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Navy Department

Office Of The Secretary Of The Navy, United States Navy, United States Marine CorpsUnited States Naval Academy

The navy is one of three primary components of the U.S. military. Incorporating the Marine Corps, it serves along with the army and the air force as part of the nation's defense. The navy's mission is to protect the United States as directed by the president or the secretary of defense by the effective prosecution of war at sea. With its Marine Corps component, the navy's objectives are to seize or defend advanced naval bases; support, as required, the forces of all military departments of the United States; and maintain freedom of the seas. The Department of the Navy includes the U.S. Coast Guard when it is operating as a service in the navy.

The U.S. Navy was founded on October 13, 1775, when Congress enacted the first legislation creating the Continental Navy of the American Revolution. The Department of the Navy and the Office of Secretary of the Navy were established by the act of April 30, 1798 (10 U.S.C.A. §§ 5011, 5031). For nine years before that date, by act of August 7, 1789 (1 Stat. 49), the conduct of naval affairs was under the secretary of war. The National Security Act Amendments of 1949 provided that the Department of the Navy be a military department within the DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (63 Stat. 578).

United States Naval Academy

The United States Naval Academy is the undergraduate college of the naval service. Located in Annapolis, Maryland, the academy offers a comprehensive four-year program that stresses excellence in academics, physical education, professional training, conduct, and honor. It prepares young men and women to be professional officers in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. All graduates receive a bachelor of science degree in one of 18 majors.


Navy Website. Available online at <www.navy.mil> (accessed July 30, 2003).

U.S. Government Manual Website. Available online at <www.gpoaccess.gov/gmanual> (accessed November 10, 2003).

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