This Veterans Week, Concerned Veterans for America is thanking members of each branch of the military. Today we focus on the sailors of the U.S. Navy who’ve served and sacrificed so much for our country’s freedom. Their proud history and tradition prove the Navy is one of the greatest fighting forces of all time.
The Navy’s Humble Beginnings
Founded on October 13, 1775, the Navy began with a single ship. The Founders knew they would need more if they were to keep the British and other adversaries at bay. George Washington put it best in his letter to Marquis de Lafayette: “Without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious.”
Time would prove Washington’s words true. Congress disassembled the Navy after the Revolutionary War but reconvened it under the Naval Act of 1794. It grew and continued to keep America safe during the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. As Washington predicted, glory followed wherever its ships sailed.
Growing with the Nation
In the early 19th century, Commodore Matthew C. Perry helped bring the Navy to world prominence through his leadership in the Mexican-American War and the opening of Japan. The Navy was also instrumental throughout the American Civil War.
During World War I, the Navy fought in waters infested with German U-Boats bent on destroying allied forces from below. Through the Naval Act of 1916, Congress committed resources to better prepare the Navy, a decision that proved important during World War II, when the Navy played a pivotal role in the Pacific theater.
A Legacy of Leadership
Many of our nation’s leaders were in the Navy, including presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. 746 members of the Navy have received the military’s highest award, the Medal of Honor. Today, the Navy has more than 400,000 active duty members and reservists who serve as an example of patriotism and sacrifice.
We thank our sailors who have given so much for our freedom and honor the veterans of the U.S. Navy for their service.