United States Navy

United States Navy

Overview
The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare
Naval warfare
Naval warfare is combat in and on seas, oceans, or any other major bodies of water such as large lakes and wide rivers.-History:Mankind has fought battles on the sea for more than 3,000 years. Land warfare would seem, initially, to be irrelevant and entirely removed from warfare on the open ocean,...

 service branch of the United States Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States
Uniformed services of the United States
The United States has seven federal uniformed services that commission officers as defined by Title 10, and subsequently structured and organized by Title 10, Title 14, Title 33 and Title 42 of the United States Code.-Uniformed services:...

. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage
Tonnage
Tonnage is a measure of the size or cargo carrying capacity of a ship. The term derives from the taxation paid on tuns or casks of wine, and was later used in reference to the weight of a ship's cargo; however, in modern maritime usage, "tonnage" specifically refers to a calculation of the volume...

 is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S. Navy also has the world's largest carrier fleet, with 11 in service, one under construction (two planned), and one in reserve.
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Encyclopedia
The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare
Naval warfare
Naval warfare is combat in and on seas, oceans, or any other major bodies of water such as large lakes and wide rivers.-History:Mankind has fought battles on the sea for more than 3,000 years. Land warfare would seem, initially, to be irrelevant and entirely removed from warfare on the open ocean,...

 service branch of the United States Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States
Uniformed services of the United States
The United States has seven federal uniformed services that commission officers as defined by Title 10, and subsequently structured and organized by Title 10, Title 14, Title 33 and Title 42 of the United States Code.-Uniformed services:...

. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage
Tonnage
Tonnage is a measure of the size or cargo carrying capacity of a ship. The term derives from the taxation paid on tuns or casks of wine, and was later used in reference to the weight of a ship's cargo; however, in modern maritime usage, "tonnage" specifically refers to a calculation of the volume...

 is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S. Navy also has the world's largest carrier fleet, with 11 in service, one under construction (two planned), and one in reserve. The service had 328,516 personnel on active duty and 101,689 in the Navy Reserve
United States Navy Reserve
The United States Navy Reserve, until 2005 known as the United States Naval Reserve, is the Reserve Component of the United States Navy...

 in January 2011. It operates 286 ship
Ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

s in active service and more than 3,700 aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

.

The Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy
Continental Navy
The Continental Navy was the navy of the United States during the American Revolutionary War, and was formed in 1775. Through the efforts of the Continental Navy's patron, John Adams and vigorous Congressional support in the face of stiff opposition, the fleet cumulatively became relatively...

, which was established during the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 and was essentially disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter. The United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

 provided the legal basis for a military force by giving Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 the power "to provide and maintain a navy".
Depredations against U.S. shipping by Barbary Coast
Barbary Coast
The Barbary Coast, or Barbary, was the term used by Europeans from the 16th until the 19th century to refer to much of the collective land of the Berber people. Today, the terms Maghreb and "Tamazgha" correspond roughly to "Barbary"...

 pirates in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 spurred Congress to employ this power by passing the Naval Act of 1794
Naval Act of 1794
The Act to Provide a Naval Armament, also known as the Naval Act, was passed by the United States Congress on March 27, 1794 and established the country's first naval force, which eventually became the United States Navy...

 ordering the construction and manning of six frigates
Six original United States frigates
The United States Congress authorized the original six frigates of the United States Navy with the Naval Act of 1794 on 27 March 1794 at a total cost of $688,888.82...

. These ships were used to end most pirate
Barbary Wars
The Barbary Wars were a series of wars between the United States of America and the Barbary States of North Africa in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. At issue was the Barbary pirates' demand of tribute from American merchant vessels in the Mediterranean Sea. If ships failed to pay, pirates...

 activity off the Barbary Coast
Barbary Coast
The Barbary Coast, or Barbary, was the term used by Europeans from the 16th until the 19th century to refer to much of the collective land of the Berber people. Today, the terms Maghreb and "Tamazgha" correspond roughly to "Barbary"...

. In the 20th century American blue-water navy
Blue-water navy
The term blue-water navy is a colloquialism used to describe a maritime force capable of operating across the deep waters of open oceans. While what actually constitutes such a force remains undefined, there is a requirement for the ability to exercise sea control at wide ranges...

 capability was demonstrated by the 1907–1909 world tour of the Great White Fleet
Great White Fleet
The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the United States Navy battle fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from 16 December 1907 to 22 February 1909 by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. It consisted of 16 battleships divided into two squadrons, along with...

.

The 21st century United States Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in such areas as East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

. It is a blue-water navy
Blue-water navy
The term blue-water navy is a colloquialism used to describe a maritime force capable of operating across the deep waters of open oceans. While what actually constitutes such a force remains undefined, there is a requirement for the ability to exercise sea control at wide ranges...

 with the ability to project force
Power projection
Power projection is a term used in military and political science to refer to the capacity of a state to conduct expeditionary warfare, i.e. to intimidate other nations and implement policy by means of force, or the threat thereof, in an area distant from its own territory.This ability is a...

 onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward areas during peacetime, and rapidly respond to regional crises, making it an active player in U.S. foreign and defense policy.
The Navy is administratively managed by the Department of the Navy
United States Department of the Navy
The Department of the Navy of the United States of America was established by an Act of Congress on 30 April 1798, to provide a government organizational structure to the United States Navy and, from 1834 onwards, for the United States Marine Corps, and when directed by the President, of the...

, which is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Navy
United States Secretary of the Navy
The Secretary of the Navy of the United States of America is the head of the Department of the Navy, a component organization of the Department of Defense...

. The Department of the Navy is itself a division of the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

, which is headed by the Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

. Traditionally, the highest ranking naval officer is the Chief of Naval Operations
Chief of Naval Operations
The Chief of Naval Operations is a statutory office held by a four-star admiral in the United States Navy, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Navy. The office is a military adviser and deputy to the Secretary of the Navy...

, a position currently held by Admiral
Admiral (United States)
In the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard and the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, admiral is a four-star flag officer rank, with the pay grade of O-10. Admiral ranks above vice admiral and below Fleet Admiral in the Navy; the Coast Guard and the Public Health...

 Jonathan Greenert
Jonathan W. Greenert
Jonathan W. Greenert is a United States Navy admiral currently serving as the 30th Chief of Naval Operations. He previously served as the 36th Vice Chief of Naval Operations from August 13, 2009 to August 22, 2011. Prior to that, he served as Commander, U.S...

, however one naval officer currently outranks him. The highest ranking naval officer is the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is by law the second highest ranking military officer in the United States Armed Forces ranking just below the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff...

, Admiral James Winnefeld
James A. Winnefeld, Jr.
James Alexander "Sandy" Winnefeld, Jr. is a United States Navy four-star admiral who currently serves as the ninth Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He previously served as the fourth Commander, U.S. Northern Command and the 21st Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command from...

.

Mission


From the New Recruits Handbook:
The United States Navy serves as a seaborne branch of the Military of the United States
Military of the United States
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

. prescribes the Navy's three primary areas of responsibility:
  • "The preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war"
  • "The maintenance of naval aviation, including land-based naval aviation, air transport essential for naval operations and all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the Navy"
  • "The development of aircraft, weapons, tactics, technique, organization, and equipment of naval combat and service elements".

U.S. Navy training manuals state the mission of the U.S armed forces is "to prepare and conduct prompt and sustained combat operations in support of the national interest". As part of that establishment, the U.S. Navy's functions comprise sea control, power projection
Power projection
Power projection is a term used in military and political science to refer to the capacity of a state to conduct expeditionary warfare, i.e. to intimidate other nations and implement policy by means of force, or the threat thereof, in an area distant from its own territory.This ability is a...

 and nuclear deterrence
Massive retaliation
Massive retaliation, also known as a massive response or massive deterrence, is a military doctrine and nuclear strategy in which a state commits itself to retaliate in much greater force in the event of an attack.-Strategy:...

, in addition to "sealift
Sealift
Sealift is a term used predominantly in military logistics and refers to the use of cargo ships for the deployment of military assets, such as weaponry, vehicles, military personnel, and supplies...

" duties.

Origins


In the early stages of the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, the establishment of an official navy was an issue of debate among the members of the Continental Congress
Continental Congress
The Continental Congress was a convention of delegates called together from the Thirteen Colonies that became the governing body of the United States during the American Revolution....

. Supporters argued that a navy would protect shipping, defend the coast, and make it easier to seek out support from foreign countries. Detractors countered that challenging the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, then the world's preeminent naval power, was a foolish undertaking.

Commander in Chief George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 commissioned seven ocean-going cruisers to interdict British supply ships, and reported the captures to the Congress. This effectively ended the debate in Congress as to whether or not to "provoke" the British by establishing a Navy as Washington's ships had already captured British ships, somewhat a provocation.

While Congress deliberated, it received word that two unarmed British supply ships from England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 were heading towards Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

 without escort. A plan was drawn up to intercept the ships—however, the armed vessels to be used were owned not by Congress, but by individual colonies. Of greater significance then was an additional plan to equip two ships that would operate under the direct authority of Congress to capture British supply ships. This was not carried out until 13 October 1775, when George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 announced that he had taken command of three armed schooner
Schooner
A schooner is a type of sailing vessel characterized by the use of fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts with the forward mast being no taller than the rear masts....

s under Continental authority to intercept any British supply ships near Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

. With the revelation that vessels were already sailing under Continental control, the decision to add two more was made easier; the resolution was adopted and 13 October would later become known as the U.S. Navy's official birthday.

The Continental Navy achieved mixed results; it was successful in a number of engagements and raided many British merchant vessels, but it lost 24 of its vessels and at one point was reduced to two in active service. As Congress turned its attention after the conflict towards securing the western border of the new United States, a standing navy was considered to be dispensable because of its high operating costs and its limited number of roles.

From reestablishment to the Civil War


The United States would be without a navy for nearly a decade—a state of affairs that exposed its merchant ships to a series of attacks by Barbary pirates. The sole armed maritime presence between 1790 and the launching of the U.S. Navy's first warships in 1797 was the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service (USRCS), the primary predecessor of the U.S. Coast Guard. Although USRCS Cutters conducted operations against these pirates, the depredations far outstripped the abilities of the USRCS and Congress ordered the construction and manning of six frigates on 27 March 1794; three years later the first three were welcomed into service: the USS United States
USS United States (1797)
USS United States was a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy and the first of the six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794...

, USS Constellation
USS Constellation (1797)
USS Constellation was a 38-gun frigate, one of the six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794. She was distinguished as the first U.S. Navy vessel to put to sea and the first U.S. Navy vessel to engage and defeat an enemy vessel...

 and USS Constitution
USS Constitution
USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. Named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America, she is the world's oldest floating commissioned naval vessel...

.

Following an undeclared Quasi-War
Quasi-War
The Quasi-War was an undeclared war fought mostly at sea between the United States and French Republic from 1798 to 1800. In the United States, the conflict was sometimes also referred to as the Franco-American War, the Pirate Wars, or the Half-War.-Background:The Kingdom of France had been a...

 with France, the U.S. Navy saw substantial action in the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, where it was victorious in numerous single-ship duels with the Royal Navy. The Navy drove all significant British forces off of Lake Erie
Lake Erie
Lake Erie is the fourth largest lake of the five Great Lakes in North America, and the tenth largest globally. It is the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes and therefore also has the shortest average water residence time. It is bounded on the north by the...

 and Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain is a natural, freshwater lake in North America, located mainly within the borders of the United States but partially situated across the Canada—United States border in the Canadian province of Quebec.The New York portion of the Champlain Valley includes the eastern portions of...

 and prevented them from becoming British controlled zones of conflict. Despite this, the U.S. Navy was unable to prevent the British from blockading American ports and landing troops on American soil. After the war, the U.S. Navy again focused its attention on protecting American shipping assets, sending squadrons to the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, South America, Africa, and the Pacific.

