This October 13th, the US Navy celebrates an accomplished 246 years of history. As a proud flag contributor to the U.S. Navy, we’d like to honor their history and the many contributions to our nation by sharing some interesting facts about the Navy. Here are some of our favorite bits trivia that we’ve learned in honor of their birthday!
The US Navy Is The Largest In The World
According to the US Navy, there are more than 330,000 active-duty personnel and an additional 100,000+ on ready reserve. The Navy's impressive fleet consists of 290 battle ships including aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, cruisers, littoral combat ships, destroyers, and submarines.
Bonus Fact: The Navy describes its submarines as “one of the most lethal weapons in the nation’s arsenal” and says they navigate the world’s seas unseen carrying out secret missions.
Submariners Volunteer For Service
If you’re one of the brave service members manning a sub, it’s not by chance. Due to the claustrophobic and extreme technical nature of submarines and the fact that service members can spend weeks or months underwater while working eight-hour shifts, all Navy personnel serving on a submarine must volunteer to do so.
Six US Presidents Served In The Navy During WWII
John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush served in the U.S. Navy during WWII.
Bonus Fact: Actually, every president from 1961 to 1993 (except for Ronald Reagan, who served in the US Army) was a Navy veteran!
Navy Tattoos Are A Cultural Tradition
Today, the Navy is the least restrictive U.S. military branch in terms of tattoo regulations and for hundreds of years, sailors have joined in the longstanding tradition of tattooing themselves as a way to show where they’d been and what they’d gone through during their time in the service. Here is a short (and very basic) list of some of our favorite tattoos and their historical meanings:
- Trident: Special warfare
- Rose: A significant other left at home
- Compass/Nautical Star: Worn so that one would never lose their way back to port
- Octopus: Navy diver
- Sharks: Rescue swimmer
A Navy Superstition
Often times for many new and seasoned sailors there comes a moment of reflection. Should the sailor stay in the Navy or is it their time to get out? Because sailors are often superstitious, many actually leave the decision up to the sea by tossing their Dixie Cover into the water. If it floats, the sea is asking them to stay. If it sinks, it’s time to move on from service.