United States Navy - Armada de los Estados Unidos

United States Navy
United States Navy
Emblem of the United States Navy.png
Emblem of the United States Navy
Active October 14, 1775 - present
Country United States flag U.S
Fidelity United States Department of Defense
Kind Armada
Size 322809 members 490 ships, +4905 (including Marine Corps) aircraft [ 1 ]
Part of United States Armed Forces United States
Department of the Navy
Quartering The Pentagon
Arlington County, Virginia
High command
Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. idols [ 2 ]
Chief of Naval Operations Almirante Michael M. Gilday[2]
Second Chief of Naval Operations Almirante Robert P. Burke[2]
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell L. Smith [ 2 ]
Bow flag Naval jack of the United States.svg
Navy Flag Flag of the United States Navy.svg
Culture and history
Motto (unofficial) Non sibi sed patriae (Latin)
Not self but country (English)
Not me, but the country (Spanish)
"Honor, Courage, Commitment"
Colors Blue and Gold
March About this sound Anchors Aweigh
Award Óscar al mejor documental largo, Óscar al mejor documental largo, Torrotito de la Armada de los Estados Unidos, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Presidential Unit Citation, Silver Anvil Awards, Silver Anvil Awards, Silver Anvil Awards, Silver Anvil Awards, Silver Anvil Awards y Silver Anvil Awards
Wars and battles
Anglo-American of 1812 ,
US intervention in Mexico ,
American Civil War ,
Spanish-American War ,
World War I ,
World War II ,
Korean War ,
Vietnam War ,
War of the Gulf ,
Iraq War ,
War in Afghanistan 2001

The United States Navy or United States Navy ( USN ; officially and in English , United States Navy ) is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting naval operations . [ 3 ] Its main function is "to maintain, train and equip naval forces for combat, capable of achieving victory in war, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom in the seas." [ 4 ] As of October 2020, the Navy has 322,809 troops on active and 108 789reserve ; it has 490 ships and more than 3,900 aircraft . [ 1 ]

The Navy has its origins in the Continental Navy , which was established during the War of Independence and was dissolved shortly after its completion. The Constitution is the one that provides the legal basis for a Force of the Seas , giving Congress the power to create and maintain an army . [ 5 ] The attacks on US ships by pirates of Barbary forced Congress to make use of this power by ordering the construction of six frigates . The USN entered the world scene in the 20th centuryespecially during WWII . This was part of the conflict over the ostentation of an upgrade to the US Army - the attack on Pearl Harbor - to the official surrender of Japan on the USS Missouri . The United States had another subsequent conflict, The Cold War , in which nuclear weapons were upgraded for possible war with the Soviet Union .

The Armed Forces of the 21st century maintain great importance in today's world, such as in regions of East Asia , Southern Europe and the Middle East . Its ability to project power on the coastline of certain regions of the world improves during peacetime, and its rapid response to regional crises makes it an active participant in the defense of the United States. The United States Navy is the largest in the world with a greater tonnage than the next 17 armed together and has a budget of $ 127,300 million for the fiscal year 2007. [ 6 ]

The Navy is administratively dependent on the Department of the Navy , which is directed by the Secretariat of the Civil Navy . The Department of the Navy is a division of the Department of Defense headed by the Secretary of Defense . The highest rank in the Navy is Chief of Naval Operations .



In the early stages of independence the establishment of an official navy was a point of contention among members of the Continental Congress . His supporters argued that the navy could protect ships, preserve coasts, and make it easier to seek support from other nations. His detractors said that facing the British Royal Navy , the greatest naval power of the time, was foolish.

While the congress was arguing, it received the news that two unarmed British ships with resources from England were going to Quebec without being escorted. A plan was developed to intercept the vessels, as the armed ships were not owned by Congress, but by independent colonies. Another idea was a plan to equip two ships led directly by Congress to capture the unarmed British ship. This plan was not carried out until October 13, 1775 when George Washington announced that he was going to send three ships under Continental authority to intercept the British ship near Massachusetts . With this event, the United States Army was born. [ 7]

From the reestablishment to the Civil War

The United States was without a decent navy for about a decade, a situation that exposed merchant ships to Barbary pirates . In response to these attacks, Congress ordered the construction of six frigates on May 27, 1794. [ 8 ] Three years later the first three were already in service: USS United States , USS Constellation and USS Constitution.

Following the undeclared Quasi-War with France , there was another confrontation in the War of 1812 where he faced the British frigates and, on more than one occasion, came out victorious as in the battles of Plattsburgh or the battle of Lake Erie . However, the United States was not powerful enough to prevent the British from blocking ports and landing troops. [ 9 ] After this war, the United States concentrated on protecting active US ships, sending squadrons to the Caribbean , Mediterranean Sea , South America , Africaand to the Pacific . [ 8 ] In 1846, during the US intervention in Mexico, the navy intervened through maritime blockades, taking possession of California , and participating in the siege of Veracruz . [ 9 ]

The United States Navy began to play an important role in foreign policy through Commodore Matthew Perry's actions in Japan , which resulted in the Treaty of Kanagawa in 1854.

Naval power was of great importance during the Civil War , when the States of the Union faced the Confederate States of America on the seas. The naval blockade of the United States hurt the Southerners in the conflict. The Union government and the separatist rebels were the first to put the battleships into combat . The Battle of Hampton Roads , in which the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia faced each other, was the first confrontation between two steam battleships . Even so, after the war the Navy became obsolete.

Twentieth century

A modernization program that began in the 1880s led the United States to be one of the first naval powers with a fleet based on steel-hulled ships. This fleet achieved an easy victory over the Spanish in the Spanish-American War of 1898. The rapid construction of pre-dreadnoughts and then dreadnoughts in the following years brought the North American Navy to the level of the powerful British and German navies . In 1907 several ships formed the so-called Great White Fleet , which went around the world in 14 months. Ordained by President Theodore Roosevelt, it was a mission to demonstrate the superiority of the US Navy.

The navy (the 4th in the world in 1914 by tonnage) only participated in a small action during the First World War . It grew enormously until the years before World War II , being in 1939 the 2nd fleet by tonnage and large ships, only surpassed by the Royal Navy . Japan tried unsuccessfully to eliminate this strategic threat with an attack on Pearl Harbor .

The USS Yorktown (CV-5) being attacked during the Battle of Midway , during World War II.

With this, the United States fully entered the war alongside the allies. The navy grew enormously by operating in two oceans, although it had more action on the Pacific side , where it was of great help to the allies in the Island Hoping campaign . The navy faced several significant battles, including: the Battle of the Coral Sea , the Battle of Midway , the Battle of the Philippine Sea , the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and the Battle of Okinawa . By the end of the war, the United States had incorporated hundreds of ships, including more than 60 combat and escort aircraft carriers and 10 battleships, making it the world's 1st fleet without question.

During the conflict with the Soviet Union in the Cold War , the navy continued to advance technologically by developing new weapon systems, ships, and aircraft. The naval strategy of the United States changed and focused on a deployment of support to the allies of the United States mainly with battle groups. The navy was of great importance during the Vietnam War and during the blockade of Cuba in the Cuban Missile Crisis . The ballistic missile submarines were important in the policy of mutually assured destruction .

XXI century

The Navy continues to represent the greatest support for American interests in the 21st century. Since the end of the Cold War , attention shifted from a major war with the Soviet Union to small operations in troubled regions. [ 10 ] The Navy has participated in the 2001 War in Afghanistan , the Iraq War since 2003, and the War on Terror . Research for the development of new weapons and ships is currently continuing.


The navy is under the administration of the Department of Defense , under the civilian leadership of the Secretary of the Navy . The highest rank is that of Naval Chief of Operations , an admiral who reports to the Secretary of the Navy. At the same time, the Naval Chief of Operations is part of the joint staff that is the second most important body of armed forces after the National Security Council of the United States .

Operational forces

There are nine operational forces of the Navy: [ 4 ] The Fleet Forces Command, the Pacific Fleet, the Central Command of Naval Forces, the Naval Forces of Europe, the Naval Network of the War Command, the Naval Reserve of the Navy, the Sea Naval Systems Command, the Naval Special Warfare Command, the Test and Evaluation Operator, the Military Marine Transportation Command and the Navy Naval Aviation Forces.


The United States Navy has nearly half a million personnel, of which about a quarter are in reserve. In military service, more than eighty percent of sailors are conscripts while officers account for about fifteen percent; the rest are cadets from the Naval Academy and NROTC units (located in more than 180 universities throughout the country).

Sailors demonstrate that they have mastered the skills of their trade and that they are prepared to assume their responsibilities by completing the Standards of Personnel Requirement (ERP) that includes examinations. Among these, the most important is "warfare requirement", which denotes the level achieved in Aviation Warfare, Special Warfare, Surface Warfare, or Submarine Warfare. Many of these requirements have their own insignia or emblem that is included on the sailor uniform.

Commissioned officers

The officers of the Navy have various grades, from O-1 to O-10; from O-1 to O-4 are considered junior officers , officers O-5 and senior O-6 and officers on the scale O-7 to O-10 are considered flag officers or "admiralty". Promotion to O-8 is based on the performance of the officer ranks, which is recorded in the "fitreps" (status report) written by the officer himself and ratified by a superior. Promotion to Vice Admiral (O-9) or Admiral (O-10) is subject to confirmation from the United States Senate .