During the Mexican-American War the U.S. Navy contributed by instituting blockades of Mexican ports, capturing or burning the Mexican fleet in the Gulf of California
Gulf of California
The Gulf of California is a body of water that separates the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland...

 and capturing all major cities in Baja California
Baja California
Baja California officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is both the northernmost and westernmost state of Mexico. Before becoming a state in 1953, the area was known as the North...

 peninsula—later returned. In 1846-1848 the navy successfully used the Pacific Squadron
Pacific Squadron
The Pacific Squadron was part of the United States Navy squadron stationed in the Pacific Ocean in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Initially with no United States ports in the Pacific, they operated out of storeships which provided naval supplies and purchased food and obtained water from local...

 under Commodore (Rear Admiral) Robert Stockton and its marines and blue-jackets to facilitate the capture of California with large scale land operations coordinated with the local militia organized in the California Battalion
California Battalion
The first California Volunteer Militia was commonly called the California Battalion was organized by John C. Fremont during the Mexican-American War in Alta California, present day California, United States.-Formation:...

. The navy conducted the U.S. military's first large-scale amphibious joint operation by successfully landing 12,000 army troops with their equipment in one day at Veracruz, Mexico
Veracruz, Veracruz
Veracruz, officially known as Heroica Veracruz, is a major port city and municipality on the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican state of Veracruz. The city is located in the central part of the state. It is located along Federal Highway 140 from the state capital Xalapa, and is the state's most...

. When larger guns were needed to bombard Veracruz Navy volunteers landed large navy guns and manned them in the successful bombardment of the city and its surrender. This successful landing and capture of Veracruz eventually opening the way for the capture of Mexico City and the end of the war. The United States Navy established itself as a player in American foreign policy through the actions of Commodore
Commodore (USN)
Commodore was an early title and later a rank in the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard and a current honorary title in the U.S. Navy with an intricate history. Because the U.S. Congress was originally unwilling to authorize more than four ranks until 1862, considerable importance...

 Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry (naval officer)
Matthew Calbraith Perry was the Commodore of the U.S. Navy and served commanding a number of US naval ships. He served several wars, most notably in the Mexican-American War and the War of 1812. He played a leading role in the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854...

 in Japan, which resulted in the Convention of Kanagawa
Convention of Kanagawa
On March 31, 1854, the or was concluded between Commodore Matthew C. Perry of the U.S. Navy and the Tokugawa shogunate.-Treaty of Peace and Amity :...

 in 1854.

Naval power would play a significant role during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, where the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 had a distinct advantage over the Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 on the seas. A Union blockade
Union blockade
The Union Blockade, or the Blockade of the South, took place between 1861 and 1865, during the American Civil War, when the Union Navy maintained a strenuous effort on the Atlantic and Gulf Coast of the Confederate States of America designed to prevent the passage of trade goods, supplies, and arms...

 on shipping handicapped the Southern effort throughout the conflict. The two American navies would help usher in a new era in world naval history by putting ironclad warship
Ironclad warship
An ironclad was a steam-propelled warship in the early part of the second half of the 19th century, protected by iron or steel armor plates. The ironclad was developed as a result of the vulnerability of wooden warships to explosive or incendiary shells. The first ironclad battleship, La Gloire,...

s into combat for the first time. The Battle of Hampton Roads
Battle of Hampton Roads
The Battle of Hampton Roads, often referred to as either the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack or the Battle of Ironclads, was the most noted and arguably most important naval battle of the American Civil War from the standpoint of the development of navies...

 in 1862, which pitted USS Monitor
USS Monitor
USS Monitor was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy during the American Civil War. She is most famous for her participation in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, the first-ever battle fought between two ironclads...

 against CSS Virginia
CSS Virginia
CSS Virginia was the first steam-powered ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy, built during the first year of the American Civil War; she was constructed as a casemate ironclad using the raised and cut down original lower hull and steam engines of the scuttled . Virginia was one of the...

, became the first engagement between two steam-powered ironclads. Soon after the war, however, the U.S. Navy's fleet slipped into obsolescence because of neglect.

20th century



A modernization program beginning in the 1880s brought the U.S. in line with the navies of countries such as Britain and Germany. In 1907, most of the Navy's battleships, with several support vessels, dubbed the Great White Fleet
Great White Fleet
The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the United States Navy battle fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from 16 December 1907 to 22 February 1909 by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. It consisted of 16 battleships divided into two squadrons, along with...

, were showcased in a 14-month circumnavigation of the world. Ordered by President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

, it was a mission designed to demonstrate the Navy's capability to extend to the global theater.


The Navy saw little action during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, but nevertheless the strength of the United States Navy grew under an ambitious ship building program associated with the Naval Act of 1916
Naval Act of 1916
The Naval Act of 1916 was also called the "Big Navy Act." An overlooked landmark piece of legislation, President Woodrow Wilson determined amidst the repeated incidents with Germany to build “incomparably, the greatest Navy in the world” over a ten year period with the intent of making the U.S....

. Naval construction, especially of battleships was later limited by the Washington Naval Conference
Washington Naval Conference
The Washington Naval Conference also called the Washington Arms Conference, was a military conference called by President Warren G. Harding and held in Washington from 12 November 1921 to 6 February 1922. Conducted outside the auspices of the League of Nations, it was attended by nine nations...

 of 1921-22, however, construction of aircraft carriers continued, accelerating after the New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

. which provided funding for the construction of the and . These ships would not have been built had it not been for the demonstrations of the capability of aircraft against ships by Gen Billy Mitchel. By 1936, with the completion of the , the U.S. Navy possessed a carrier fleet of 165,000 tonnes displacement
Displacement (ship)
A ship's displacement is its weight at any given time, generally expressed in metric tons or long tons. The term is often used to mean the ship's weight when it is loaded to its maximum capacity. A number of synonymous terms exist for this maximum weight, such as loaded displacement, full load...

, although this figure was nominally recorded as 135,000 tonnes to comply with treaty limitations.

World War II



The U.S. Navy grew into a formidable force in the years prior to World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, with battleship production being restarted in 1937, commencing with the . Though ultimately unsuccessful, Japan attempted to allay this strategic threat with the 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

. Following American entry into the war, the U.S. Navy grew tremendously as the United States was faced with a two-front war on the seas. It achieved notable acclaim in the Pacific Theater
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

, where it was instrumental to the Allies' successful "island hopping" campaign. The U.S. Navy participated in many significant battles, including the Battle of the Coral Sea
Battle of the Coral Sea
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval and air forces from the United States and Australia. The battle was the first fleet action in which aircraft carriers engaged...

, the Battle of Midway
Battle of Midway
The Battle of Midway is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, approximately one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea and six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy decisively defeated...

, the Battle of the Philippine Sea
Battle of the Philippine Sea
The Battle of the Philippine Sea was a decisive naval battle of World War II which effectively eliminated the Imperial Japanese Navy's ability to conduct large-scale carrier actions. It took place during the United States' amphibious invasion of the Mariana Islands during the Pacific War...

, the Battle of Leyte Gulf
Battle of Leyte Gulf
The Battle of Leyte Gulf, also called the "Battles for Leyte Gulf", and formerly known as the "Second Battle of the Philippine Sea", is generally considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, possibly the largest naval battle in history.It was fought in waters...

, and the Battle of Okinawa
Battle of Okinawa
The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War II. The 82-day-long battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945...

. By 1943, the Navy's size was larger than the combined fleets of all the other combatant nations in World War II. By war's end in 1945, the United States Navy had added hundreds of new ships, including 18 aircraft carriers and 8 battleships, and had over 70% of the world's total numbers and total tonnage of naval vessels of 1,000 tons or greater. At its peak, the U.S. Navy was operating 6,768 ships on V-J Day in August 1945.

Doctrine had significantly shifted by the end of the war. The United States Navy had followed in the footsteps of the navies of Great Britain and Germany which favored concentrated groups of battleships as their main offensive naval weapons. The development of the aircraft carrier and its devastating utilization by the Japanese against the U.S. at Pearl Harbor however shifted U.S. thinking. The Pearl Harbor attack destroyed or took out of action a significant number of U.S.N. battleships. This placed much of the burden of retaliating against the Japanese on the small number of aircraft carriers.

Cold War


The potential for armed conflict with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 pushed the U.S. Navy to continue its technological advancement by developing new weapons systems, ships, and aircraft. United States naval strategy changed to that of forward deployment in support of U.S. allies with an emphasis on carrier battle groups.

The Navy was a major participant in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, blockaded Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War...

, and, through the use of ballistic missile submarines, became an important aspect of the United States' nuclear strategic deterrence
Mutual assured destruction
Mutual Assured Destruction, or mutually assured destruction , is a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a full-scale use of high-yield weapons of mass destruction by two opposing sides would effectively result in the complete, utter and irrevocable annihilation of...

 policy. The United States Navy conducted various combat operations in the Persian Gulf against Iran in 1987 and 1988, most notably Operation Praying Mantis
Operation Praying Mantis
Operation Praying Mantis was an attack on April 18, 1988, by U.S. naval forces within Iranian territorial waters in retaliation for the Iranian mining of the Persian Gulf during the Iran Iraq war and the subsequent damage to an American warship....

. The Navy was extensively involved in Operation Urgent Fury, Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Deliberate Force, Operation Allied Force
Operation Allied Force
The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was NATO's military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War. The strikes lasted from March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999...

, Operation Desert Fox
Operation Desert Fox
The December 1998 bombing of Iraq was a major four-day bombing campaign on Iraqi targets from December 16–19, 1998 by the United States and United Kingdom...

 and Operation Southern Watch
Operation Southern Watch
Operation Southern Watch was an operation conducted by Joint Task Force Southwest Asia with the mission of monitoring and controlling airspace south of the 32nd Parallel in Iraq, following the 1991 Gulf War until the 2003 invasion of Iraq.-Summary:Operation Southern Watch began on 27 August 1992...

.

The U.S. Navy has also been involved in Search and Rescue/Search and Salvage operations, some times in conjunction with vessels of other countries as well as with U.S. Coast Guard ships. Two examples are the 1966 Palomares B-52 crash incident and search for the nuclear bombs, and the Task Force 71 of the Seventh Fleet operation in search for Korean Air Lines Flight 007 shot down by the Soviets on Sept. 1, 1983.

21st century



The United States Navy continues to be a major support to U.S. interests in the 21st century. Since the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, it has shifted its focus from preparations for large-scale war with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 to special operations and strike missions in regional conflicts. The Navy participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and is a major participant in the ongoing War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

, largely in this capacity. Development continues on new ships and weapons, including the Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carrier and the Littoral combat ship
Littoral combat ship
A Littoral Combat Ship is a type of relatively small surface vessel intended for operations in the littoral zone . It is "envisioned to be a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant capable of defeating anti-access and asymmetric threats in the littorals." Two ship classes are the first...

. Because of its size, weapons technology, and ability to project force far from U.S. shores, the current U.S. Navy remains a potent asset for the United States Commander-in-Chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 (the President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

).

In 2007, the U.S. Navy joined with the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

 to adopt a new maritime strategy called A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower is the United States' newest maritime strategy. It was presented by the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandants of the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard at the International Seapower Symposium at the U.S. Naval War College in...

 that raises the notion of prevention of war to the same philosophical level as the conduct of war. The strategy was presented by the Chief of Naval Operations
Chief of Naval Operations
The Chief of Naval Operations is a statutory office held by a four-star admiral in the United States Navy, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Navy. The office is a military adviser and deputy to the Secretary of the Navy...

, the Commandant of the Marine Corps
Commandant of the Marine Corps
The Commandant of the Marine Corps is normally the highest ranking officer in the United States Marine Corps and is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff...

 and Commandant of the Coast Guard
Commandant of the Coast Guard
The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard is the highest ranking member of the United States Coast Guard. The Commandant is normally the only four-star Admiral in the Coast Guard and is appointed for a four-year term by the President of the United States upon confirmation by the United...

 at the International Sea power Symposium in Newport, R.I.
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport is a city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States, about south of Providence. Known as a New England summer resort and for the famous Newport Mansions, it is the home of Salve Regina University and Naval Station Newport which houses the United States Naval War...

 on 17 October 2007. The strategy recognized the economic links of the global system and how any disruption due to regional crises—man made or natural—can adversely impact the U.S. economy and quality of life. This new strategy charts a course for the Navy, Coast Guard
Coast guard
A coast guard or coastguard is a national organization responsible for various services at sea. However the term implies widely different responsibilities in different countries, from being a heavily armed military force with customs and security duties to being a volunteer organization tasked with...

 and Marine Corps
Marine corps
A marine is a member of a force that specializes in expeditionary operations such as amphibious assault and occupation. The marines traditionally have strong links with the country's navy...

 to work collectively with each other and international partners to prevent these crises from occurring or reacting quickly should one occur to prevent negative impacts on the United States.

