Your Navy

Obama congratulates Navy on 240th birthday

Before there was a nation, there was a navy.

America'sThat's because, our early lawmakers realized, that in order to be a nation, they needed a Navy.

This reality is not lost on today's lawmakers, either.,even The commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama, made a noted that said in his birthday message to the U.S. Navy and to Oct. of that fact in an Oct. 6 message released today, sending his best wishes not only for the institution, but those also who have served in it — past and present and past: "On land and sea, across the globe, our sailors stand for our country's most sacred responsibilities."

"And by devoting themselves to performing every mission with impeccable courage, skill and determination, they remind us that our country was built from forces of camaraderie and common purpose, and that as long as we summon that spirit and stay true to our mission, America's greatest breakthroughs and victories will always lie ahead."

On Oct. 13, 1775, the 13 British colonies were already at war with England over oppressive economic policies. The Declaration of Independence was still nine months and much debate away.

After much debate, The Second Continental Congress realized the need for a Navy to strike back at the British, who were already blockading the colonies, trying to starve their North American subjects into submission.

That day, 240 years ago, our fledgling Congress authorized the purchase of two merchant ships — Andrew Doria and Cabot — and funded their outfitting to seek out and capture British merchant vessels supplying their troops, who were trying to put down the rebellious colonists.

Those two ships wouldn't even be the first to be commissioned. That honor goes to the Alfred, which was purchased on Nov.ember 4 and commissioned on Dec.ember 3, with a young lieutenant named John Paul Jones a member of the ship's wardroom. The Navy wouldn't see action until 1776, but it was underway, so to speak.

As of Oct. 9, according to the Navy's own "status" Web page, there are 328,186 currently serving on active duty. Another 110,000 serve in the either the Selected or Individual Ready Reserve.

Thirty-four percent, 92 of the current 271 ship fleet are currently deployed around the world.

"On land and sea, across the globe, our sailors stand for our country's most sacred responsibilities," he wrote.

"And by devoting themselves to performing every mission with impeccable courage, skill and determination, they remind us that our country was built from forces of camaraderie and common purpose, and that as long as we summon that spirit and stay true to our mission, America's greatest breakthroughs and victories will always lie ahead."

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