a single class. They may be operated by a nation's navy or coast guard, and may be intended for marine ("blue water") or estuarine or river ("brown water") environments. The Navy has approximately a dozen in active service, which are mainly used in the littoral regions of the Persian Gulf, but have also been used for home port patrols and drug interdiction missions. The navy's current class of patrol boats have names based on weather phenomena.


Submarines

All current and planned U.S. Navy submarines are nuclear-powered, as only nuclear propulsion allows for the combination of stealth and long duration, high-speed sustained underwater movement that makes modern nuclear submarines quite vital to a modern blue-water navy. The U.S. Navy operates three types: ballistic missile submarines, guided missile submarines, and attack submarines. U.S. Navy (nuclear) ballistic missile submarines carry the stealthiest leg of the U.S. strategic triad (the other legs are the land-based U.S. strategic missile force and the air-based U.S. strategic bomber force). These submarines have only one mission: to carry and, if called upon, to launch the Trident nuclear missile. The primary missions of attack and guided missile submarines in the U.S. Navy are peacetime engagement, surveillance and intelligence, special operations, precision strikes, and control of the seas. To these, attack submarines also add the battlegroup operations mission. Attack and guided missile submarines have several tactical missions, including sinking ships and other subs, launching cruise missiles, gathering intelligence, and assisting in special operations. As with other classes of naval vessels, most U.S. submarines (or "boats") are named according to specific conventions. The boats of the current U.S. ballistic missile submarine class, , are named after U.S. states. As the four current U.S. guided missile submarines are converted ''Ohio''-class boats, they have retained their U.S. state names. The members of the oldest currently-commissioned attack submarine class, the , are typically named for cities. The follow-on ' three submarines—''Seawolf'', ''Connecticut'' and ''Jimmy Carter''—share no consistent naming scheme. With the current attack submarines, the U.S. Navy has extended the ''Ohio'' class' state-based naming scheme to these submarines. Attack submarines prior to the ''Los Angeles'' class were named for denizens of the deep, while pre-''Ohio''-class ballistic missile submarines were named for famous Americans and foreigners with notable connections to the United States.


Aircraft

Carrier-based aircraft are able to strike air, sea, and land targets far from a carrier strike group while protecting friendly forces from enemy aircraft, ships, and submarines. In peacetime, aircraft's ability to project the threat of sustained attack from a mobile platform on the seas gives United States leaders significant diplomatic and crisis-management options. Aircraft additionally provide logistics support to maintain the navy's readiness and, through helicopters, supply platforms with which to conduct search and rescue, special operations, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and anti-surface warfare (ASuW), including the U.S. Navy's premier Maritime Strike and only organic ASW aircraft, the venerable Sikorsky Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk, MH-60R operated by Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing. The U.S. Navy began to research the use of aircraft at sea in the 1910s, with Lieutenant Theodore G. "Spuds" Ellyson becoming the first naval aviator on 28 January 1911, and commissioned its first aircraft carrier, , in 1922. United States naval aviation fully came of age in World War II, when it became clear following the Attack on Pearl Harbor, the
Battle of the Coral Sea The Battle of the Coral Sea, from 4 to 8 May 1942, was a major naval battle Naval warfare is human combat in and on the sea, the ocean, or any other battlespace involving a major body of water such as a large lake or wide river. History ...

Battle of the Coral Sea
, and the that aircraft carriers and the planes that they carried had replaced the battleship as the greatest weapon on the seas. Leading navy aircraft in World War II included the Grumman F4F Wildcat, the Grumman F6F Hellcat, the Chance Vought F4U Corsair, the Douglas SBD Dauntless, and the Grumman TBF Avenger. Navy aircraft also played a significant role in conflicts during the following Cold War years, with the F-4 Phantom II and the F-14 Tomcat becoming military icons of the era. The navy's current primary fighter and attack airplanes are the multi-mission F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18C/D Hornet and its newer cousin, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The F-35 Lightning II is presently under development and was scheduled to replace the C and D versions of the Hornet beginning in 2012. Initial operational capability of the F-35C is now expected to be February 2019. The Navy is also looking to eventually replace its F/A-18E/F Super Hornets with the F/A-XX program. The Aircraft Investment Plan sees naval aviation growing from 30 percent of current aviation forces to half of all procurement funding over the next three decades.


