The United States Navy (USN) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting naval operations. Its stated mission is "to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas." The U.S. Navy currently has nearly 500,000 personnel on active duty or in the Navy Reserve and operates 278 ships in active service and more than 4,000 aircraft.
The U.S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy
, which was established during the American Revolutionary War
disbanded in 1790. The United States Constitution
, though, provided the legal basis for a seaborne military force by giving Congress
the power "to provide and maintain a navy." Depredations against American shipping by Barbary Coast corsairs
spurred Congress to employ this power in 1794 by passing the Naval Act of 1794
ordering the construction and manning of six frigates
. The U.S. Navy came into international prominence in the 20th century, especially during World War II
. Operating in both the European and Pacific theaters
, it was a part of the conflict from the onset of American military involvement from the attack on Pearl Harbor
to Japan's official surrender
aboard the USS Missouri
. The U.S. Navy had a role in the subsequent Cold War
, in which it evolved into a nuclear deterrent and crisis response force while preparing for a possible global war with the Soviet Union
The 21st-century U.S. Navy maintains a sizeable presence in the world, deploying in such areas as East Asia, Southern Europe, and the Middle East. Its ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward areas during peacetime, and rapidly respond to regional crises makes it an active player in American foreign and defence policy.
The craft used by the suspected pirates floats in front of the USS Ashland
Piracy charges dismissed by judge
Original articles by Steve Szkotak, The Associated Press.
Summary: Piracy charges against six Somali's accused of attacking the USS Ashland were dismissed Tuesday after the judge ruled that the U.S. government failed to make a case for piracy. Defense attorneys had argued that the men did not seize or rob the Ashland and therefore not committed piracy. The six were accused of attacking the Ashland, which was destroyed by 25mm fire from Ashland. Seven lesser charges have not been ruled upon. The men claim only to have been ferrying refugees.
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. It is awarded "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, in actual combat against an armed enemy force." Three different medals currently exist for each of the major branches of the U.S. armed forces: one each for the Army, Navy (pictured), and Air Force. Since the beginning of World War II, only 851 have been awarded, 525 of them posthumously. The Medal of Honor is often presented personally to the recipient or, in the case of posthumous awards, to survivors, by the President of the United States. The rare soldier who wears the Medal of Honor is accorded special privileges that include higher pay, supplemental uniform allowance, special entitlements to air transportation, preference for their children at the U.S. military academies, and the respect and admiration of all other service-people. It is an informal rule that Medal of Honor recipients, regardless of rank, are saluted by all other service members, including the Commander-in-Chief. The Medal is one of only two American military awards worn around the neck; the other is the Commander's Degree of the Legion of Merit. The Medal of Honor is the only service decoration that is singled out in federal law to protect it from being imitated or privately sold. All Medals of Honor are issued in the original only, by the Department of Defense, to a recipient. Misuse of the medal, including unauthorized manufacture or wear, is punishable by fine and imprisonment. The Navy Medal of Honor was first awarded to Seaman Benjamin Swearer during the American Civil War and was last officially awarded to Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class David R. Ray, USN for action that occurred during the Vietnam War in 1969.
"The Navy has both a tradition and a future--and we look with pride and confidence in both directions." — Admiral George Anderson
, Chaplain Corps
, Enlisted Classification
, Enlisted rate insignia
, Medical Corps
, Dental Corps
, Medal of Honor recipients
, Navy Band
, Nurse Corps
, Officer designators
, Officer insignia
, Supply Corps
, Air wings
, Aircraft Carriers
, Aircraft Squadrons
, Current Fleet
, Naval Aircraft
, Naval Observatory
, Naval Reactors
, Sealift Command ships