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U.S. Navy's Values and Missions

Sailors on the USS Essex

The mission of the Navy is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.

For most Navy jobs, it is almost certain that you will go to sea. Some people seem to forget about this fact and are later surprised! There are some uncomfortable aspects of being at sea. For example, there is not much space. You will probably have to share a bed - you will sleep at one time, and someone else will sleep there at another. However, there are many positives to being at sea. Teamwork is one big plus, as are the extraordinary chances to see the world.

What will you be doing? As the Navy is focused on sea missions, most jobs deal with some aspect of a boat. You might operate the engines, or maintaining the weaponry aboard, or analyzing maps. Missions might be things like:

  • Training missions at sea with foreign navies
  • Regional security
  • Reconnaissance / intelligence missions to gather enemy data
  • At-sea rescues
  • Medical care programs for Navy, Marines, or perhaps people in or near a war theater
  • Oil spill or other marine cleanups

Below are a few examples of Navy people and their missions:

Team Brings Important Environmental Capability to OIF

July 23, 2003

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- An important capability put in place during Operation Iraqi Freedom by the Navy helped ensure that the military could fight the enemy, head off a potential environmental disaster and clear the way for the delivery of humanitarian aid. Fortunately, it never had to be used. But if Saddam Hussein's forces had engaged in a deliberate act of environmental terrorism by destroying Iraq's offshore oil terminal platforms, people and equipment were in place to immediately undertake a major anti-pollution effort.

Although anti-pollution work has long been an area of expertise for the divers, engineers and technicians who work under the Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV), the onset of hostilities in Iraq this spring marked the first time anti-pollution assets were mobilized and deployed on a Navy ship in the battle space during offensive combat operations.

"Prior to offensive operations beginning, we were praying that this would just be a large logistical exercise," says Ruth. "But we gained some valuable experience. We went through the logistical challenge of getting equipment on-scene to support the battle plan. And we successfully put contractor equipment and personnel onboard a Navy ship in support of combat operations. We were ready for a mission that, fortunately, never happened."

Medical Team Responds to Haiti Truck Accident

April 22, 2004

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (NNS) -- Emergency medical personnel from Combined Joint Task Force Haiti and Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) 8 responded to an accident involving an overturned truck filled with nearly 50 local workers April 8. 

Members of the Multinational Interim Force rushed to the scene near the Task Force's compound that left two people seriously injured and others with fractures, bruises and abrasions. Fourteen of the injured were transported to the Task Force's triage unit in military ambulances.

"I'm glad we could help, and it shows the Haitian people another side of why we are here," said Hospitalman Evan E. Zilliox, a corpsman with MAGTF 8 who helped care for some of the injured. "It's just another way we are trying to let people know we are doing our best to help the country."

Navy's First Nuclear Submarine

USS Skate (SSN 578), the Navy's first production nuclear submarine, surfaced through a thin layer of Arctic ice at the North Pole. Skate was the first submarine to surface at the top of the world. The sub ended up surfacing 10 times through the ice during this mission.

Skate was the third nuclear submarine with three others in its class: USS Swordfish (SSN 579), USS Sargo (SSN 583) and USS Seadragon (SSN 584).

The Birth of Underwater Demolition Teams

After Tarawa, 30 officers and 150 enlisted men were moved to Waimanalo Amphibious Training Base to form the nucleus of a demolition training program. This group became Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) ONE and TWO.

The UDTs saw their first combat on 31 January 1944, during Operation FLINTLOCK in the Marshall Islands. FLINTLOCK became the real catalyst for the UDT training program in the Pacific Theater. In February 1944, the Naval Combat Demolition Training and Experimental Base was established at Kihei, Maui, next to the Amphibious Base at Kamaole.

Eventually, 34 UDT teams were established. Wearing swim suits, fins, and facemasks on combat operations, these "Naked Warriors" saw action across the Pacific in every major amphibious landing including: Eniwetok, Saipan, Guam, Tinian, Angaur, Ulithi, Pelilui, Leyte, Lingayen Gulf, Zambales, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Labuan, Brunei Bay, and on 4 July 1945 at Balikpapan on Borneo which was the last UDT demolition operation of World War II.

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