In 2010, Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead noted that demands on the Navy have grown as the fleet has shrunk and that in the face of declining budgets in the future, the US Navy must rely even more on international partnerships.

Organization



The Navy falls under the administration of the Department of the Navy
United States Department of the Navy
The Department of the Navy of the United States of America was established by an Act of Congress on 30 April 1798, to provide a government organizational structure to the United States Navy and, from 1834 onwards, for the United States Marine Corps, and when directed by the President, of the...

, under civilian leadership of the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV)
United States Secretary of the Navy
The Secretary of the Navy of the United States of America is the head of the Department of the Navy, a component organization of the Department of Defense...

. The most senior naval officer is the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO)
Chief of Naval Operations
The Chief of Naval Operations is a statutory office held by a four-star admiral in the United States Navy, and is the most senior uniformed officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Navy. The office is a military adviser and deputy to the Secretary of the Navy...

, a four-star admiral who is immediately under and reports to the Secretary of the Navy. At the same time, the Chief of Naval Operations is one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Joint Chiefs of Staff is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense who advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President on military matters...

, which is the second-highest deliberatory body of the armed forces after the United States National Security Council
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

, although it only plays an advisory role to the President and does not nominally form part of the chain of command. The Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations are responsible for organizing, recruiting, training, and equipping the Navy so that it is ready for operation under the command of the Unified Combatant Command
Unified Combatant Command
A Unified Combatant Command is a United States Department of Defense command that is composed of forces from at least two Military Departments and has a broad and continuing mission. These commands are established to provide effective command and control of U.S. military forces, regardless of...

ers.

Operating forces


There are nine components in the operating forces of the U.S. Navy: the United States Fleet Forces Command
United States Fleet Forces Command
The United States Fleet Forces Command is an Atlantic Ocean theater-level component command of the United States Navy that provides naval resources that are under the operational control of the United States Northern Command...

, United States Pacific Fleet
United States Pacific Fleet
The United States Pacific Fleet is a Pacific Ocean theater-level component command of the United States Navy that provides naval resources under the operational control of the United States Pacific Command. Its home port is at Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hawaii. It is commanded by Admiral Patrick M...

, United States Naval Forces Central Command, United States Naval Forces Europe
United States Naval Forces Europe
United States Naval Forces Europe is the United States Navy component of the United States European Command and provides forces for United States African Command....

, Naval Network Warfare Command
Naval Network Warfare Command
Naval Network Warfare Command is the US Navy's information operations, intelligence, networks and space unit. NETWARCOM is charged with operating a secure naval network that enables information operations...

, Navy Reserve
United States Navy Reserve
The United States Navy Reserve, until 2005 known as the United States Naval Reserve, is the Reserve Component of the United States Navy...

, United States Naval Special Warfare Command
United States Naval Special Warfare Command
The United States Naval Special Warfare Command was commissioned on April 16, 1987, at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in San Diego, California...

, Operational Test and Evaluation Force
Operational Test and Evaluation Force
The Operational Test and Evaluation Force serves as independent and objective agency within the United States Navy for the operational testing and evaluation of naval aviation, surface warfare, submarine warfare, C4I, cryptologic, and space systems in support Navy and U.S...

, and Military Sealift Command
Military Sealift Command
The Military Sealift Command is a United States Navy organization that controls most of the replenishment and military transport ships of the Navy. It first came into existence on 9 July 1949 when the Military Sea Transportation Service became solely responsible for the Department of Defense's...

. Fleet Forces Command controls a number of unique capabilities, including Military Sealift Command, Naval Expeditionary Combat Command, and Navy Cyber Forces
Navy Cyber Forces
Navy Cyber Forces is the type commander for the U.S. Navy's global cyber workforce. The headquarters is located at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story...

.

The United States Navy has six active numbered fleets — Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh Fleet
United States Seventh Fleet
The Seventh Fleet is the United States Navy's permanent forward projection force based in Yokosuka, Japan, with units positioned near Japan and South Korea. It is a component fleet force under the United States Pacific Fleet. At present, it is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with...

 and Tenth Fleet
United States Tenth Fleet
The Tenth Fleet is a functional formation of the United States Navy responsible for the Navy's cyber warfare programs. It was first created as an anti submarine warfare coordinating organization during the Battle of the Atlantic in the Second World War...

s are each led by a three-star vice admiral
Vice admiral (United States)
In the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, and the United States Maritime Service, vice admiral is a three-star flag officer, with the pay grade of...

, and the Fourth Fleet is led by a rear admiral
Rear admiral (United States)
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. The uniformed services of the United States are unique in having two grades of rear admirals.- Rear admiral :...

. These six fleets are further grouped under Fleet Forces Command (the former Atlantic Fleet), Pacific Fleet, Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and Naval Forces Central Command, whose commander also doubles as Commander Fifth Fleet; the first three commands being led by four-star full admirals. The United States First Fleet existed after the Second World War from 1947, but it was redesignated Third Fleet in early 1973. In early 2008, the Navy reactivated the United States Fourth Fleet to control operations in the area controlled by Southern Command, which consists of US assets in and around Central and South America.

Shore establishments


Shore establishments exist to support the mission of the fleet through the use of facilities on land. Among the commands of the shore establishment, as of April 2011, are the Naval Education and Training Command, the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command
Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command
The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command serves as the operational arm of the Naval Oceanography Program. Headquartered at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, COMNAVMETOCCOM is a third echelon command reporting to United States Fleet Forces Command...

, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, the Naval Supply Systems Command
Naval Supply Systems Command
The Naval Supply Systems Command is a command of the United States Navy. Its primary mission is to provide the Navy with quality supplies and services....

, the Naval Air Systems Command
Naval Air Systems Command
The Naval Air Systems Command provides material support for aircraft and airborne weapon systems for the United States Navy. NAVAIR was established in 1966 as the successor to the Navy's Bureau of Naval Weapons . Current Commander, Naval Air Systems Command, is Vice Adm. David Architzel since May...

, the Naval Sea Systems Command
Naval Sea Systems Command
The Naval Sea Systems Command is the largest of the U.S. Navy's five "systems commands," or materiel organizations...

, the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, the Bureau of Naval Personnel, the United States Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...

, the Naval Safety Center, the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center
Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center
The Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at Naval Air Station Fallon located in the city of Fallon in western Nevada is the center of excellence for naval aviation training and tactics development...

, and the United States Naval Observatory
United States Naval Observatory
The United States Naval Observatory is one of the oldest scientific agencies in the United States, with a primary mission to produce Positioning, Navigation, and Timing for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Department of Defense...

. Official Navy websites list the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) as part of the shore establishment, but these two entities effectively sit superior to the other organizations, playing a coordinating role.

United States Marine Corps


In 1834, the Marines came under the Department of the Navy. Historically, the United States Navy has had a unique relationship with the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 (USMC), partly because they both specialize in seaborne operations. Together the Navy and Marine Corps form the Department of the Navy and report to the Secretary of the Navy. However, the USMC is considered to be a distinct, separate service branch with its own uniformed service chief - the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC), a four star general.

The Navy and Marine Corps have a distinct relationship, the USMC depends on the Navy for religious support (i.e. chaplains) and medical support (i.e., dentists, medical doctors, medics known as "Corpsmen" and medical service staff); thus officers and enlisted sailors from the Navy fulfill these roles. When attached to Marine Corps units deployed to an operational environment they generally wear Marine camouflage uniforms, but otherwise they wear Navy dress uniform
Dress uniform
Dress uniform , is the most formal military uniform, typically worn at ceremonies, official receptions, and other special occasions; with order insignias and full size medals...

s unless they opt to conform to USMC grooming standards (appearance).

In the operational environment, as an expeditionary force specializing in amphibious operations, Marines often embark on Navy ships in order to conduct operations from beyond territorial waters. Marine units deploying as part of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) operate under the command of the existing Marine chain of command. Although Marine units routinely operate from amphibious assault ships the relationship has evolved over the years much as the "CAG" (Commander of the Carrier Air Group/Wing) does not work for the carrier Commanding Officer (CO), but coordinates with the ship's CO and staff. Some Marine aviation squadrons, usually fixed-wing assigned to Carrier Air Wings (CVW) train and operate alongside Navy squadrons, flying similar missions and often flying sorties together under the cognizance of the "CAG". Aviation is where the Navy and Marine share the most common ground, since aircrews are guided in their use of aircraft by standard procedures outlined in series of publications known as NATOPS manuals.

United States Coast Guard



Although the Posse Comitatus Act
Posse Comitatus Act
The Posse Comitatus Act is an often misunderstood and misquoted United States federal law passed on June 18, 1878, after the end of Reconstruction. Its intent was to limit the powers of local governments and law enforcement agencies from using federal military personnel to enforce the laws of...

, which prevents federal military personnel from acting in a law enforcement capacity, applies only to the Army and Air Force, Department of Defense rules effectively require the Navy and Marine Corps to act as if Posse Comitatus did apply, preventing them from enforcing Federal law. The United States Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

 fulfills this law enforcement role in naval operations. It provides Law Enforcement Detachments
Law Enforcement Detachments
Law Enforcement Detachments or LEDETs are specialized, deployable maritime law enforcement teams of the United States Coast Guard. First established in 1982, their primary mission is to deploy aboard U.S. and allied naval vessels to conduct and support law enforcement, interdiction, or security...

 (LEDETs) to Navy vessels, where they perform arrests and other law enforcement duties during Navy boarding and interdiction missions. In times of war, or when directed by the President, the Coast Guard operates as a service in the Navy and is subject to the orders of the Secretary of the Navy until it is transferred back to the Department of Homeland Security. At other times, Coast Guard Port Security Unit
Port Security Unit
United States Coast Guard Port Security Units are deployable units organized for sustained force protection operations. They can deploy within 96 hours and establish operations within 24 hours. PSUs conduct OCONUS port security in support of requesting regional Combatant commander. They provide...

s are sent overseas to guard the security of ports and other assets. The Coast Guard also jointly staffs the Navy's Naval Coastal Warfare Groups and Squadrons (the latter of which were known as Harbor Defense Commands until late-2004), which oversee defense efforts in foreign littoral combat and inshore areas. Additionally, Coast Guard and Navy vessels sometimes operate together in search and rescue
Search and rescue
Search and rescue is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, mostly based upon terrain considerations...

 operations.

Personnel


The United States Navy has nearly 500,000 personnel, approximately a quarter of whom are in ready reserve. Of those on active duty, more than eighty percent are enlisted sailors, and around fifteen percent are commissioned officers; the rest are midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...

 and midshipmen of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps
Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps
The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program is a college-based, commissioned officer training program of the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps.-Origins:...

 at over 180 universities around the country and officer candidates at the Navy's Officer Candidate School
Officer Candidate School (U.S. Navy)
The United States Navy's Officer Candidate School, currently located at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, provides training to become a commissioned officer. Attendance is one possible way for civilian college graduates with no military experience to earn a commission as a U.S. Navy officer...

.

Sailors prove they have mastered skills and deserve responsibilities by completing Personnel Qualification Standards (PQS) tasks and examinations. Among the most important is the "warfare qualification", which denotes a journeyman level of capability in Surface Warfare, Aviation Warfare, Naval Aircrew, Special Warfare, Submarine Warfare or Expeditionary Warfare. Many qualifications are denoted on a sailor's uniform with U.S. Navy badges and insignia
Badges of the United States Navy
Insignia and badges of the United States Navy are military "badges" issued by the United States Department of the Navy to naval service members who achieve certain qualifications and accomplishments while serving on both active and reserve duty in the United States Navy...

