Two hundred and thirty five years ago, Continental Congress passed legislation to fit out “two swift sailing vessels” with ten guns and eighty crewmen creating the humble beginnings to what would become the United States Navy. We celebrate this day as the Navy’s Birthday every year, honoring a tremendous legacy of service, sacrifice and presence around the globe.
Today, our Sailors are adding their own chapter to the Navy’s storied heritage. From Haiti to the Gulf of Guinea, from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf Shore, they stand as a global force for good in every sense. And while the Navy’s core values remain Honor, Courage, and Commitment – their versatility and adaptability during these challenging times are also long-cherished Navy hallmarks.
We see this every day not only in the ships, submarines and aircraft underway conducting a wide array of missions including missile defense, anti-piracy efforts, and humanitarian relief, but just as significantly, in the more than 10,000 Sailors who serve on the ground in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Their actions profoundly demonstrate that there are times when we defend our national interests best when we help others defend theirs.
Of course, these remarkable efforts would not be possible without the steadfast love and support of our Navy families – I share from personal experience that the Service and our Nation are deeply blessed by their contributions as well.
On behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I congratulate our Sailors and civilians, our proud Navy veterans and our wonderful families on this special day. Happy Birthday, Shipmates!
Happy 235th Navy!
The CNO’s Birthday video is available here.