The U. S. Navy is the most powerful force the waters of the world have ever seen.  It has more ships than anyone (by far), superior technology, and a staggering number of sailors working on its behalf.  The sheer, literal weight of the equipment far outweighs any near competitor simply because they’ve got so much power behind them.

On the 13th of October, 241 years ago, the United States bought two ships to be used against the British.  Two ships that served as the kindling that would grow into a force of the roughly 430 ships and under 4,000 aircraft we have today.

A friend of mine was recounting the deeds of the U.S.S. Constitution recently, and he claimed that “we wouldn’t have a country without it.”  He is undoubtedly correct and its true colors would show in the War of 1812.  The beast defeated five British warships, capturing multiple merchant vessels as well.  The 44 gun frigate would often carry more weapons than it was supposed to, a powerhouse with heavy, strong broadsides and a surprising amount of maneuverability.  On top of all this, the U.S.S. Constitution is still in service, making it the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel still on the waters.

Image courtesy of the U.S. Navy

The U.S.S Constitution is just one of many examples of the fighting Navy.  The Navy was one of the first nations to use nuclear reactors to power their boats, a technology that now powers all American submarines and aircraft carriers on the water.  They have destroyers, frigates, mine sweeping ships, submarines, patrol boats–it’s unwise to be on the receiving end of these boats should they decide you are a threat.

Their capabilities do not stop on the open seas.  In 1911, the military employed their first naval aviator, and since then they can brag some of the most skilled and well-trained pilots in the world.  The ability to take off from an aircraft carrier gives them a similar advantage that paratroopers give the Army–it allows them to deploy a significant force from right on their enemy’s doorstop.  This threat is also a constant reminder that the United States is roaming the oceans of the world, ready to retaliate at a moment’s notice should anyone get any ideas.

The Navy SEALs are a Special Operations force to be reckoned with in any environment where people might venture.   Their reputation precedes them, as they have proved their skill and valor time and time again in the most difficult of situations–from the jungles of Vietnam to the mountains of Afghanistan.

Today is the Navy’s birthday, founded in 1775.  It now carries just under half a million sailors and an unbelievable amount of firepower.