.

Commissioned officer


Commissioned officers in the Navy have pay grades ranging from O-1 to O-10, with O-10 being the highest; those with paygrades between O-1 through O-4 are considered junior officers and O-5 and O-6 as senior officers. Officers in the O-7 to O-10 range are called flag officers or "the admiralty". Promotion through O-8 is based on performance in an officer's current paygrade, which is recorded in "FITREPS" (fitness reports). Promotions to Vice Admiral (O-9) and Admiral (O-10) are based on assignment to specific positions and subject to U.S. Senate confirmation. Above the rank of Admiral is Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral (U.S.)
Fleet Admiral of the United States Navy, or more commonly referred to as Fleet Admiral , is a five-star flag officer rank, and it is considered to be the highest possible rank attainable in the United States Navy. Fleet Admiral ranks immediately above admiral and is equivalent to General of the...

, which was awarded to only four officers in World War II and is intended to be used only during a declared war. In 1899, a special rank called Admiral of the Navy
Admiral of the Navy
Admiral of the navy is a senior-most rank of a naval service.Some navies use the term admiral of the navy as a title bestowed upon a fleet admiral or other senior naval official...

 was created for Admiral George Dewey
George Dewey
George Dewey was an admiral of the United States Navy. He is best known for his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War...

, a war hero of the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

, with the condition that it would cease to exist upon his death. Commissioned officers originate from the United States Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...

, Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps
Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps
The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program is a college-based, commissioned officer training program of the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps.-Origins:...

 (NROTC), Officer Candidate School
Officer Candidate School
Officer Candidate School or Officer Cadet School are institutions which train civilians and enlisted personnel in order for them to gain a commission as officers in the armed forces of a country....

 (OCS), and a host of other commissioning programs such as the Seaman to Admiral-21 program, the Limited Duty Officer
Limited Duty Officer
A Limited Duty Officer is an officer in the United States Navy or United States Marine Corps who was selected for commissioning based on his/her skill and expertise, and is not required to have a bachelor's degree. They are employed in situations where it is desirable to have an officer with...

 and Chief Warrant Officer
Chief Warrant Officer
Chief warrant officer is a military rank used by the Canadian Forces and the Israel Defence Forces.-Canada:In the Canadian Forces, a chief warrant officer or CWO is the most senior non-commissioned member rank in the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force...

 Selection Programs, the United States Merchant Marine Academy
United States Merchant Marine Academy
The United States Merchant Marine Academy is one of the five United States Service academies...

, or receive direct commissions
Direct commission officer
A direct commission officer is a uniformed officer who has received a commission without the typical prerequisites for achieving a commission, such as a four year service academy, a four year or two year college ROTC program, or one of the officer candidate school or officer training school...

 via Officer Development School (ODS) or from its reserve component, the Direct Commission Officer School (DCO School).

Commissioned officers can generally be divided into line officers and staff corps; line officers can be further split into unrestricted and restricted communities. Unrestricted Line Officer
Unrestricted Line Officer
Unrestricted Line Officers are commissioned Officers of the Line in the United States Navy who are qualified to command at sea the Navy's warfighting combatant units such as warships, submarines, aviation squadrons and SEAL Teams...

s are the warfighting command element and are authorized to command ships, aviation squadrons, and special operations units. Restricted Line Officer
Restricted Line Officer
Restricted Line Officers in the United States Navy and Navy Reserve are line officers who are not eligible for Command at Sea. There are many different types and communities, including Engineering Duty Officers, Aerospace Engineering Duty Officers, Aerospace Maintenance Duty Officers, Naval...

s, on the other hand, concentrate on non-combat related fields, such as engineering and maintenance; they are not qualified to command combat units. Staff Corps officers are specialists in fields that are themselves professional careers and not exclusive to the military, for example: medicine, science, law, and civil engineering.
Commissioned Officer Rank Structure of the United States Navy
Fleet Admiral Admiral
Admiral (United States)
In the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard and the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, admiral is a four-star flag officer rank, with the pay grade of O-10. Admiral ranks above vice admiral and below Fleet Admiral in the Navy; the Coast Guard and the Public Health...

Vice Admiral
Vice admiral (United States)
In the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, and the United States Maritime Service, vice admiral is a three-star flag officer, with the pay grade of...

Rear Admiral Rear Admiral
(lower half)
Special O-10 O-9 O-8 O-7
FADM ADM VADM RADM RDML
Captain Commander
Commander (United States)
In the United States, commander is a military rank that is also sometimes used as a military title, depending on the branch of service. It is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the military, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Naval rank:In the United States...

Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant commander (United States)
Lieutenant commander is a mid-ranking officer rank in the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard, the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps, with the pay grade of O-4 and NATO rank code OF-3...

Lieutenant
Lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

Lieutenant
(junior grade)
Ensign
O-6 O-5 O-4 O-3 O-2 O-1
CAPT CDR LCDR LT LTJG ENS

Chief Warrant Officer


Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) pay grades range from W-2 to the highest rank of W-5. United States Navy CWOs are officers whose role is to provide leadership
Leadership
Leadership has been described as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task". Other in-depth definitions of leadership have also emerged.-Theories:...

 and skills for the most difficult and demanding operations in a particular technical specialty. They occupy a niche that is not as well served by the line officer community, who tend to have a broader focus. CWOs come from the senior non-commissioned officer ranks of the enlisted and receive their commission after completing the Chief Warrant Officer Program. They typically become CWOs in specialties that are most related to their previous enlisted rating. Like Staff Corps officers, CWOs wear special insignia above the rank devices on their shoulder boards and sleeves to indicate their field of expertise.
Commissioned Warrant Officer Rank Structure of the United States Navy
Chief Warrant Officer Five
Warrant Officer (United States)
In the United States military, the rank of warrant officer is rated as an officer above the senior-most enlisted ranks, as well as officer cadets and candidates, but below the officer grade of O-1...

Chief Warrant Officer Four
Warrant Officer (United States)
In the United States military, the rank of warrant officer is rated as an officer above the senior-most enlisted ranks, as well as officer cadets and candidates, but below the officer grade of O-1...

Chief Warrant Officer Three
Warrant Officer (United States)
In the United States military, the rank of warrant officer is rated as an officer above the senior-most enlisted ranks, as well as officer cadets and candidates, but below the officer grade of O-1...

Chief Warrant Officer Two
Warrant Officer (United States)
In the United States military, the rank of warrant officer is rated as an officer above the senior-most enlisted ranks, as well as officer cadets and candidates, but below the officer grade of O-1...

W-5 W-4 W-3 W-2

Enlisted sailors



Enlisted members of the Navy have pay grades from E-1 to E-9, with E-9 being the highest. All enlisted sailors with paygrades of E-4 and higher are considered Petty Officers while those at E-7 and higher are further named Chief Petty Officers. Those who demonstrate superior performance are given an increase in paygrade; the official Navy term is to be advanced. Two notable advancements are from Seaman
Seaman
Seaman is one of the lowest ranks in a Navy. In the Commonwealth it is the lowest rank in the Navy, followed by Able Seaman and Leading Seaman, and followed by the Petty Officer ranks....

 to Petty Officer Third Class
Petty Officer Third Class
U.S. NavyGood conductvariationU.S. NavyPetty officerthird classinsigniaPetty officer third class is the fourth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above seaman and below petty officer second class, and is the lowest rank of non-commissioned officer, equivalent to a corporal in...

 (E-3 to E-4) and from Petty Officer First Class
Petty Officer First Class
Good conductvariation,12 years or moreof good conductPetty officerfirst classinsigniaU.S. Navy &U.S. Coast GuardPetty officer, first class is the sixth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S...

 to Chief Petty Officer
Chief Petty Officer
A chief petty officer is a senior non-commissioned officer in many navies and coast guards.-Canada:"Chief Petty Officer" refers to two ranks in the Canadian Navy...

 (E-6 to E-7). Advancement to Chief Petty Officer is especially significant and is marked by a special induction ceremony.

Enlisted members are said to be "rated", meaning that they possess a rating, or occupational specialty. Members of grades E-1 to E-3 can become "strikers", meaning they have rating designations like Petty Officer (example: a BM3 is a Petty Officer Third Class rated as a Boatswain's Mate; BMSN is a Seaman designated as a Boatswain's Mate striker), but the striker is doing on the job training to become a rated petty officer rather than attending a school to become rated. There are more than 50 ratings covering a broad range of skills and subspecialties. However most sailors in today's navy with grades E-1 through E-6 obtain their rating through its respective "A" school. An "A" school is a rating specific school where sailors are trained as experts in their field. Upon completion of their training they are considered "Rated", regardless of their pay-grade.

For example, SA SMITH, MARY, would be considered a Seaman Apprentice. Prior to her rank of SA a rating would be placed. Therefore, her entire title would be ITSA SMITH, MARY. IT indicating that she is an Information Systems Technician. As for ENFN THOMPSON, JOHN. EN specifying that he is an Engineman and FN as Fireman.
Non-Commissioned Officer and Enlisted Rate Structure of the United States Navy
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
The Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy is a unique non-commissioned rank in the United States Navy, which has a paygrade of E-9. The holder of this rank and post is the most senior enlisted member of the U.S...

Fleet/Force Master Chief Petty Officer
Master Chief Petty Officer
- Master Chief Petty Officer :U.S. Coast GuardMaster ChiefPetty OfficerCap & Collar deviceU.S. Coast GuardMaster ChiefPetty OfficerinsigniaGood conductRating badgeMaster ChiefPetty OfficerCap & Collar Insignia...

Command Master Chief Petty Officer
Command Master Chief Petty Officer
-Background:First referenced in OPNAVINST 1306.2C dated 16 October 1995, the Navy's Command Master Chief Program is a valuable asset which stimulates free-flowing communications and ensures the highest standards of professionalism are upheld at all levels within the chain of command...

Master Chief Petty Officer
Master Chief Petty Officer
- Master Chief Petty Officer :U.S. Coast GuardMaster ChiefPetty OfficerCap & Collar deviceU.S. Coast GuardMaster ChiefPetty OfficerinsigniaGood conductRating badgeMaster ChiefPetty OfficerCap & Collar Insignia...

Senior Chief Petty Officer
Senior Chief Petty Officer
U.S. Coast GuardSenior ChiefPetty Officercollar deviceU.S. Coast GuardSenior ChiefPetty OfficerinsigniaGood conductvariationSenior ChiefPetty OfficerinsigniaSenior ChiefPetty Officercollar device...

Chief Petty Officer
Chief Petty Officer
A chief petty officer is a senior non-commissioned officer in many navies and coast guards.-Canada:"Chief Petty Officer" refers to two ranks in the Canadian Navy...

E-9 E-8 E-7







Petty Officer First Class
Petty Officer First Class
Good conductvariation,12 years or moreof good conductPetty officerfirst classinsigniaU.S. Navy &U.S. Coast GuardPetty officer, first class is the sixth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S...

Petty Officer Second Class
Petty Officer Second Class
Good conductvariation,Petty OfficerSecond Classinsignia&U.S. Coast GuardPetty officer second class is the fifth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S...

Petty Officer Third Class
Petty Officer Third Class
U.S. NavyGood conductvariationU.S. NavyPetty officerthird classinsigniaPetty officer third class is the fourth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above seaman and below petty officer second class, and is the lowest rank of non-commissioned officer, equivalent to a corporal in...

Seaman
Seaman
Seaman is one of the lowest ranks in a Navy. In the Commonwealth it is the lowest rank in the Navy, followed by Able Seaman and Leading Seaman, and followed by the Petty Officer ranks....

Seaman Apprentice
Seaman Apprentice
ConstructionmanvariationFiremanvariationAirmanvariationSeamaninsigniaSeaman apprentice is the second lowest enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above seaman recruit and below seaman; this rank was formerly known as seaman second class.The actual title for an E-2 in the U.S....

Seaman Recruit
Seaman Recruit
Seaman recruit is the lowest enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just below seaman apprentice; this rank was formerly known as seaman third class...

