US Navy Birthday: The US Navy Celebrates 247 Years in 2022
“Anchors Aweigh, my boys, Anchors Aweigh. Farewell to college joys, we sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay. Through our last night on shore, drink to the foam, Until we meet once more. Here’s wishing you a happy voyage home.”
On October 13th, 2022, the US Navy will celebrate its 247th birthday! According to Statista, as of 2019, there were 332,528 serving in the active duty Navy and 103,678 serving in the Navy Reserve.
The History of the US Navy
On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress voted to create the Continental Navy. At the end of the Revolutionary War, it was disbanded. However, in 1794, the Naval Act was passed and was signed into law by President George Washington. This act authorized the construction of six frigates, which were the first ships of what eventually became the modern US Navy.
From the years 1794 through 1798, naval affairs were the responsibility of the Department of War. The US Navy fought in the Quasi-War, the Barbary Wars, and the War of 1812. They were then at peace until the Mexican-American war in 1846 as well as fighting piracy and the slave trade.
The Naval Academy was founded in 1845 in Annapolis, MD. Then the Civil War began and the US Navy fought the Confederate States Navy. After the Civil War, most of the ships were laid up until they would be needed in the future.
The Navy then went on to fight in the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II, during which they fought in many historical battles. Beyond World War II, they were there for the Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, the first Persian Gulf War, and on to more modern times. Today, the US Navy is the world’s undisputed Naval Superpower.
The Navy Reserve was officially established in 1915 in preparation for World War I. In 1916, the US Naval Reserve Force was founded and in 2005, it was redesignated as the US Navy Reserve. The Navy Reserve has been called up since World War I and is still being called in today’s world.
Famous People Who Have Served in the US Navy
When it comes to US Presidents, 6 of them have served in the Navy. They are John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W.Bush.
Jack Lemmon, an actor known for movies such as The Apartment, Some Like It Hot, and The Odd Couple, served in the US Navy briefly during World War II. Johnny Carson, the former host of the Tonight Show, also served in the Navy during World War II. MC Hammer, singer, and songwriter best known for hits such as U Can’t Touch This and 2 Legit 2 Quit, served in the US Navy in Mountain View, CA from 1981-1984.
Within the enlisted branch of the Navy, you find the ranks E-1 to E-9. They are:
- Seaman Recruit E-1
- Seaman Apprentice E-2
- Seaman E-3
- Petty Officer Third Class E-4
- Petty Officer Second Class E-5
- Petty Officer First Class E-6
- Chief Petty Officer E-7
- Senior Chief Petty Officer E-8
- Master Chief Petty Officer E-9
- Command Master Chief Petty Officer E-9
- Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy E-9
Within the Warrant Officer branch, you find these ranks:
- Chief Warrant Officer 2 CW2
- Chief Warrant Officer 3 CW3
- Chief Warrant Officer 4 CW4
- Chief Warrant Officer 5 CW5
Within the officer branch of the Army, you find the ranks O-1 to O-11. They are:
- Ensign O-1
- Lieutenant Junior Grade O-2
- Lieutenant O-3
- Lieutenant Commander O-4
- Commander O-5
- Captain O-6
- Rear Admiral Lower Half O-7
- Rear Admiral O-8
- Vice Admiral O-9
- Admiral O-10
- Fleet Admiral O-11
Military Installations within the Navy are called Bases and the Exchange is called the NEX. You can find Navy installations in over 20 US states as well as Guam and Puerto Rico. They also have OCONUS locations in 20 areas or countries around the world. The largest Army installations are Naval Station Norfolk, in south-eastern Virginia, The Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, west of Honolulu, and Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida.
Scholarships for Navy Members, Veterans, and Spouses
- Navy Tuition Assistance – offering up to a max of $4,500 a year.
- The Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps (Navy ROTC) Scholarship
- Navy SEAL Foundation Scholarships
- Naval-Marine Corps Relief Society Education Assistance
- Navy Wives Clubs of America, Inc. (NWCA)
Visit our Navy Scholarships for College page for more information.
Top Navy Veteran Businesses
- Sperry was started by Paul A. Sperry. He designed the first boat shoe and founded the sportswear company. He had joined the Navy Reserves in 1917.
- Bottle Breacher was created by former Navy Seal Eli Crane and his wife. They developed their product of a recycled, authentic, decommissioned .50 caliber Bottle Breacher and were able to get investors after appearing on Shark Tank. They provide handcrafted, personalized man-gifts, groomsmen gifts as well as corporate/promotional products.
- Fire Dept. Coffee was founded by Luke Schneider, the CEO, who is a full-time firefighter/paramedic and a US Navy Veteran. He teamed up with fellow full-time firefighter/paramedic Jason Patton, who is now the VP of the company.
About the author
Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.