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2019


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U.S. Navy (USN) Birthday

October 13

Some might be surprised to learn that the official birthday of the United States Navy is October 13, 1775. Back then, it was known as the Continental Navy and consisted of a small fleet of ships patrolling to intercept ships sent to resupply British Army troops at or near the colonies.

The creation of this fleet was not without controversy. In fact, it was hotly debated for 11 days in the Continental Congress. According to the official website of the U.S. Navy, some in that debate were convinced that having a standing navy was “the maddest idea in the world”.

In the end, the debates were won by “navalists” who were in favor of adding a naval fleet as another branch of defense in addition to the already-created Continental Army which was authorized in June of 1775.

The Navy Birthday: Not To Be Confused With Navy Day

The U.S. Navy birthday should not be confused with Navy Day, which was created in 1922 to recognize the service of all Navy members; believe it or not, Navy Day pre-dates official recognition of the Navy Birthday. Navy Day is held on October 27. That date was chosen, so the story goes, in honor of President Teddy Roosevelt whose birthday is also on the 27th.

How the U.S. Navy Birthday is Celebrated?

The Navy Birthday is celebrated every year in many different ways throughout the U.S. and the world including the U.S. Navy Birthday Ball. Core elements of the Navy Birthday include:

  • Bell Ringing
  • Cake Cutting
  • Reading of the CNO Birthday Message
  • Reading of the SECNAV Birthday Message
  • Singing of Anchors Aweigh

Other ways to recognize the Navy Birthday include:

  • Fitness Events
  • Luncheons
  • Navy Band Performances
  • Navy Birthday Balls
  • Navy Color Guard
  • Navy Heritage Celebrations
  • Parades
  • Speeches
  • Social Media Engagement
  • Tours of Navy Installations

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