E-6 E-5 E-4 E-3 E-2 E-1
No insignia

Uniforms and appearance


The uniforms of the United States Navy are designed "to combine professionalism and naval heritage with versatility, safety, and comfort". The Navy currently incorporates many different styles that are specific for a variety of uses and occasions. In most cases, distinctions are made to distinguish officers and enlisted men in their uniformed appearance. U.S. Navy uniforms can generally be divided into three categories: dress uniforms, service uniforms, and working uniforms.
  • Dress uniforms are worn during military-related formal occasions, such as ceremonies and other official functions. Many types of dress uniforms are used in the Navy with the full range of formal requirements represented. Service dress is the least formal dress uniform, full dress is one step higher in formality, and mess dress is the most formal dress available.

  • Service uniforms are designed for daily wear and are most often worn in office or classroom-type settings, as well as other occasions in which physical activity is at a minimum. The most visible distinction between officers and enlisted personnel are the color of the service uniform. Only officers and chief petty officers are authorized to wear Service Khaki or Service White; all other personnel must wear the Navy Service Uniform (which will eventually replace Winter Blue and Summer White).

  • Working uniforms prioritize comfort and safety first and thus are the most utilitarian of the Navy uniforms. They are intended for use in underway ships and in occasions that involve dirty, physical labor. Many working uniforms are variations of the service uniforms except with less formal requirements. This category includes Navy coveralls, which are authorized to be worn by members of all ranks.


Recently, the Navy completed a project named "Task Force Uniform" to streamline Navy uniforms. Among the changes are that enlisted personnel from Seaman Recruit
Seaman Recruit
Seaman recruit is the lowest enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just below seaman apprentice; this rank was formerly known as seaman third class...

 to Petty Officer First Class
Petty Officer First Class
Good conductvariation,12 years or moreof good conductPetty officerfirst classinsigniaU.S. Navy &U.S. Coast GuardPetty officer, first class is the sixth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S...

 (E1–E6) will have one year-round service uniform instead of winter blues and summer whites. All personnel from Seaman Recruit to Admiral will also have new working uniforms dubbed Navy Working Uniform (NWU) to replace the wash khakis, coveralls, utilities, and aviation working greens currently in use. The uniform is a digital patterned camouflage in predominantly haze gray and blue hues.

Grooming
Personal grooming
Personal grooming is the art of cleaning, grooming, and maintaining parts of the body. It is a species-typical behavior that is controlled by neural circuits in the brain.- In humans :...

 for both male and female sailors is regulated to a high degree, with exact standards in regards to hair, facial hair
Facial hair
Facial hair is a secondary sex characteristic of human males. Men often start developing facial hair in the later years of puberty or adolescence, approximately between 17–20 years of age, and most do not finish developing a fully adult beard until their early 20s or even later...

, use of cosmetics, and jewelry. New male recruits are given the military crew cut
Crew cut
A crew cut is a type of haircut in which the hair on the top of the head is cut relatively short, graduated in length from the longest hair at the front hairline to the shortest at the back of the crown. The hair on the sides and back of the head is usually tapered short, semi-short or medium. A...

 and are prohibited from having hair longer than four inches (102 mm) while in the service. Men are required to be clean shaven at all times, although mustaches are allowed. Women do not have a hair length regulation, however hair cannot fall past the bottom edge of the uniform collar and the style of hair is strictly controlled. Multicolored hair, body piercing, and tattoos on the head, neck, and hands are banned for both sexes.

Bases



The size, complexity, and international presence of the United States Navy require a large number of navy installations to support its operations. While the majority of bases are located inside the United States itself, the Navy maintains a significant number of facilities abroad, either in U.S.-controlled territories or in foreign countries under a Status of Forces Agreement
Status of Forces Agreement
A status of forces agreement is an agreement between a host country and a foreign nation stationing forces in that country. SOFAs are often included, along with other types of military agreements, as part of a comprehensive security arrangement...

 (SOFA).

Eastern United States


The second largest concentration of installations is in Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads is the name for both a body of water and the Norfolk–Virginia Beach metropolitan area which surrounds it in southeastern Virginia, United States...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, where the Navy occupies over 36,000 acres (146 km²) of land. Located in Hampton Roads are NS Norfolk, homeport of the Atlantic Fleet, NAS Oceana, a Master Jet Base, Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek
Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek
The Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek is the major operating base for the Amphibious Forces in the United States Navy's Atlantic Fleet. The base comprises four locations in three states, including almost 12,000 acres of real estate. Its Little Creek location in Virginia Beach, Virginia totals...

, as well as a number of Navy and commercial shipyards that service Navy vessels. The state of Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 is the location of three major bases, Naval Station Mayport
Naval Station Mayport
Naval Station Mayport is a major United States Navy base in Jacksonville, Florida. It contains a military airfield with one asphalt paved runway measuring 8,001 x 200 ft. ....

, the Navy's fourth largest, in Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Florida in terms of both population and land area, and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. It is the county seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968...

, Naval Air Station Jacksonville
Naval Air Station Jacksonville
Naval Air Station Jacksonville or NAS Jacksonville is a military airport located four miles south of the central business district of Jacksonville...

, a Master Air Anti-submarine Warfare base, and Naval Air Station Pensacola
Naval Air Station Pensacola
Naval Air Station Pensacola or NAS Pensacola , "The Cradle of Naval Aviation", is a United States Navy base located next to Warrington, Florida, a community southwest of the Pensacola city limits...

, home of the Naval Education and Training Command, the Naval Air Technical Training Center that provides specialty training for enlisted aviation personnel, and the primary flight training base for Navy and Marine Corps Naval Flight Officer
Naval Flight Officer
A Naval Flight Officer is an aeronautically designated commissioned officer in the United States Navy or United States Marine Corps that specializes in airborne weapons and sensor systems. NFOs are not pilots per se, but they may perform many "co-pilot" functions, depending on the type of aircraft...

s and enlisted Naval Aircrewmen. There is also Naval Support Activity in Panama City Beach, Florida which is home to the Navy Diving and Salvage Training Center. The main U.S. Navy submarine base
Submarine base
A submarine base is a military base that shelters submarines and their personnel.Examples of present-day submarine bases include HMNB Clyde, Île Longue , Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Naval Submarine Base New London, and Rybachiy Nuclear Submarine Base .The Israeli navy bases its growing submarine...

s on the east coast are located in Groton
Groton, Connecticut
Groton is a town located on the Thames River in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 39,907 at the 2000 census....

, Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

 and Kings Bay, Georgia
Kings Bay, Georgia
Kings Bay is a small unincorporated community located at 30.804 N, 81.560 W in Camden County on the southern coast of the U.S. state of Georgia....

. There are also naval bases in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth is a city in Rockingham County, New Hampshire in the United States. It is the largest city but only the fourth-largest community in the county, with a population of 21,233 at the 2010 census...

 and Brunswick, Maine
Brunswick, Maine
Brunswick is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 20,278 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford metropolitan area. Brunswick is home to Bowdoin College, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, , and the...

. Naval Station Great Lakes
Naval Station Great Lakes
Naval Station Great Lakes is the home of the United States Navy's only boot camp, located near the city of North Chicago, Illinois, in Lake County. Important tenant commands include the Recruit Training Command, Training Support Center and Navy Recruiting District Chicago...

, north of Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 is the home of the navy's boot camp for enlisted sailors.

Western United States and Hawaii


The Navy's largest complex is China Lake
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake
- About : is part of under Commander, Navy Installation Command and is located in the Western Mojave Desert region of California, approximately north of Los Angeles. Occupying three counties – Kern, San Bernardino and Inyo – the installation’s closest neighbors are the cities of Ridgecrest,...

, California, which covers 1.1 million acres (4,500 km²) of land, or approximately 1/3 of the United States Navy's total land holdings.

Naval Base San Diego, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 is principal home to the Pacific Fleet (although the headquarters
Headquarters
Headquarters denotes the location where most, if not all, of the important functions of an organization are coordinated. In the United States, the corporate headquarters represents the entity at the center or the top of a corporation taking full responsibility managing all business activities...

 is located in Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

). NAS North Island is located on the north side of Coronado
Coronado, California
Coronado, also known as Coronado Island, is an affluent resort city located in San Diego County, California, 5.2 miles from downtown San Diego. Its population was 24,697 at the 2010 census, up from 24,100 at the 2000 census. U.S. News and World Report lists Coronado as one of the most expensive...

, and is home to Headquarters for Naval Air Forces and Naval Air Force Pacific, the bulk of the Pacific Fleet's helicopter squadrons, and part of the West Coast aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

 fleet. The Naval Special Warfare Center
Naval Special Warfare Center
The United States Phil Bucklew Naval Special Warfare Center is a component command of the Naval Special Warfare Command and is sited within Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, California....

 is the primary training center for SEAL
Seal
Seal commonly refers to:* Pinniped, a diverse group of semi-aquatic marine mammals many of which are commonly called seals* Seal , a device which helps prevent leakage, contain pressure, or exclude contamination where two systems join...

s, and is also located on Coronado. The other major collection of naval bases on the west coast is in Puget Sound
Puget Sound
Puget Sound is a sound in the U.S. state of Washington. It is a complex estuarine system of interconnected marine waterways and basins, with one major and one minor connection to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean — Admiralty Inlet being the major connection and...

, Washington. Among them, Naval Station Everett
Naval Station Everett
Naval Station Everett is the United States Navy's most modern facility. It is located next to the marina area of the city of Everett, WA, 25 miles north of Seattle. The Navy Support Complex is located between Marysville and Arlington, 11 miles north of the naval station. Naval Station , Everett is...

 is one of the newer bases and the Navy states that it is its most modern facility. NAS Fallon, Nevada serves as the primary training ground for Navy Strike aircrews, and is home to the Naval Strike Air Warfare Center. Master Jet Bases are also located at NAS Lemoore, California and NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, while the carrier-based airborne early warning aircraft community and major air test activities are located at NAS Point Mugu, California. The naval presence in Hawaii is centered on Pearl Harbor Naval Base
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

, which hosts the headquarters of the Pacific Fleet and many of its subordinate commands.

United States territories


Guam, an island strategically located in the Western Pacific Ocean, maintains a sizable U.S. Navy presence, including Naval Base Guam. The westernmost U.S. territory, it contains a natural deep water harbor capable of harboring even aircraft carriers in emergencies. Its naval air station
Naval Air Station
A Naval Air Station is a military airbase, and consists of a permanent land-based operations locations for the military aviation division of the relevant branch of their Navy...

 was deactivated in 1995 and its flight activities transferred to nearby Andersen Air Force Base
Andersen Air Force Base
Andersen Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located approximately northeast of Yigo in the United States territory of Guam....

. Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 in the Caribbean formerly housed Roosevelt Roads Naval Station
Roosevelt Roads Naval Station
Roosevelt Roads Naval Station is a former United States military air base in the town of Ceiba, Puerto Rico. The site is run today as José Aponte de la Torre Airport, a public use airport.-History:...

, which was shut down in 2004 shortly after the controversial closure of the live ordnance training area on nearby Vieques Island
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Vieques , in full Isla de Vieques, is an island–municipality of Puerto Rico in the northeastern Caribbean, part of an island grouping sometimes known as the Spanish Virgin Islands...

.

Foreign countries


The largest overseas base is in Yokosuka
United States Fleet Activities Yokosuka
U.S. Fleet Activities Yokosuka, or Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka is a United States Navy base, in Yokosuka, Japan. Its mission is to maintain and operate base facilities for the logistic, recreational, administrative support and service of the U.S. Naval Forces Japan, U.S. 7th Fleet and...

, Japan, which serves as the homeport for the Navy's largest forward-deployed fleet and is a significant base of operations in the Western Pacific. European operations revolve around facilities in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 (Sigonella
Naval Air Station Sigonella
Naval Air Station Sigonella , "The Hub of the Med", is a U.S. Navy installation at NATO Base Sigonella and an Italian Air Force base in Sicily, Italy. Although a tenant of the Italian Air Force, NAS Sigonella acts as landlord to more than 40 other U.S. commands and activities. It is located west...

 and Naples
Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Naples, Italy
The Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Naples provides secure, reliable and timely voice, video and data services to the U.S. Navy joint, allied and coalition customers. It has two manned sites: C4I at Capodichino and SATCOM at Lago Patria...

), Spain
Naval Station Rota, Spain
Naval Station Rota is a Spanish naval base commanded by a Spanish Vice Admiral and fully funded by the United States of America. Located in Rota, Spain, and near the Spanish town of El Puerto de Santa María, NavSta Rota is the largest American military community in Spain and houses US Navy...

 and Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 with Naples as the homeport for the Sixth Fleet and CNRE Command Naval Region Europe, which are based in Gaeta
Gaeta
Gaeta is a city and comune in the province of Latina, in Lazio, central Italy. Set on a promontory stretching towards the Gulf of Gaeta, it is 120 km from Rome and 80 km from Naples....

. In the Middle East, naval facilities are located almost exclusively in countries bordering the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, with Manama, Bahrain serving as the headquarters of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command
United States Naval Forces Central Command is the United States Navy element of United States Central Command . Its area of responsibility includes the Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, and Arabian Sea...

 and U.S. Fifth Fleet. Guantánamo Bay
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is located on of land and water at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba which the United States leased for use as a coaling station following the Cuban-American Treaty of 1903. The base is located on the shore of Guantánamo Bay at the southeastern end of Cuba. It is the oldest overseas...

 in Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 is the oldest overseas facility and has become known in recent years as the location of a detention camp for suspected al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

 operatives.

Equipment



The Navy operates 290 ships, 3,700 aircraft, 50,000 non-combat vehicles and owns 75,200 buildings on 3300000 acres (13,354.6 km²). The Navy plans to slash the dependence on fossil fuel
Fossil fuel
Fossil fuels are fuels formed by natural processes such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years...

s.

Ships


The names of commissioned ships of the U.S. Navy are prefixed with the letters "USS", designating "United States Ship". Non-commissioned, civilian-manned vessels of the Navy have names that begin with "USNS", standing for "United States Naval Ship" The names of ships are officially selected by the Secretary of the Navy
United States Secretary of the Navy
The Secretary of the Navy of the United States of America is the head of the Department of the Navy, a component organization of the Department of Defense...

, often to honor important people or places. Additionally, each ship is given a letter-based hull classification symbol
Hull classification symbol
The United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, and United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration use hull classification symbols to identify their ship types and each individual ship within each type...

 (for example, CVN or DDG) to indicate the vessel's type and number. All ships in the Navy inventory are placed in the Naval Vessel Register
Naval Vessel Register
The Naval Vessel Register is the official inventory of ships and service craft in custody of or titled by the United States Navy. It contains information on ships and service craft that make up the official inventory of the Navy from the time a vessel is authorized through its life cycle and...

, which is part of "the Navy List" (required by article 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea). The Register tracks data such as the current status of a ship, the date of its commissioning, and the date of its decommissioning. Vessels that are removed from the register prior to disposal are said to be stricken from the register. The Navy also maintains a reserve fleet
United States Navy reserve fleets
The United States Navy maintains a number of its ships as part of a reserve fleet, often called the "Mothball Fleet". While the details of the activity have changed several times, the basics are constant: keep the ships afloat and sufficiently working as to be reactivated quickly in an...

 of inactive vessels that are maintained for reactivation in times of need.

The U.S. Navy was one of the first to install nuclear reactor
Nuclear reactor
A nuclear reactor is a device to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Most commonly they are used for generating electricity and for the propulsion of ships. Usually heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid , which runs through turbines that power either ship's...

s aboard naval vessels; today, nuclear energy powers all of U.S. active aircraft carriers and submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

s. In the case of the Nimitz-class
Nimitz class aircraft carrier
The Nimitz-class supercarriers are a class of ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in service with the United States Navy. With an overall length of and full-load displacements of over 100,000 long tons, they are the largest capital ships in the world...

 carrier, two naval reactors
United States Naval reactor
United States Naval reactor refers to nuclear reactors used by the United States Navy aboard certain ships to produce power for propulsion, electric power, catapulting airplanes in aircraft carriers, and a few more minor uses. Such Naval nuclear reactors have a complete power plant associated with...

 give the ship almost unlimited range and provide enough electrical energy to power a city of 100,000 people. The U.S. Navy previously operated nuclear-powered cruisers and destroyers, but all have been decommissioned.

The U.S. Navy has identified a need for 313 combat ships, but under the current plans will only be able to afford 243 to 232.

Aircraft carriers


The Navy has established a minimum requirement for 11 aircraft carriers, but will drop to 10 when the Enterprise retires before the Gerald R. Ford is ready for service. Former defense Secretary Robert Gates
Robert Gates
Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....

 has questioned this need.

A carrier is typically deployed along with a host of additional vessels, forming a carrier strike group
Carrier Strike Group
A carrier strike group is an operational formation of the United States Navy. It is composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, an aircraft carrier, at least one cruiser, a destroyer squadron of at least two destroyers and/or frigates, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft...

. The supporting ships, which usually include three or four Aegis
Aegis combat system
The Aegis Combat System is an integrated naval weapons system developed by the Missile and Surface Radar Division of RCA, and now produced by Lockheed Martin...

-equipped cruisers and destroyers, a frigate, and two attack submarines, are tasked with protecting the carrier from air, missile, sea, and undersea threats as well as providing additional strike capabilities themselves. Ready logistics support for the group is provided by a combined ammunition, oiler, and supply ship.
  • Enterprise class
    USS Enterprise (CVN-65)
    USS Enterprise , formerly CVA-65, is the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the eighth US naval vessel to bear the name. Like her predecessor of World War II fame, she is nicknamed the "Big E". At , she is the longest naval vessel in the world...

     (1 in commission)
  • Nimitz class
    Nimitz class aircraft carrier
    The Nimitz-class supercarriers are a class of ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in service with the United States Navy. With an overall length of and full-load displacements of over 100,000 long tons, they are the largest capital ships in the world...

     (10 in commission)
  • Gerald R. Ford class (1 under construction, at least 2 more planned)

Amphibious warfare vessels


Amphibious assault ship
Amphibious assault ship
An amphibious assault ship is a type of amphibious warfare ship employed to land and support ground forces on enemy territory by an amphibious assault...

s are the centerpieces of US amphibious warfare and fulfill the same power projection role as aircraft carriers except that their striking force comprises land forces instead of aircraft. They deliver, command, coordinate, and fully support all elements of a 2200-strong Marine Expeditionary Unit
Marine Expeditionary Unit
A Marine expeditionary unit , formerly called Marine amphibious unit , is the smallest Marine air-ground task force in the United States Fleet Marine Force...

 in an amphibious assault using both air and amphibious vehicles. Resembling small aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships are capable of V/STOL
V/STOL
Vertical and/or short take-off and landing is a term used to describe aircraft that are able to take-off or land vertically or on short runways. Vertical takeoff and landing describes craft which do not require runways at all...

, STOVL
STOVL
STOVL is an acronym for short take off and vertical landing.This is the ability of some aircraft to take off from a short runway or take off vertically if it does not have a very heavy payload and land vertically...

, VTOL
VTOL
A vertical take-off and landing aircraft is one that can hover, take off and land vertically. This classification includes fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters and other aircraft with powered rotors, such as cyclogyros/cyclocopters and tiltrotors...

, tiltrotor, and rotary wing aircraft operations. They also contain a well deck
Well deck
A well deck or well dock is a hangar-like deck located at the waterline in the stern of some amphibious warfare ships. By taking on water the ship can lower its stern, flooding the well deck and allowing boats and amphibious landing craft to dock within the ship. This facilitates moving cargo...

 to support the use of Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) and other amphibious assault watercraft. Recently, amphibious assault ships have begun to be deployed as the core of an expeditionary strike group
Expeditionary Strike Group
The Expeditionary Strike Group, or ESG, is a concept introduced in the U.S. military in the early 1990s, based on the Naval Expeditionary Task Force. The U.S. Navy fields 12 Expeditionary Strike Groups and 11 Carrier Strike Groups, in addition to surface action groups...

, which usually consists of an additional amphibious transport dock and dock landing ship for amphibious warfare and an Aegis-equipped cruiser and destroyer, frigate, and attack submarine for group defense. Amphibious assault ships are typically named after World War II aircraft carriers.
  • Tarawa class
    Tarawa class amphibious assault ship
    The Tarawa class is a ship class of amphibious assault ships operated by the United States Navy . Five ships were built by Ingalls Shipbuilding between 1971 and 1980; another four ships were planned, but later cancelled...

     (1 in commission, 4 decommissioned)
  • Wasp class
    Wasp class amphibious assault ship
    The Wasp class is a class of Landing Helicopter Dock amphibious assault ships operated by the United States Navy. Based on the Tarawa class, with modifications to operate more advanced aircraft and landing craft, the Wasp class is capable of transporting almost the full strength of a United States...

     (8 in commission)
  • America class (1 under construction, at least 3 more planned)


Amphibious transport dock
Amphibious transport dock
An amphibious transport dock, also called a landing platform/dock , is an amphibious warfare ship, a warship that embarks, transports, and lands elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions. Several navies currently operate this kind of ship...

s are warships that embark, transport, and land Marines, supplies, and equipment in a supporting role during amphibious warfare missions. With a landing platform, amphibious transport docks also have the capability to serve as secondary aviation support for an expeditionary group. All amphibious transport docks can operate helicopters, LCACs, and other conventional amphibious vehicles while the newer San Antonio class of ships has been explicitly designed to operate all three elements of the Marines' "mobility triad": Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle
Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle
The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle is an amphibious assault vehicle that was being developed for the U.S. Marine Corps. It is launched at sea, from an amphibious assault ship beyond the horizon, able to transport a full Marine rifle squad to shore...

s (EFVs), the V-22 Osprey
V-22 Osprey
The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, military, tiltrotor aircraft with both a vertical takeoff and landing , and short takeoff and landing capability...

 tiltrotor aircraft, and the previously mentioned LCACs. Amphibious transport docks are named for cities, except for , named for Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is a U.S. National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Montezuma County, Colorado, United States. It was created in 1906 to protect some of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the world...

 in Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

, and two of the three ships named in memory of the September 11, 2001 attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

: , for the state of New York, and for Somerset County, Pennsylvania
Somerset County, Pennsylvania
Somerset County is a county located in the state of Pennsylvania. As of 2010, the population was 77,742. Somerset County was created on April 17, 1795, from part of Bedford County and named for Somerset, United Kingdom. Its county seat is Somerset. It is part of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania,...

.

  • Austin class
    Austin class amphibious transport dock
    The Austin class of amphibious transport dock followed theRaleigh class and was followed by the San Antonio classes. Note that some sources consider Cleveland and Trenton ships to be a part of the Austin class, but the Naval Vessel Registry lists them as a separate class.- Ships :-Cleveland...

     (2 in commission, 10 decommissioned)
  • San Antonio class
    San Antonio class amphibious transport dock
    The San Antonio class is the United States Navy's new primary class of amphibious transport dock in the beginning of the 21st century...

     (5 in commission, 4 under construction, 1 more planned)


The dock landing ship
Dock landing ship
A Dock landing ship or Landing ship is a form of amphibious warship designed to support amphibious operations. These amphibious assault ships transport and launch amphibious craft and vehicles with their crews and embarked personnel...

 is a medium amphibious transport that is designed specifically to support and operate Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs), though it is able to operate other amphibious assault vehicles in the United States inventory as well. Dock landing ships are normally deployed as a component of an expeditionary strike group's amphibious assault contingent, operating as a secondary launch platform for LCACs. All dock landing ships are named after locations in the United States.
  • Whidbey Island class
    Whidbey Island class dock landing ship
    The Whidbey Island class dock landing ship is a dock landing ship of the United States Navy. Introduced to fleet service in 1985, this class of ship features a massive well deck for the transport of four LCAC hovercraft for landing Marines....

