The Continental Navy was originated during the American Revolutionary War in 1775. The fleet comprised of two armed vessels which were tasked with the job of hunting down ships supplying weapons and ammunition to the British army. The Continental Congress wanted to decrease the power of the most powerful military force at the time, to allow for the Whigs and non-royalists in the colonies to fight their way to independence from the British crown.
When the American Revolutionary War ended in 1783, the Continental Navy was dismantled. However, the Naval Act of 1794 was enacted by President George Washington due to threats against American merchant ships by pirates. This created a permanent U.S. Navy.
Today, the fleet consists of more than 300,000 active duty personnel and 100,000 reservists in the submarine, aviation, and surface divisions. This year will also mark some historic milestones in the U.S. Navy’s history. 2019 is the 25th anniversary of women’s first assignment aboard a combat ship, the 50th anniversary of Top Gun, the Fighter Weapons School, and the 100th anniversary to mark the end of World War I.
2019 is the 243rd birthday for the U.S. Navy. The theme for the year is “Forged by the Sea,” which refers to the Navy’s fundamental relationship with the sea and its mission to retain U.S. maritime superiority.