Navy Day on October 27th salutes all of the military personnel who have served, both past and present, in the United States Navy.
The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It’s also one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy currently stands as the largest, most powerful navy in the world, with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage. The service engages over 340,000 personnel on active duty and more than 71,000 in the Navy Reserve.
Throughout the Revolutionary War, their importance grew. Today, the United States maintains 40 naval bases across the country, including the world’s largest Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia.
Below the sea, submarines became a part of the Navy during World War II. While experiments began in the late 1800s and during the Civil War, they did not become a large part of the Navy inventory until World War II. At that point, subs became necessary for surveillance and rescue, even though they were also armed.
With the advent of the airplane, the Navy became vital stations for the Airforce as well. As a result, the Navy modified ships into floating landing strips. Today, joint Naval and Airbases such as Pearl Harbor-Hickam provided necessary fleets of the sea and air defense.
Theodore Roosevelt and the Navy
Between 1922 and 1972, the Navy celebrated its birthday on October 27th in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt’s birth. He elevated the U.S. Navy to a premier fighting force. During his term as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, he built up the power and strength of the U.S. Navy. Roosevelt’s pursuit of the naval aircraft advanced the U.S. Navy. As president, Roosevelt was the first president to submerge in a submarine and also the first to fly. His support of the Navy led the former Secretary of the Navy, John F. Lehman, to say, Theodore Roosevelt, “was one of the architects of our modern Navy.”
HOW TO OBSERVE #NavyDay
Recognize Naval service members and their dedication to their country. Visit a Naval museum to learn more about the Navy’s history. Discover more about naval training, the types of ships in our fleets, and where they sail around the world. Use #NavyDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL NAVY DAY HISTORY
The Navy League of the United States organized the first Navy Day in 1922. They chose October 27th honoring the birth of President Theodore Roosevelt.
Navy Day received particular attention from President Warren Harding. Harding wrote to the Secretary of the Navy Edwin Denby:
“Thank you for your note which brings assurance of the notable success which seems certain to attend the celebration of Navy Day on Friday, October 27, in commemoration of past and present services of the Navy. From our earliest national beginnings, the Navy has always been and deserved to be an object of special pride to the American people. Its record is indeed one to inspire such sentiments, and I am very sure that such a commemoration as is planned will be a timely reminder.”
In 1949, the Department of Defense Secretary Louis A. Johnson directed the United States Navy’s participation on Armed Forces Day in May. Although, as a civilian organization, the Navy League was not affected by this directive and continued to organize Navy Day celebrations as before.
Then, in the 1970s that the “birthday” of the Continental Navy was found to be October 13, 1775. CNO Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt worked with the Navy League to define October 13th as the new date of Navy Day. However, Navy Day in the United States remains primarily recognized as October 27th.
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