Over the last 242 years, the United States Navy has accomplished many amazing feets in protecting American people and allies against enemy powers. They have been apart of more than ten major wars and countless battles. On June 12, 1775, the first American Navy (otherwise known as the Rhode Island Navy) was commissioned and assembled to fight against attacks from the British. Due to the need for ships, the Continental Congress established the Continental Navy.
The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the Revolutionary War. It was formed on October 13, 1775, through John Adam’s efforts. The primary objective of the Continental Navy was to intercede all British maritime commercial operations. After the war, the Federal government had some financial strains. They were forced to dismantle the Continental Navy by auctioning off their last vessel named Alliance to a private bidder in 1785. Between 1790 and 1797, the United States only maritime service was the Revenue Marine, which was founded at the prompting of Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton. There had been issues with piracy during these times, and in 1793 the Algiers Muslim Pirates captured eleven merchant ships. It was at the time a plan to act was taken seriously.
On March 27, 1794, the Naval Act of 1794 was passed by the 3rd United States Congress and signed into law by President George Washington. The Act authorized the purchase and use of six frigates that cost roughly $700,000. Piracy had not posed a threat to the American colonies when they were apart of the British Empire. The Royal Navy protected American vessels since they belonged to subjects of the British Crown. After the American Revolutionary War, that protection was lost as well as other powers of being a British citizen. The construction of the frigates slowly progressed, and though many felt it would be too expensive for the young nation, due to piracy it had to be done. Due to funding issues in April 1796, the Navy could only continue construction on three of the six ships called United States, Constellation, and Constitution. By the end of 1798, France had begun to seize American merchant vessels, which prompted Congress to finally approve the completion of the three remaining ships called President, Congress, and Chesapeake.
The United States Navy has grown significantly over the last 242 years. The Navy may have started with only six ships, but they now have approximately 239 Commissioned, 104 Non-Commissioned, 50 Support, 51 Ready Reserve Force, and 18 Reserve Fleet totaling 460 vessels. There is also 42 under construction and 24 planned for future development. Today, the United States Navy has bases all over the world. Their presence is known everywhere they go as the American flag flies high as they pull into port. It seems hard to imagine the United States without the Navy. It was likely there would not have been a United States of America without them. The maritime services were essential in the young nations life, and lack of being able to ship and receive goods would have most likely destroyed us. The United States Navy has become a community and way of life for so many families for over two centuries. It has shaped and molded generation after generation by its culture and way of life. The Navy currently has 324,460 Active-Duty Personnel, 106,622 Ready Reserve, and 266, 407 Navy Department Civilian Employees. If you add families, spouses, and dependents to those numbers, you will easily be well into the millions. Millions of lives are impacted daily by the navy on a personal level. Over the past 11 years, I have been among that number. To see first-hand how the Navy changes a family and a community’s life truly is without words. Everyone works together as a unit to support one another in the good times and the bad times. Since post 9/11 America has been at war. That is almost two decades of deployed active-duty personnel. There have been children growing up with parents on foreign soil more than at home tucking them in bed at night. This is something one cannot explain to you in mere words. Until you live it, you just cannot fathom the complexities of being apart of it. The United States Navy and its family members have served the great nation for 242 years. This year, I encourage everyone to celebrate the servicemen and women and their families for their sacrifice in protection of our country and fellow countrymen. So quickly a nation forgets the freedoms they have and how they came to obtain them. The United States Navy is, protecting the lives of everyone in this country 24/7. I find this honor something to be praised and applauded. On October 13, 2017, take the time to honor those you know, those who went too soon, and their families for their sacrifice of self for the American people.
By: Jena Muller is the CEO & Founder of Trident Transitions Veteran Foundation. She has been a part of the US Navy SEAL community since 2006 and is an intricate part of the transitioning Special Operation Force community. With 13+ years of success-driven experience in resume/CV writing and brand management and consulting, she is bridging the gap between military and Corporate America. Jena is passionate about the success of the SOF community after the military and works tirelessly to ensure their success. She is always open to collaborate with like-minded organizations in order to assist elite military veterans into highly competitive job markets.
Photo courtesy of author