Above the rank of admiral there is that of admiral of the Fleet (O-11), granted to a few soldiers during World War II , and which is used only when the country is in a state of declared war. In 1899 a special rank called Admiral of the Navy was created for George Dewey , hero of the Spanish-American War , on the condition that he ceased to exist upon his death.

Commissioned officers are trained at the United States Naval Academy , the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC), or the Officer Candidate School (OCS), among other training programs. training.

Officers can be generally divided into Line Officers (operational officers) and Staff Corps (Support or Service officers). Operational officers can still be divided into "unrestricted" and "restricted." The former are the primary element of combat officers: they captains ships, aviation squadrons, and special operations units. The latter focus on non-combat activities, such as engineering or maintenance; they are not qualified to command combat units. Staff officers are specialists in fields that are not strictly military, such as medicine, law, or civil engineering.

Officers of the United States Navy (followed by its translation into Spanish)
Fleet Admiral
Almirante General
Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral (lower half)
O-11 (Disused since World War II ) O-10 O-9 O-8 O-7
US Navy O11 insignia.svg US Navy O10 insignia.svg US Navy O9 insignia.svg US Navy O8 insignia.svg US Navy O7 insignia.svg
Captain of a Ship
Frigate Captain
Lieutenant Commander
Captain Corvette
Lieutenant of the Ship
Lieutenant (junior rank)
Alférez de Navío
Alferéz de Frigata
O-6 O-5 O-4 O-3 O-2 O-1
US Navy O6 insignia.svg US Navy O5 insignia.svg U.S. Navy O-4 insignia.svg US Navy O3 insignia.svg US Navy O2 insignia.svg US Navy O1 insignia.svg

Technical officers

Chief Warrant Officers have a salary scale from CWO2 to CWO5. At the CWO5 level belong officers whose role is to provide their leadership and skills for the most difficult and demanding operations in a particular technical specialty. Thus, they occupy a niche not always covered by commanding officers, who tend to have a wider field.

Chief Warrant Officer Five
Chief Technical Officer 5
Chief Warrant Officer Four
Oficial Técnico Jefe 4
Chief Warrant Officer Three
Chief Technical Officer 3
Chief Warrant Officer Two
Technical Officer Jefe 2
Warrant Officer One
Chief Technical Officer 1
W-5 W-4 W-3 W-2 W-1
US Navy CW5 insignia.svg US Navy CW4 insignia.svg US Navy CW3 insignia.svg US Navy CW2 insignia.svg US Navy WO1 insignia.svg

NCOs and sailors of the Navy

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
Fleet / Force Master Chief Petty Officer
Master Chief Petty Officer Fleet / Force
Command Master Chief Petty Officer
Master Chief Petty Officer Command
Master Chief Petty Officer
Jefe maestro contramaestre
Command Senior Chief Petty Officer Chief Petty Officer
of the Command
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Jefe contramaestre mayor
Chief Petty Officer
Jefe Contramaestre
E-9 E-8 E-7
MCPON.svg FMCPO.svg CMCPO.svg BMCM GC.svg CMDCS.svg BMCS GC.svg BMC GC.svg
Petty Officer First Class
Contramaestre primero
Petty Officer Second Class
Contramaestre segundo
Petty Officer Third Class
Contramaestre tercero
Seaman Apprentice
Seaman Apprentice
Seaman Recruit
Sailor Recruit
E-6 E-5 E-4 E-3 E-2 E-1
BM1 NOGC.svg BM2 NOGC.svg BM3 NOGC.svg E3 SM USN.svg E2 SM USN.svg Has no badge since 1996


As of 2020, the Navy operates 490 ships, 3,900 aircraft, 50,000 non-combatant vehicles, and owns 75,200 buildings on 3,300,000 acres. [ 11 ]


The names of active duty ships of the United States Navy are preceded by the letters "USS", the designation for " United States Ship ". [ 12 ] Non-commissioned vessels manned by civilians in the Navy have names beginning with "USNS", a designation for " United States Naval Ship ". The names are officially selected by the Secretary of the Navy , often in honor of important people or places. Additionally, each ship is given a symbol based on hull classification(for example, CVN or DDG) to indicate the vessel type and number. All ships in the Navy inventory are placed in the Naval Vessel Register, which is part of the " Navy List " (required by Article 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ). This registry tracks data, such as the current status of a ship, the date of its commissioning, as well as the date of its definitive decommissioning. The Navy also maintains a reserve fleet of inactive vessels that are maintained for reactivation in times of need.

The United States Navy was the first to install nuclear reactors aboard warships; [ 13 ] today, all active US aircraft carriers and submarines use nuclear propulsion . In the case of Nimitz-class aircraft carriers , two jets give the ship almost unlimited power and provide enough electrical power to supply a city of 100,000 people. [ 14 ] The Navy previously operated nuclear-powered cruisers and destroyers, but all have been decommissioned.

The Navy has identified the need for 313 combat ships, but current plans will only be able to afford from 232 to 243. [ 15 ]

Aircraft carrier

Gerald R. Ford , an aircraft carrier of the Gerald R. Ford class , the most modern.

The Navy has set a minimum requirement for 11 carriers , but it was lowered to 10 after the Enterprise was deactivated . [ 16 ]

An aircraft carrier is typically deployed along with a number of additional vessels, forming a carrier strike group . The support vessels, which typically include three or four cruisers and destroyers equipped with the Aegis combat system , a frigate and two attack submarines, are tasked with protecting the aircraft carrier from air, missile, sea and underwater threats. as well as providing additional attack capabilities of its own.

Amphibious warships

USS Bataan (LHD-5) , a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship

The amphibious assault ships are the centerpieces of US amphibious warfare and perform the same role of power projection that aircraft carriers except that their strike force includes ground forces instead of aircraft. They offer command, coordination and all support elements to an amphibious unit of 2,200 marines in an amphibious assault, using both aerial and amphibious vehicles. Resembling small aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships are capable of V / STOL , STOVL , VTOL , convertiplanes, and rotary-wing aircraft operations. They also contain a flood dam to support the use of hovercraft landing craft.(LCAC) and other amphibious assault craft. Amphibious assault ships are generally named after battles in World War II.

Missile cruisers

The cruises are large ships carrying anti-aircraft / anti-missile warfare and surface warfare conducted anti - submarine warfare, attack operations independently or as members of a larger operational force. Modern guided missile cruisers were developed out of the need to counter the threat of anti-ship missiles. This led to the development of the AN / SPY-1 radar and the RIM-67 Standard missile and the coordination of both with the Aegis combat system . Cruisers class Ticonderogathey became the first to be equipped with Aegis and were put to use primarily as anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense in a battle protection force role. Subsequently, the development of vertical launch systems and the Tomahawk missile gave cruisers additional long range to land and maritime strike capabilities, making them capable of offensive and defensive combat operations. All cruisers since CG-47 have been named after famous battles with the USS Thomas S. Gates (CG-51) being the sole exception. Previously, cruisers were named after cities (up to CG-12), important figures in the Navy (CG-15 CG-35), or states (CGN-36 to CGN-41).


The destroyers are medium-sized, multi-mission vessels capable of sustained performance in anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, anti-ship, and offensive attack operations. Like cruisers, guided missile destroyers are mainly focused on surface attacks using Tomahawk missiles , and defense of the fleet through the Aegis system and Standard missiles. The destroyers also specialize in anti-submarine warfare and are equipped with VLA rockets and LAMPS Mk III Sea Hawk helicopters.to deal with underwater threats. When deployed alongside a carrier strike group or expeditionary strike group, Aegis-equipped destroyers and cruisers are primarily tasked with defending the fleet while providing secondary strike capabilities. The destroyers have been named after Navy personnel and important heroes since the USS Bainbridge (DD-1) .


The frigates American modern mainly perform anti - submarine warfare for carrier strike groups and amphibious expeditionary groups and provide armed escort for supply convoys and merchant shipping. They are designed to protect friendly ships against hostile submarines in low to medium threat environments, with torpedoes and LAMPS helicopters. Regardless, the frigates are capable of carrying out counter-drug missions and other maritime interception operations. The Navy expects to retire and replace the current class of frigates by 2020 when littoral combat ships are introduced. [ 17 ]As in the case of destroyers, the frigates are named after naval heroes.

In addition, the USS Constitution , launched in 1797, one of the first six frigates of the United States Navy, remains in service at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. She serves as a tribute to the Navy's heritage, and occasionally sails during commemorative events such as Independence Day and various victories during the War of 1812. The Constitution is currently the oldest warship afloat. [ 18 ]

Littoral combat ships

The littoral combat ships are split between two designs and around 40 ships are expected when the program is complete.

