So you may notice that the Marine Corps, the Navy, and the Army will all get a top 10, while the Air Force only got a top 5. There is a legitimate reason behind this. The Army Air Service/Army Air Corps/Air Force has been around for a few months shy of 100 years. There aren’t as many to choose from as there are with the three branches all over 200 years old. That’s why ― it’s not because we hate the Air Force. In fact, we told you a few weeks ago that we loved the Air Force so…(nanny nanny boo boo stick your head in…).
Without further shenanigans (say it again, we dare you). The top 10 sailors of all time!!
1. John Paul Jones (tie)
Friggin damn straight. John Paul Jones was the bane of Davy Jones and the British, during the Revolutionary War and is known as the father of the U.S. Navy. John Paul Jones holds the honor of hoisting the first U.S. Ensign (flag for land lubbers) over a U.S. naval vessel. In addition to that, during his command of the Ranger and Bonhomme Richard, that he royally pissed off the British Navy, eventually taking their 50-gun frigate HMS Serapis. It’s true, he had not yet begun to fight.
1. John Barry (tie)
Also known as the father of the U.S. Navy, the regard John Barry held for his own crew was widely known. He was also fiercely loyal to the American cause, turning down several offers from the British to command one of their vessels along with a large sum of money. Receiving his commission from Washington as commodore, John Barry commanded several ships including the frigate the USS United States.
2. Chester W. Nimitz
The last of the men to wear the rank of fleet admiral, Chester Nimitz was once court-martialed for dereliction of duty when he ran the USS Decatur aground. However, he would go on to be the reason the war in the Pacific was successful. He was honored by the naming of the Nimitz class supercarrier.
3. Oliver Hazard Perry
We’re super proud of this one. His middle name is Hazard, how can you not love that? In the War of 1812, Oliver Hazard Perry engaged the British on Lake Eerie, royally messing them up and forcing an entire British squadron to surrender. “We have met the enemy and they are ours.” Oliver Hazard Perry was one of greatest commanders the U.S. Navy had ever seen, his reward, an entire class of frigates named in his honor.
4. Michael P. Murphy
Medal of Honor recipient and Navy SEAL, Murph was one bad dude. While many SEALs are famous for their combat prowess (and Murph is no exception), he is better known for the extraordinary heroism and self-sacrifice in Afghanistan. He knew he would not live through that action, and yet he went anyways. Fair winds and following seas.
5. Michael Monsoor
The city of Ramadi is no stranger to heroes, and Michael A. Monsoor is one of them. While on a rooftop, insurgents tossed a grenade onto the rooftop. Despite having access to the exit and safety, Michael dived on top of the grenade, absorbing the blast but saving the other SEALs on the rooftop.
6. Richard Marcinko
Founder of the infamous and deadly SEAL Team 6, Richard Marcinko revolutionized the United States Navy Special Warfare community and gave literally zero f***s about the feathers he ruffled doing it. The men under his command trained and trained and trained until they couldn’t get it wrong.
7. Neil Armstrong
He was only the first man to walk on the surface of the moon, so no big deal right? Neil served as a naval aviator during the Korean War. We’re not sure what else we can say about Neil that he didn’t already say or that hasn’t been said about him.
8. Dr. Jonny Kim
If you ever want to feel like a failure, just look up Dr. Jonny Kim’s resume and be prepared to feel shame for your lack of success (we sure did). Dr. Kim served as a medic and sniper for SEAL Team Three. He was also awarded the Silver Star with V device. Damn, that’s impressive, but there’s more. He graduated summa cum laude with a degree in mathematics, then went on to Harvard Medical School. Now Dr. Jonny Kim is an astronaut candidate. DAMN!
9. John F. Kennedy
Who would have thought that the commander of several PT boats during World War II would rise to become one of the greatest presidents we’ve ever had? During his time in the Navy, JFK was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroic action. His famous words echo still in our hearts: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
10. Roy Boehm
The man literally fought off sharks during World War II after his ship went down. If that wasn’t badass enough, Roy went on to found the Navy SEALs as we know them today, developing their training curriculum, commanding SEAL Team 2 and personally selecting the first members of SEAL Team 2.
Chris Kyle, Marcus Luttrell, Gerald R. Ford, Arleigh Burke, every corpsman ever, Stephen Decatur
Originally published by American Grit. Read more from American Grit here: