Today is Teddy Roosevelt’s birthday! Now you may ask, what does that have to do with the navy? Well, until Teddy Roosevelt helped build up the image of the navy it really wasn’t thought that highly of.
You may remember the Great White Fleet. (Or you may not) It was Roosevelt’s idea to send a powerful American navy around the world to show both that power and the fact that the world wasn’t so big that we could just ignore each other. The reason for white was simply that most ships in Roosevelt’s era were painted white.
Now heroes such as John Paul Jones had already proven that a navy was critical to America’s future. That said, it took months news of victories at sea to reach the land, in some cases wars were already decided by the news of a victory could be reported. So while the navy kept the enemy from our shores it wasn’t as visible as a land battle.
Today, the most elite military force, the Navy Seals, changes our image of the navy a little bit, or a lot. There is no doubt that the navy stands as our primary source of protection. This is not down playing the air force or army and, of course, the Marines are a part of the navy. It is just that unless it is on our own land that the crisis is taking place, even the army and air force require the navy to get them where they are needed.
The navies real birth date is October 13th, 1775. But if not for Teddy Roosevelt, perhaps no one would care.
How to celebrate – Thank a service person for their sacrifices. Visit a Naval History museum. Play the game battleship.