Happy 240th Birthday, U.S. Navy: Ready then. Ready now. Ready always.
Guest Blog by: FORCM (SW) Jason E. Wallis
Force Master Chief – U.S. Pacific Fleet
As America labored to be born through the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress established the Continental Navy force on October 13, 1775, bringing to life what would later be known as the U.S. Navy. The hope was that the small force would be able to intercept the supply of food and weaponry British ships were bringing to their ground forces in the colonies. Eventually, with help from French allies, the Continental Navy began breaking blockades, sinking British ships and scoring timely naval victories.
Since those early days, and with few exceptions, the Navy continues to win key battles and is prepared to defend America. From the humble beginnings of the Continental Navy, with her citizen sailors and privateers, to the current all-volunteer force of Navy Reserve and the regular active duty Navy, America’s Sailors continue to sacrifice, serve and protect our country.
While I’ve only been part of the Navy since 1988, I believe today’s brand of Sailor is as steady in resolve to support and defend the country as the first brave mariners were when they took to sea to fight ships of the larger, more organized, better equipped British fleet. Although we’ve come a long way from the days of wooden ships, cannonballs and wind-in-sail propulsion, the American Sailor’s sense of determination to accomplish the mission remains. I believe the indomitable can-do spirit of our current Sailors and the Navy’s love of technology and innovative solutions can trace its roots to the determination exhibited and forged during our Navy’s formative years.
As we look back at the Navy’s successful and storied life, I’m honored that I’ve been able to call myself a U.S. Navy Sailor. I may have only laid witness to a small percentage of the Navy’s lifespan, but I’ve done it by dedicating a larger portion of my life to its success. In the past 240 years, times and the Navy have changed. Fortunately, the character and motivation of its Sailors have not. We are not just Sailors. We are a team and a community of men and women of varied technical skills and abilities, all working together – and the beauty is that we are all volunteers who are here because we want to serve something greater than ourselves. All this and what I’ve seen in my time has assured me that, without a doubt, our Navy was ready then, is ready now, and will continue to remain ready always.
To learn more about U.S. Navy history and celebrate the 240th birthday see this: