By Cmdr. Thomas Dickinson, professor at the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center, Naval War College, Newport, R.I. When we reflect on the history of our Navy, a common reference point is the birth of the Continental Navy on October 13, 1775. However, few reflect on the importance of another day in naval history: Dec. 22, 1775. On that day Congress commissioned the first naval officers, marking the inception of leadership in our Navy. Commissioned officers included Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Navy, Esek Hopkins, and our first Commanding Officers: Abraham Whipple, Nicholas Biddle, John Hopkins, and Dudley Saltonstall. Thirteen junior… Read the rest of this entry »
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eric Lockwood, Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division Leahy. King. Nimitz. Halsey. One of the most exclusive collections of men ever in the history of the Navy. This band of four Naval officers are the only ones to have worn five stars during their service in defense of freedom during World War II. The 20th century rank of Fleet Admiral was created in the on Dec. 14, 1944 — along with General of the Army — during the second session of the 79th Congress. (For those looking for a great trivia… Read the rest of this entry »
By Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division It was 13 years ago today, in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Operation Enduring Freedom began against the Taliban and Al Qaeda holed up in the mountain ranges of Afghanistan. The U.S.-led coalition launched tomahawk missiles against terrorist training camps and military installations. First among them came from destroyer John Paul Jones (DDG 53) and guided-missile cruiser Philippine Sea (CG 58). “These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations, and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime,”… Read the rest of this entry »
From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division Today we recognize two events that showed the United States’ appreciation for France’s support during the six years the young nation actively fought for independence from Great Britain. Benjamin Franklin, America’s first diplomat, was the driving force behind the warm relationship between the U.S. and France which readily agreed to recognize the 13 former British colonies as their own nation. And so it was on Sept. 3, 1782, the United States gave as a gift to King Louis XVI a not-yet-completed 74-gun man-of-war to be named America, and a year… Read the rest of this entry »
By Cmdr. Sean Kearns 73rd Commanding Officer USS Constitution The Chief of Naval Operations’ Guiding Principles (Warfighting First, Operate Forward, Be Ready) were as important and applicable to the early chapters of our Navy’s history as they are today. In the months leading up to our declaration of war against Great Britain, Captain Isaac Hull personally witnessed the rising tension between our Navy and the Royal Navy. As he departed Cherbourg to bring USS Constitution home in January 1812, he was hailed by British ships in the Mediterranean Sea. Upon reaching Washington, D.C., Captain Hull’s suspicions that our country was… Read the rest of this entry »
The hunt for the remains of Bonhomme Richard continues in the North Sea. On September 23rd, 1779, Bonhomme Richard engaged in fierce combat with HMS Seripis during the Battle of Flamborough Head off the English coast. Captained by the formidable John Paul Jones, who is often credited as the “father” of the U.S. Navy, Bonhomme Richard emerged victorious from the battle, but proved irreparably damaged. Despite all efforts to save the ship, Bonhomme Richard sank into the North Sea on September 25th, 1779. Between 21 May and 9 June, 2012, the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC), partnered with Ocean… Read the rest of this entry »
On 22 October 1962, President John F. Kennedy delivered a televised speech, arguably “the most serious speech delivered in his lifetime” and the “most frightening presidential address” in U.S. history.’ Soviet missile-launch sites had been discovered under construction in Cuba. The response resuIted from deliberations among the President and his ad hoc Executive Committee (ExCom). Its final draft was improved significantly by an unlikely person: the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Admiral George W. Anderson, Jr.
A brief American flag history from 1777-1927 is presented in celebration of Independence Day. In the March 1927 issue of Proceedings, an article was published with a chronology of some “firsts” for the American flag. Another “first” not included in the following article: On July 4, 1777, John Paul Jones and the crew of the Sloop-of-War Ranger hoisted the first “Stars and Stripes” flag to be flown on board a continental warship. Adventures 0f “Old Glory” By William E. Beard The flag of the United States, adopted June 14, 1777, was thereafter in the Revolution thirteen stars and thirteen stripes. The War… Read the rest of this entry »