     (8 in commission)
  • Harpers Ferry class
    Harpers Ferry class dock landing ship
    The Harpers Ferry class of the United States Navy is a class of dock landing ships completed in the early 1990s. Modified from the Whidbey Island class, it loses landing craft capacity for more cargo space, making it closer to an amphibious transport dock type, but was not designated as such. ...

     (4 in commission)

Surface vessels


Cruiser
Cruiser
A cruiser is a type of warship. The term has been in use for several hundreds of years, and has had different meanings throughout this period...

s are large surface combat vessels that conduct anti-air/anti-missile warfare, surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and strike operations independently or as members of a larger task force. Modern guided missile cruisers were developed out of a need to counter the anti-ship missile threat facing the United States Navy. This led to the development of the AN/SPY-1
AN/SPY-1
The AN/SPY-1 is a US naval radar system manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The array is a passive electronically scanned system and is a key component of the Aegis Combat System. The system is computer controlled, using four complementary antennas to provide 360 degree coverage...

 phased array radar and the Standard missile
RIM-67 Standard
The RIM-67 Standard ER is an extended range surface-to-air missile and anti ship missile originally developed for the United States Navy...

 with the Aegis combat system
Aegis combat system
The Aegis Combat System is an integrated naval weapons system developed by the Missile and Surface Radar Division of RCA, and now produced by Lockheed Martin...

 coordinating the two. Ticonderoga-class cruisers became the first to equip Aegis and were put to use primarily as anti-air and anti-missile defense in a battle force protection role. Later developments of vertical launch systems and the Tomahawk missile
BGM-109 Tomahawk
The Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile. Introduced by General Dynamics in the 1970s, it was designed as a medium- to long-range, low-altitude missile that could be launched from a surface platform. It has been improved several times and, by way of corporate divestitures...

 gave cruisers additional long-range land and sea strike capability, making them capable of both offensive and defensive battle operations. All cruisers since CG-47 have been named for famous battles with as the only exception. Previously, cruisers were either named for cities (until CG-12), former important navy figures (CG-15 to CG-35), or states (CGN-36 to CGN-41).
  • Ticonderoga class
    Ticonderoga class cruiser
    The Ticonderoga class of missile cruisers is a class of warships in the United States Navy, first ordered and authorized in FY 1978. The class uses phased-array radar and was originally planned as a class of destroyers...

     (22 in commission, 5 decommissioned)


Destroyers are multi-mission medium surface ships capable of sustained performance in anti-air, anti-submarine, anti-ship, and offensive strike operations. Like cruisers, the guided missile destroyers of the Navy are primarily focused on surface strikes using Tomahawk missiles
BGM-109 Tomahawk
The Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile. Introduced by General Dynamics in the 1970s, it was designed as a medium- to long-range, low-altitude missile that could be launched from a surface platform. It has been improved several times and, by way of corporate divestitures...

 and fleet defense through Aegis and the Standard missile
RIM-67 Standard
The RIM-67 Standard ER is an extended range surface-to-air missile and anti ship missile originally developed for the United States Navy...

. Destroyers additionally specialize in anti-submarine warfare and are equipped with VLA rockets
ASROC
ASROC is an all-weather, all sea-conditions anti-submarine missile system. Developed by the United States Navy in the 1950s, it was deployed in the 1960s, updated in the 1990s, and eventually installed on over 200 USN surface ships, specifically cruisers, destroyers, and frigates...

 and LAMPS Mk III Sea Hawk helicopters to deal with underwater threats. When deployed with a carrier strike group or expeditionary strike group, destroyers and their fellow Aegis-equipped cruisers are primarily tasked with defending the fleet while providing secondary strike capabilities. Destroyers have been named for important navy personnel and heroes since the .
  • Arleigh Burke class
    Arleigh Burke class destroyer
    The Arleigh Burke class of guided missile destroyers is the United States Navy's first class of destroyer built around the Aegis combat system and the SPY-1D multi-function phased array radar. The class is named for Admiral Arleigh "31-Knot" Burke, the most famous American destroyer officer of...

     (60 in commission, one awaiting commissioning, one under construction, at least three more planned)


Modern U.S. frigate
Frigate
A frigate is any of several types of warship, the term having been used for ships of various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.In the 17th century, the term was used for any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being "frigate-built"...

s mainly perform anti-submarine warfare for carrier strike groups and amphibious expeditionary groups and provide armed escort for supply convoys and merchant shipping. They are designed to protect friendly ships against hostile submarines in low to medium threat environments, using torpedoes and LAMPS helicopters. Independently, frigates are able to conduct counterdrug missions and other maritime interception operations. The U.S. Navy expects to retire and replace its current class of frigates by 2020 as the Littoral Combat Ships are introduced into operation. As in the case of destroyers, frigates are named after naval heroes.
  • Oliver Hazard Perry class
    Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate
    The Oliver Hazard Perry class is a class of frigates named after the American Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of the naval Battle of Lake Erie...

     (19 in commission, 8 in active reserve, 24 decommissioned)

Submarines



The primary missions of submarines in the U.S. Navy are peacetime engagement, surveillance and intelligence, special operations, precision strikes, battlegroup operations, and control of the seas. The U.S. Navy operates two types: ballistic submarines and attack submarines. Ballistic submarines have only one mission: to carry and launch the nuclear Trident missile
Trident missile
The Trident missile is a submarine-launched ballistic missile equipped with multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles . The Fleet Ballistic Missile is armed with nuclear warheads and is launched from nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines . Trident missiles are carried by fourteen...

. Attack submarines have several tactical missions, including sinking ships and other subs, launching cruise missile
Cruise missile
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...

s, gathering intelligence, and assisting in special operations. Earlier attack submarines (such as the Los Angeles class
Los Angeles class submarine
The Los Angeles class, sometimes called the LA class or the 688 class, is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines that forms the backbone of the United States submarine fleet. With 43 submarines on active duty and 19 retired, the Los Angeles class is the most numerous nuclear powered...

) are typically named for cities while Ohio class
Ohio class submarine
The Ohio class is a class of nuclear-powered submarines used by the United States Navy. The United States has 18 Ohio-class submarines:...

 and later attack submarines are typically named for states. Attack submarines prior to the Los Angeles class were named for "denizens of the deep", while pre-Ohio class ballistic missile submarines were named for "famous Americans" (including foreigners with notable connections to the United States).
  • Ohio class
    Ohio class submarine
    The Ohio class is a class of nuclear-powered submarines used by the United States Navy. The United States has 18 Ohio-class submarines:...

     ballistic missile submarines (18 in commission, with 4 converted into guided missile submarines)
  • Los Angeles class
    Los Angeles class submarine
    The Los Angeles class, sometimes called the LA class or the 688 class, is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines that forms the backbone of the United States submarine fleet. With 43 submarines on active duty and 19 retired, the Los Angeles class is the most numerous nuclear powered...

     attack submarines (43 in commission, 2 in reserve, 17 decommissioned)
  • Seawolf class
    Seawolf class submarine
    The Seawolf class is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines in service with the United States Navy. The class was the intended successor to the , ordered at the end of the Cold War in 1989. At one time, an intended fleet of 29 submarines was to be built over a ten-year period, later...

     attack submarines (3 in commission)
  • Virginia class
    Virginia class submarine
    The Virginia class is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines in service with the United States Navy. The submarines are designed for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions...

     attack submarines (7 in commission, 3 under construction, 4 ordered, at least 4 more planned)

Aircraft



Carrier-based aircraft are able to strike air, sea, and land targets far from a carrier strike group while protecting friendly forces from enemy aircraft, ships, and submarines. In peacetime, aircraft's ability to project the threat of sustained attack from a mobile platform on the seas gives United States leaders significant diplomatic and crisis-management options. Aircraft additionally provide logistics
Logistics
Logistics is the management of the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of destination in order to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. Logistics involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling, and packaging, and...

 support to maintain the Navy's readiness and, through helicopters, supply platforms with which to conduct search and rescue
Search and rescue
Search and rescue is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, mostly based upon terrain considerations...

, special operations
Special operations
Special operations are military operations that are considered "special" .Special operations are typically performed independently or in conjunction with conventional military operations. The primary goal is to achieve a political or military objective where a conventional force requirement does...

, anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of naval warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track and deter, damage or destroy enemy submarines....

 (ASW), and anti-surface warfare
Anti-Surface Warfare
Anti-surface warfare is a type of naval warfare directed against surface combatants. More generally, it is any weapons, sensors, or operations intended to attack or limit the effectiveness of an adversary's surface ships....

 (ASuW).

The U.S. Navy began to research the use of aircraft at sea in the 1910s, with Lt Theodore G. “Spuds” Ellyson becoming the first Naval aviator on 28 January 1911, and commissioned its first aircraft carrier, USS Langley
USS Langley (CV-1)
USS Langley was the United States Navy's first aircraft carrier, converted in 1920 from the collier USS Jupiter , and also the U.S. Navy's first electrically propelled ship...

, in 1922. United States naval aviation fully came of age in World War II, when it became clear following the Attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

, the Battle of the Coral Sea
Battle of the Coral Sea
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval and air forces from the United States and Australia. The battle was the first fleet action in which aircraft carriers engaged...

, and the Battle of Midway
Battle of Midway
The Battle of Midway is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, approximately one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea and six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy decisively defeated...

 that aircraft carriers and the planes that they carried had replaced the battleship as the greatest weapon on the seas. Leading Navy aircraft in World War II included the Grumman F4F Wildcat, the Grumman F6F Hellcat, the Chance Vought F4U Corsair, the Douglas SBD Dauntless, and the Grumman TBF Avenger. Navy aircraft also played a significant role in conflicts during the following Cold War years, with the F-4 Phantom II
F-4 Phantom II
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. It first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. Proving highly adaptable,...

 and the F-14 Tomcat
F-14 Tomcat
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental program following the collapse of the F-111B project...

 becoming military icons of the era. The Navy's current primary fighter and attack airplanes are the multi-mission F/A-18C/D Hornet
F/A-18 Hornet
The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic, all-weather carrier-capable multirole fighter jet, designed to dogfight and attack ground targets . Designed by McDonnell Douglas and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter's YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and...

 and its newer cousin, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a twin-engine carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft. The F/A-18E single-seat variant and F/A-18F tandem-seat variant are larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet. The Super Hornet has an internal 20 mm gun and can carry air-to-air...

. The F-35 Lightning II
F-35 Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability...

 is presently under development and is scheduled to replace the C and D versions of the Hornet beginning in 2012.

The Aircraft Investment Plan sees Naval aviation growing from 30 percent of current aviation forces to half of all procurement funding over the next three decades.

Weapons


Current U.S. Navy shipboard weapons systems are almost entirely focused on missiles, both as a weapon and as a threat. In an offensive role, missiles are intended to strike targets at long distances with accuracy and precision. Because they are unmanned weapons, missiles allow for attacks on heavily defended targets without risk to human pilots. Land strikes are the domain of the BGM-109 Tomahawk
BGM-109 Tomahawk
The Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile. Introduced by General Dynamics in the 1970s, it was designed as a medium- to long-range, low-altitude missile that could be launched from a surface platform. It has been improved several times and, by way of corporate divestitures...

, which was first deployed in the 1980s and is continually being updated to increase its capabilities. For anti-ship strikes, the Navy's dedicated missile is the Harpoon missile. To defend against enemy missile attack, the Navy operates a number of systems that are all coordinated by the Aegis combat system. Medium-long range defense is provided by the Standard Missile 2
RIM-67 Standard
The RIM-67 Standard ER is an extended range surface-to-air missile and anti ship missile originally developed for the United States Navy...

, which has been deployed since the 1980s. The Standard missile doubles as the primary shipboard anti-aircraft weapon and is undergoing development for use in theater ballistic missile defense. Short range defense against missiles is provided by the Phalanx CIWS
Phalanx CIWS
The Phalanx CIWS is an anti-ship missile defense system. It is a close-in weapon system and was designed and manufactured by the General Dynamics Corporation, Pomona Division...

 and the more recently developed RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile
ESSM
The RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile is a development of the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile used to protect ships from attacking missiles and aircraft. ESSM is designed to counter supersonic maneuvering anti-ship missiles...

