In an effort to curb British sea control, the Continental Congress established the Continental Navy, which later became the United States Navy, on Oct. 13, 1775.
When the Continental Navy was initially formed it consisted of only two armed vessels that were tasked with disrupting munition ships supplying the British Army in America. Over the past two and a half centuries, the Navy has grown to become the largest, most advanced and most lethal fighting force the world has ever known.
In 1972, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Zumwalt designated Oct. 13 as the Navy’s official birthday, in order to “enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage, and to provide a positive influence toward pride and professionalism in the naval service.”
The theme for the Navy’s 243rd birthday is “Forged by the Sea,” which represents the aspirational outcome of every Sailor’s journey in uniform. It conveys the notion that every Sailor is shaped and strengthened into a more capable version of themselves through Navy service. It also describes the Navy as a team that has been forged, tempered and toughened over 243 years of maritime dominance, while acknowledging the Navy’s unique and fundamental relationship with the sea.