10 October 2022

AFE takes tours to Naval installments all over the world to entertain you with live shows of all kinds.

We’ve been to NSA Souda Bay in Greece, NB Guam, NAS Sigonellain Italy, CFA Sasebo in Japan, Busan NB in Korea, and NS Rota in Spain, and we’re always touring more. Keep an eye out for the next AFE tour to come your way soon!

Naval history is endlessly fascinating and to kick-start your interest, or refresh your memory, check out some of the major historical milestones of the US Navy.

26 August 1775
– Rhode Island delegates to the Continental Congress request that “a fleet of sufficient force for the protection of these colonies” be established. Thus, the Continental Navy was born on 13 October 1775.

Over 10% of the Continental Navy was African American during the American Revolution.

The Continental Navy recruited both free and enslaved people, partly out of a need for laborers and partly because many African Americans were experienced seafarers, having sailed before with the Royal Navy, state navies, and merchantmen.

2 January 1794 – Congress resolved to create a naval force, after the revolutionary navy had been allowed to dissolve once the war had been won.

27 March 1794 – Congress approves the act that re-established the United States Navy

1797 – The Navy’s first purpose-built warships, United States, Constellation, and Constitution, were ready for service. Three more were the Congress, Chesapeake, and President, each of symbolic importance as the first ships commissioned by the United States Navy.

30 August 1798 – Congress passes an act establishing a new Department of the Navy with the power to make contracts, disburse funds, and manage the fleet.

1798-1801 – Undeclared naval war with France to defend American interests against the French in the West Indies. The Quasi-War was the first large-scale naval engagement in United States history.

13 May 1908 – The Navy Nurse Corps was established. Women had served since the Civil War as nurses, and this expanded and formalized the crucial role of Navy nurses.

30 July 1942 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Public Law 689 creating the Navy’s women reserve program, which allowed officer and enlisted women to enter the Navy.

Naval Education: A Tumultuous Beginning

Before the Naval Academy began, there were several schools that sought to prepare young men to become sailors. The most notorious attempt at naval education began on September 13, 1842, when the American Brig Somers, a training ship for naval apprentices, embarked.

Discipline deteriorated during the cruise, and it was determined by a court of inquiry aboard ship that Midshipman Philip Spencer and two others, Boatswains Mate Samuel Cromwell and Seaman Elisha Small, were guilty of a “determined attempt to commit a mutiny.” The three were hanged for the mutiny and news of the incident shocked the nation. It became urgent to determine a formal course of education for would-be sailors in the wake of this tragedy. Three years later, a solution would be found.

The United States Naval Academy

October 10, 1845 – Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft established the Naval School, without Congressional funding, at Army post Fort Severn in Annapolis, MD.

1850 – The Naval School became the United States Naval Academy.

1933 – Congress authorized the Naval Academy to begin awarding Bachelor of Science degrees.

1976 – The Naval Academy first accepted women as midshipmen, when Congress authorized the admission of women to all the service academies. Women now comprise over 20 percent of entering plebes.

Did You Know?

These famous stars all served in the Navy:

  • Montell Williams, spokesperson, journalist, TV producer
  • David Robinson, former professional basketball player, San Antonio Spurs
  • Jennifer Marshall, actor, Stranger Things, plays Susan Hargrove (Max’s mom)
  • Bob Barker, beloved TV host and animal advocate

What to Watch: Top 5 Movies featuring The Navy

  1. 1. Top Gun
  2. 2. Master and Commander
  3. 3. Down Periscope
  4. 4. Annapolis