Weapons

Current U.S. Navy shipboard weapons systems are almost entirely focused on missiles, both as a weapon and as a threat. In an offensive role, missiles are intended to strike targets at long distances with accuracy and precision. Because they are unmanned weapons, missiles allow for attacks on heavily defended targets without risk to human pilots. Land strikes are the domain of the BGM-109 Tomahawk, which was first deployed in the 1980s and is continually being updated to increase its capabilities. For anti-ship strikes, the navy's dedicated missile is the Harpoon Missile. To defend against enemy missile attack, the navy operates a number of systems that are all coordinated by the Aegis combat system. Medium-long range defense is provided by the RIM-67 Standard, Standard Missile 2, which has been deployed since the 1980s. The Standard missile doubles as the primary shipboard anti-aircraft weapon and is undergoing development for use in theater ballistic missile defense. Short range defense against missiles is provided by the Phalanx CIWS and the more recently developed ESSM, RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile. In addition to missiles, the navy employs Mark 46 torpedo, Mark 46 and Mark 50 torpedoes and various types of naval mines. Naval fixed-wing aircraft employ much of the same weapons as the United States Air Force for both air-to-air and air-to-surface combat. Air engagements are handled by the heat-seeking AIM-9 Sidewinder, Sidewinder and the radar guided AIM-120 AMRAAM, AMRAAM missiles along with the M61 Vulcan cannon for close range dogfighting. For surface strikes, navy aircraft utilize a combination of missiles, smart bombs, and dumb bombs. On the list of available missiles are the AGM-65 Maverick, Maverick, Standoff Land Attack Missile, SLAM-ER and AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon, JSOW. Smart bombs include the GPS-guided JDAM and the laser-guided Paveway series. Unguided munitions such as dumb bombs and cluster bombs make up the rest of the weapons deployed by fixed-wing aircraft. Rotary aircraft weapons are focused on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and light to medium surface engagements. To combat submarines, helicopters use Mark 46 and Mark 50 torpedoes. Against small watercraft, they utilize AGM-114 Hellfire, Hellfire and Penguin missile, Penguin air to surface missiles. Helicopters also employ various types of mounted anti-personnel machine guns, including the M60 machine gun, M60, M240 machine gun, M240, GAU-16/A, and Minigun, GAU-17/A. Nuclear weapons in the U.S. Navy arsenal are deployed through ballistic missile submarines and aircraft. The ''Ohio''-class submarine carries the latest iteration of the Trident missile, a three-stage, submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) with MIRV capability; the current Trident II (D5) version is expected to be in service past 2020. The navy's other nuclear weapon is the air-deployed B61 nuclear bomb. The B61 is a thermonuclear device that can be dropped by strike aircraft such as the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet at high speed from a large range of altitudes. It can be released through free-fall or parachute and can be set to detonate in the air or on the ground.


Naval jack

The current Maritime flags#Jacks, naval jack of the United States is the Jack of the United States, Union Jack, a small blue flag emblazoned with the stars of the 50 states. The Union Jack was not flown for the duration of the War on Terror, during which Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England directed all U.S. naval ships to fly the First Navy Jack. While Secretary England directed the change on 31 May 2002, many ships chose to shift colors later that year in remembrance of the first anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Union Jack, however, remained in use with vessels of the U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A jack of similar design to the Union Jack was used in 1794, with 13 stars arranged in a 3–2–3–2–3 pattern. When a ship is moored or anchored, the jack is flown from the bow (ship), bow of the ship while the ensign is flown from the stern. When underway, the ensign is raised on the mainmast. Before the decision for all ships to fly the First Navy Jack, it was flown only on the oldest ship in the active American fleet, which is currently . U.S. Navy ships and craft returned to flying the Union Jack effective 4 June 2019. The date for reintroduction of the jack commemorates the Battle of Midway, which began on 4 June 1942.


Notable sailors

Many past and present United States historical figures have served in the U.S. Navy. Notable officers include John Paul Jones, John Barry (naval officer), John Barry (
Continental Navy The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. The fleet cumulatively became relatively substantial through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron John Adams and vigor ...
officer and first flag officer of the United States Navy), Edward Preble, James Lawrence (whose last words "don't give up the ship" are memorialized in Bancroft Hall at the United States Naval Academy), Stephen Decatur Jr., David Farragut, David Dixon Porter, Oliver Hazard Perry, Matthew Perry (naval officer), Commodore Matthew Perry (whose Black Ships forced the Convention of Kanagawa, opening of Japan), George Dewey (the only person in the history of the United States to have attained the rank of Admiral of the Navy (United States), Admiral of the Navy), and the officers who attained the rank of Fleet admiral (United States), Fleet Admiral during World War II: William D. Leahy, Ernest J. King, Chester W. Nimitz, and William F. Halsey Jr.. The first American President of the United States, president who served in the U.S. Navy was John F. Kennedy (who commanded the famous ''Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109, PT-109''). Others included Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush. Both
Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or his initials T. R., was an American politician, statesman, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26th president o ...

Theodore Roosevelt
and Franklin D. Roosevelt were the Assistant Secretary of the Navy prior to their presidencies. Many members of United States Congress, Congress served in the U.S. Navy, notably United States Senator, U.S. Senators Bob Kerrey, John McCain, and John Kerry. Other notable former members of the U.S. Navy include astronauts (Alan B. Shepard, Walter M. Schirra, Neil Armstrong, John Young (astronaut), John Young, Michael J. Smith (astronaut), Michael J. Smith, and Scott Kelly (astronaut), Scott Kelly), entertainers (Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas), authors (Brandon Webb (author), Brandon Webb, Marcus Luttrell), professional athletes (David Robinson, Roger Staubach, Yogi Berra), and others (Gordon Haller, John Barry (WD-40), John Barry).


See also

* Bibliography of early American naval history * List of United States Navy ships * Columbia-class submarine, ''Columbia''-class submarine * * Modern United States Navy carrier air operations * Naval militia * United States Merchant Marine Academy * Women in the United States Navy


Notes


References


External links

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U.S. Navy during the Cold War
from th
Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives
* (includes warship losses) * (includes ''The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II'') * * (chronology of the lead up of U.S. entry into World War II) * * * * {{authority control United States Navy, Navies by country Uniformed services of the United States, Navy 1775 establishments in the Thirteen Colonies Military units and formations established in 1775 United States Armed Forces service branches