I may not always write about each of the service birthdays, but as a U.S. Navy veteran, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight an upcoming celebration this month, the 245th Birthday of the U.S. Navy.
The U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command website say on 13 October 1775, a resolution of the Continental Congress set out to create what is now known as the United States Navy. The Congress sent a request for “a swift sailing vessel, to carry ten carriage guns, and a proportionable number of swivels, with eighty men, to be fitted, with all possible dispatch, for a cruise of three months….” After the American War of Independence, the U.S. Constitution empowered the new Congress “to provide and maintain a navy.” Acting on this authority, Congress established the Department of the Navy on 30 April 1798.
Although both dates bear significance, it was Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, who set the official recognition of 13 October 1972 as the start of the annual birthday celebration of the U.S. Navy. Since then, each CNO encourages a Navy-wide celebration “to enhance the appreciation of our U.S. Navy heritage, and to provide a positive influence toward pride and professionalism in the naval service.”
The central theme of this year’s 245th birthday and heritage week will be “Victory at Sea,” which encompasses the Navy’s efforts in battle during World War II in the Pacific Theater.
As a U.S. Navy veteran, I feel it is a blessing to celebrate this pride in patriotism each year. Typically, my husband and I would attend the annual Navy Ball in Arizona, but due to COVID-19, we may have to celebrate on our own.
We will mind our “p’s” and “q’s,” which in Navy terms means to mind the pints and quarts we drink to toast the tradition. We may also enjoy a cake, but I am not sure how to put on 245 candles.
But perhaps most importantly, we hope to join in the online festivities with several of our U.S. Navy servicemen and women and veterans who remain our shipmates. Happy Birthday, U.S. Navy.