. In addition to missiles, the Navy employs Mark 46
Mark 46 torpedo
Designed to attack high-performance submarines, the Mark 46 torpedo is the backbone of the U.S. Navy's lightweight ASW torpedo inventory, and is the current NATO standard. These aerial torpedoes, such as the Mark 46 Mod 5, are expected to remain in service until the year 2015...

 and Mark 50 torpedo
Mark 50 torpedo
The Mark 50 torpedo is a U.S. Navy advanced lightweight torpedo for use against fast, deep-diving submarines. The Mk-50 can be launched from all anti-submarine aircraft and from torpedo tubes aboard surface combatant ships. The Mk-50 was intended to replace the Mk-46 as the fleet's lightweight...

es and various types of naval mines.
Naval fixed-wing aircraft employ much of the same weapons as the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 for both air-to-air and air-to-surface combat. Air engagements are handled by the heat-seeking Sidewinder
AIM-9 Sidewinder
The AIM-9 Sidewinder is a heat-seeking, short-range, air-to-air missile carried mostly by fighter aircraft and recently, certain gunship helicopters. The missile entered service with United States Air Force in the early 1950s, and variants and upgrades remain in active service with many air forces...

 and the radar guided AMRAAM
AIM-120 AMRAAM
The AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM , is a modern beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile capable of all-weather day-and-night operations. Designed with the same form-factor as the previous generation of semi-active guided Sparrow missiles, it is a fire-and-forget...

 missiles along with the M61 Vulcan
M61 Vulcan
The M61 Vulcan is a hydraulically or pneumatically driven, six-barreled, air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling-style rotary cannon which fires 20 mm rounds at an extremely high rate. The M61 and its derivatives have been the principal cannon armament of United States military fixed-wing aircraft...

 cannon for close range dogfighting. For surface strikes, Navy aircraft utilize a combination of missiles, smart bombs, and dumb bombs. On the list of available missiles are the Maverick
AGM-65 Maverick
The AGM-65 Maverick is an air-to-ground tactical missile designed for close-air support. It is effective against a wide range of tactical targets, including armor, air defenses, ships, ground transportation and fuel storage facilities....

, SLAM-ER
Standoff Land Attack Missile
The Standoff Land Attack Missile or SLAM is a subsonic, over-the-horizon, all-weather standoff cruise missile which grew out of the United States Navy's Harpoon anti-ship missile in the 1970s.-Original SLAM:...

 and JSOW
AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon
The AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon is the product of a joint venture between the United States Navy and Air Force to deploy a standardized medium range precision guided weapon, especially for engagement of defended targets from outside the range of standard anti-aircraft defenses, thereby...

. Smart bombs include the GPS-guided JDAM and the laser-guided Paveway
Paveway
Paveway is a generic term for Laser Guided Bombs .Pave or PAVE is sometimes used as an acronym for precision avionics vectoring equipment; literally, electronics for controlling the speed and direction of aircraft...

 series. Unguided munitions such as dumb bombs and cluster bomb
Cluster bomb
A cluster munition is a form of air-dropped or ground-launched explosive weapon that releases or ejects smaller sub-munitions. Commonly, this is a cluster bomb that ejects explosive bomblets that are designed to kill enemy personnel and destroy vehicles...

s make up the rest of the weapons deployed by fixed-wing aircraft.

Rotary aircraft weapons are focused on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and light to medium surface engagements. To combat submarines, helicopters use Mark 46 and Mark 50 torpedoes. Against small watercraft, they utilize Hellfire
AGM-114 Hellfire
The AGM-114 Hellfire is an air-to-surface missile developed primarily for anti-armor use. It has multi-mission, multi-target precision-strike capability, and can be launched from multiple air, sea, and ground platforms. The Hellfire missile is the primary 100 lb-class air-to-ground precision...

 and Penguin
Penguin missile
The Penguin anti-ship missile , made by Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace of Norway from the early 1970s and continually upgraded since, is a passive-IR seeker based short-to-medium range naval guided missile...

 air to surface missiles. Helicopters also employ various types of mounted anti-personnel machine guns, including the M60
M60 machine gun
The M60 is a family of American general-purpose machine guns firing 7.62×51mm NATO cartridges from a disintegrating belt of M13 links...

, M240, GAU-16/A, and GAU-17/A
Minigun
The Minigun is a 7.62 mm, multi-barrel heavy machine gun with a high rate of fire , employing Gatling-style rotating barrels with an external power source...

.

Nuclear weapons in the U.S. Navy arsenal are deployed through ballistic missile submarines and aircraft. The Ohio-class submarine
Ohio class submarine
The Ohio class is a class of nuclear-powered submarines used by the United States Navy. The United States has 18 Ohio-class submarines:...

 carries the latest iteration of the Trident missile
Trident missile
The Trident missile is a submarine-launched ballistic missile equipped with multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles . The Fleet Ballistic Missile is armed with nuclear warheads and is launched from nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines . Trident missiles are carried by fourteen...

, a three stage, underwater launched, nuclear ICBM with MIRV capability; the current Trident II (D5) version is expected to be in service past 2020. The Navy's other nuclear weapon is the air-deployed B61 nuclear bomb
B61 nuclear bomb
The B61 nuclear bomb is the primary thermonuclear weapon in the U.S. Enduring Stockpile following the end of the Cold War. It is an intermediate yield strategic and tactical nuclear weapon featuring a two-stage radiation implosion design....

. The B61 is a thermonuclear device that can be dropped by strike aircraft such as the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet at high speed from a large range of altitudes. It can be released through free-fall or parachute and can be set to detonate in the air or on the ground.

Naval Jack



The current naval jack of the United States is the First Navy Jack
First Navy Jack
The First Navy Jack is the current U.S. jack authorized by the United States Navy. The design is traditionally regarded as that of first U.S. naval jack flown in the earliest years of the republic.-History:...

, traditionally regarded as having been used during the American Revolutionary War. On 31 May 2002, Secretary of the Navy Gordon England directed all U.S. naval ships to fly the First Navy Jack for the duration of the "War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

". Many ships chose to shift colors later that year on the first anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

. The previous naval jack was a blue field with 50 white stars, identical to the canton of the ensign
Ensign
An ensign is a national flag when used at sea, in vexillology, or a distinguishing token, emblem, or badge, such as a symbol of office in heraldry...

 (the flag of the United States
Flag of the United States
The national flag of the United States of America consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars alternating with rows...

) both in appearance and size, and continues to remain in use with vessels of the U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , pronounced , like "noah", is a scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere...

. A jack of similar design was used in 1794, though with 13 stars arranged in a 3–2–3–2–3 pattern. When a ship is moored or anchored, the jack is flown from the bow
Bow (ship)
The bow is a nautical term that refers to the forward part of the hull of a ship or boat, the point that is most forward when the vessel is underway. Both of the adjectives fore and forward mean towards the bow...

 of the ship while the ensign is flown from the stern
Stern
The stern is the rear or aft-most part of a ship or boat, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter rail to the taffrail. The stern lies opposite of the bow, the foremost part of a ship. Originally, the term only referred to the aft port section...

. When underway, the ensign is raised on the mainmast. The First Naval Jack, however, has always been flown on the oldest ship in the active American fleet, currently the USS Constitution
USS Constitution
USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. Named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America, she is the world's oldest floating commissioned naval vessel...

.

Notable sailors


Many past and present United States historical figures have served in the Navy. Notable officers include John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones was a Scottish sailor and the United States' first well-known naval fighter in the American Revolutionary War. Although he made enemies among America's political elites, his actions in British waters during the Revolution earned him an international reputation which persists to...

, John Barry
John Barry (naval officer)
John Barry was an officer in the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War and later in the United States Navy. He is often credited as "The Father of the American Navy"...

 (Continental Navy officer and first flag officer of the United States Navy), James Lawrence
James Lawrence
James Lawrence was an American naval officer. During the War of 1812, he commanded the USS Chesapeake in a single-ship action against HMS Shannon...

 (whose last words
Last words
Last words are a person's final words spoken before death.Last Words may also refer to:* Last Words , an Australian punk band* Last Words , a memoir by George Carlin* Last Words , a 1968 short film directed by Werner Herzog...

 "don't give up the ship" are memorialized in Bancroft Hall
Bancroft Hall
Bancroft Hall at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, is the largest single dormitory in the world. Bancroft Hall, named after former Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft, is home for the entire brigade of 4,000 midshipmen, and contains some 1,700 rooms, of corridors, and of...

 at the United States Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...

), Stephen Decatur, Jr.
Stephen Decatur
Stephen Decatur, Jr. , was an American naval officer notable for his many naval victories in the early 19th century. He was born on the eastern shore of Maryland, Worcester county, the son of a U.S. Naval Officer who served during the American Revolution. Shortly after attending college Decatur...

, David Farragut
David Farragut
David Glasgow Farragut was a flag officer of the United States Navy during the American Civil War. He was the first rear admiral, vice admiral, and admiral in the United States Navy. He is remembered in popular culture for his order at the Battle of Mobile Bay, usually paraphrased: "Damn the...

, David Dixon Porter
David Dixon Porter
David Dixon Porter was a member of one of the most distinguished families in the history of the United States Navy. Promoted as the second man to the rank of admiral, after his adoptive brother David G...

, Oliver Hazard Perry
Oliver Hazard Perry
United States Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry was born in South Kingstown, Rhode Island , the son of USN Captain Christopher Raymond Perry and Sarah Wallace Alexander, a direct descendant of William Wallace...

, Commodore Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry (naval officer)
Matthew Calbraith Perry was the Commodore of the U.S. Navy and served commanding a number of US naval ships. He served several wars, most notably in the Mexican-American War and the War of 1812. He played a leading role in the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854...

 (whose Black Ships
Black Ships
The Black Ships was the name given to Western vessels arriving in Japan in the 16th and 19th centuries.In 1543 Portuguese initiated the first contacts, establishing a trade route linking Goa to Nagasaki...

 forced the opening of Japan
Convention of Kanagawa
On March 31, 1854, the or was concluded between Commodore Matthew C. Perry of the U.S. Navy and the Tokugawa shogunate.-Treaty of Peace and Amity :...

), and Chester Nimitz
Chester Nimitz
Fleet Admiral Chester William Nimitz, GCB, USN was a five-star admiral in the United States Navy. He held the dual command of Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet , for U.S. naval forces and Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas , for U.S...

, Admiral of the Pacific Fleet in World War II.

A number of presidents
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 served in the Navy before their political careers, including John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 (who commanded the famous PT-109
Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109
PT-109 was a PT boat last commanded by Lieutenant, junior grade John F. Kennedy in the Pacific Theater during World War II...

), Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

, Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

, Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

, Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

, and George H.W. Bush. Both Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 and Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 were the Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Assistant Secretary of the Navy is the title given to certain civilian senior officials in the United States Department of the Navy....

 prior to their presidencies. Many members of Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 served in the Navy, notably U.S. Senators Bob Kerrey
Bob Kerrey
Joseph Robert "Bob" Kerrey was the 35th Governor of Nebraska from 1983 to 1987 and a U.S. Senator from Nebraska . Having served in the Vietnam War, earning the Medal of Honor for his actions, he moved into politics. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992...

, John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

, and John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

. Other notable former members of the U.S. Navy include astronauts, entertainers, authors, and professional athletes such as David Robinson
David Robinson (basketball)
David Maurice Robinson is a retired American NBA basketball player, who played center for the San Antonio Spurs for his entire NBA career. Based on his prior service as an officer in the United States Navy, Robinson earned the nickname "The Admiral". He and teammate power forward Tim Duncan were...

 and Roger Staubach
Roger Staubach
Roger Thomas Staubach is a businessman, Heisman Trophy winner and legendary Hall of Fame former quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys from 1969 until 1979. Staubach was instrumental in developing the Cowboys into becoming one of the best teams of the 1970s and led the team to nine of the Cowboys'...

.

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