  • Freedom class (2 active, 2 under construction, 16 more planned)
  • Independence class (1 active, 1 completed but unassigned, 2 under construction, 6 more planned)


USS Kentucky (SSBN-737) , an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine

The main missions of the Navy submarines are surveillance and intelligence, special operations, precision strikes, group operations, and control of the seas. [ 19 ] The United States Navy operates three types: ballistic submarines, guided missile submarines, and attack submarines. Ballistic missile submarines have only one mission: to carry and launch the Trident nuclear missile . Four Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines were converted to guided missile submarines, which have the primary mission of striking targets on the ground. Attack submarines have various tactical missions, including sinking ships and other submarines, launchingcruise missiles , intelligence gathering, and special operations assistance.

  • Ohio class , ballistic missile submarines (18 active, 4 converted to guided missile submarines)
  • Los Angeles class , attack submarines (43 active, 2 in reserve, 17 decommissioned)
  • Seawolf class , attack submarines (3 active)
  • Virginia-class attack submarines (9 active, 5 under construction, 4 ordered, 4 more planned)


Four F / A-18F Super Hornets of the Navy.

The embarked aircraft are capable of attacking by air, sea, and land targets away from a carrier strike group, while protecting allied forces from enemy aircraft, ships, and submarines. In peacetime, the ability of aircraft to project the threat of a sustained attack from a mobile platform at sea gives US leaders important diplomatic and crisis management options. The aircraft additionally provide logistical support to keep the Navy ready, through helicopters and supply platforms with which special operations, search and rescue, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) are carried out.

The US Navy began investigating the use of aircraft at sea in the 1910s, Lieutenant Theodore G. "Spuds" Ellyson became the first naval aviator on January 28, 1911, and in 1922 the first aircraft carrier, USS Langley . [ 20 ] The United States fully entered naval aviation around the time of World War II, when it became apparent after the attack on Pearl Harbor , the Battle of the Coral Sea , and the Battle of Midway that aircraft carriers and aircraft they carried had replaced the battleship as the most powerful weapon at sea. Navy aircraft in World War II, included theGrumman F4F Wildcat , Grumman F6F Hellcat , Vought F4U Corsair , Douglas SBD Dauntless , North American T-6 Texan, and Grumman TBF Avenger . The naval aircraft also played an important role in the conflicts during the following years of the Cold War, the F-4 Phantom II and the F-14 Tomcat became military icons of the time. The Navy's current main fighter and attack aircraft are the multi-mission F / A-18C / D Hornet and its successor, the F / A-18E / F Super Hornet . The F-35 Lightning IIIt is currently under development and is planned to replace the C and D versions of the Hornets. [ 21 ]

See also


  1. ^ A b navy.mil (ed.). "Navy Personnel" . Retrieved April 8, 2017 .
  2. a b c d navy.mil (ed.). "United States Navy Biographies" . Retrieved December 26, 2019 .
  3. ^ "United States Navy" . usa.gov . Retrieved July 26, 2020 .
  4. a b The organization of the Navy Filed on December 5, 2008 at the Wayback Machine . (in English).
  5. Constitution of the United States (in English). National Archives of the United States. July 25, 2006.
  6. ^ United States Navy Finance Office Archived June 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine .
  7. "Birthplace of the Navy". Department of the Navy - Naval Historical Center Official Website. Consultado el 8 de abril de 2006.
  8. a b Love, Robert W. Jr. History of the U.S. Navy Volume One: 1775-1941. Harrisburg: Stackpole Books, 1992.
  9. a b Palmer, Michael A. "The Navy: The Continental Period, 1775-1890". Department of the Navy - Naval Historical Center Official Website. Consultado el 8 de abril de 2006.
  10. "Forward...From the Sea". Department of the Navy Website. Consultado el 25 de julio de 2006.
  11. ^ "Status of the NAVY" . navy.mil (in English) . Retrieved May 11, 2013 .
  12. USN Ship Naming . Naval Historical Center . Retrieved May 19, 2007
  13. ^ "CVN-65 Enterprise" . GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved March 7, 2007.
  14. ^ "CVN-68 Nimitz Class" . globalSecurity.org. Retrieved April 8, 2006.
  15. Vice Adm. Barry McCullough, defensenews.com
  16. US Navy to Gates: Yes, we need 11 aircraft carriers
  17. "FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry-class Program Status". GlobalSecurity.org. Consultado el 8 de abril de 2006.
  18. HMS Victory is older, and in service, but in permanent dry dock
  19. ^ "Submarine Missions" . GlobalSecurity.org. (in English) . Retrieved May 13, 2013 .
  20. "A Brief History of U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers: Part I - The Early Years". U.S. Navy Official Website. Consultado el 30 de junio de 2011
  21. "F-35C Joint Strike Fighter". Globalsecurity.org. Consultado el 30 de junio de 2011

external links