October 13, 2020 marks the 245th birthday of the U.S. Navy. On this day in 1775, the Continental Navy was formed. It consisted of only a small fleet of ships that patrolled the waters for no other reason than to intercept the supply ships for the British Army troops at or near the colonies. 

The creation of the Continental Navy was fraught with controversy. It is said that the Continental Congress debated for eleven days over the issue. There were many who felt that the establishment of a standing Navy was one of the craziest ideas they’d ever heard. However, in the end, the “navalists” won out thus creating the naval fleet as another branch of defense in addition to the Continental Army which had been established in June 1775. 

The Continental Navy was disbanded two years after the American Revolution. It wasn’t until 1794 that it was decided there was a need for the protection of American interests against piracy and rival powers in the western hemisphere. This milestone is important to note because, despite the disbandment of the Continental Navy and the “reboot” of a permanent American sea power, the birth of the Navy is counted from the establishment of the Continental Navy in 1775. 

There are many ways the birthday of the Navy is celebrated within the service. These include: 

  • Cake cutting ceremonies
  • Bell Ringing
  • A birthday message from the CNO
  • A birthday message from the SECNAV
  • Singing Anchors Aweigh

Other additional celebrations may include: 

  • Parades
  • Luncheons
  • Tours of Naval Installations
  • Social Media Engagement