Today the U.S. Navy celebrates its 242nd birthday of defending the nation against all enemies.The force was founded on October 13, 1775, by the second Continental Congress during the American Revolutionary War. The force was disbanded shortly after the war, but became permanent under the Naval Act of 1794. During George Washington’s presidential term, threats to American merchant shipping were being made by Barbary pirates. American sailors were seized and imprisoned in 1785 and then again in 1793. To secure both the release of these men and commercial access to the Mediterranean Sea, the United States agreed to pay tribute to the Barbary States. The Navy Act of 1794 authorized the construction of first six warships, including:
- USS United States:
- Launched on May 10, 1797
- Fought and captured the frigate HMS Macedonian
- USS Constellation:
- Launched on September 7, 1797
- Fought and captured the French frigate Insurgente. (First major victory by an American designed and built warship
- USS Constitution:
- Launched on October 21, 1797
- Most well known for her actions during the War of 1812 against Britain, when she captured numerous merchant ships and defeated four British warships: HMS Guerriere, HMS Java, HMS Cyane, and HMS Levant.
- The oldest active commissioned warship afloat in the world (Boston, MA)
- USS Chesapeake:
- Launched on December 2, 1799
- Captured on June 1, 1813, by HMS Shannon
- USS Congress:
- Launched on August 15, 1799
- Performed services during the First Barbary War, War of 1812, and Second Barbary War
- USS President:
- Launched on April 10, 1800
- Captured on January 14, 1815 by HMS Pomone and HMS Tenedos
Today, the United States is the world’s undisputed naval superpower, with the ability to engage and project power in two simultaneous limited wars along separate fronts. More than 400,000 sailors are serving all over the world, and the U.S. Navy maintains a notable fleet with:
- 288 battle force ships
- 10 aircraft carriers
- 9 amphibious assault ships
- 22 cruisers
- 62 destroyers
- 17 frigates
- 72 submarines
- 3,700 aircraft
The U.S. Navy has become the largest and strongest Navy in the world because of all the brave men and women that took the oath to serve this great country and follow the Sailor’s Creed. The Purple Heart Foundation wants to thank all who have served, and are serving for dedicating their lives to protecting our nation. We also want to wish you all a very Happy 242nd Birthday. We join the Navy in their celebration of a milestone birthday by remaining committed to assisting veterans in all aspects of their lives, including helping those who are looking for jobs after their military service has ended. You can show your support for these brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country by making a one-time or monthly pledge to ensure veterans continue to get the support and benefits they deserve by clicking here.
I am a United States Sailor.
I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me.
I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and all who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.
I proudly serve my country’s Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment.
I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.