October 13th of 1775 Congress established the United States Navy. Today, it turns 246 years old. Forming the Navy was a bold move– set to take on the world’s foremost naval force at the time.
The English Navy was the wonder of the world, and had been ruling the seas and expanding British rule. It was said that, “The sun never sets on the British Empire.”
The abysmally underpaid U.S. military was often without even the dignity of uniforms. There are stories of men marching barefoot in the snow. They would leave a trail of bloody footprints behind them. But their commitment to the cause of liberty and the exceptional leadership of General George Washington prevailed, and today, the U.S. Navy has no equal.
Our first naval ships were actually merchant ships that were converted into armed frigates. They were captained by a man that had no military experience, and they were sometimes funded by Robert Morris because he believed in American liberty.
In the ensuing years, the navy would help defeat the powerful British Navy, fend off the French, and end attacks by the Barbary pirates. During WWII and the Cold War they kept the United States safe plunging underwater. They employed submarine technology that fought well and provided desperately needed intelligence.
It’s wonderful to think that Washington and Morris would be deeply proud of their legacy: “Today, the United States Navy stands unchallenged as the world’s most powerful maritime force. The Navy’s ability to project force above, on, and beneath the waves, control shipping lanes, and dominate airspace over the world’s hotspots is without parallel.”
Cheers to many more birthdays for our brave Navy! Because our courageous seamen and women continue to defend our liberty, the Navy can proudly repeat the words of famed naval Captain John Paul Jones, “I have not yet begun to fight.”