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

The U.S. Navy was founded on October 13, 1775, and the Department of the Navy was established on April 30, 1798. The Department of the Navy has three principal components: The Navy Department, consisting of executive offices mostly in Washington, D.C.; the operating forces, including the Marine Corps, the reserve components, and, in time of war, the U.S. Coast Guard (in peace, a component of the Department of Homeland Security); and the shore establishment.

The U.S. Navy fleet is comprised of aircraft carriers that allow the mobile projection of naval air power across the globe, amphibious Assault Ships that deploy and support U.S. ground forces in remote locations, cruisers that are capable of engaging multiple simultaneous targets and employed in force support or independent action, destroyers that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capability, independently or in fleet support, and submarines for underwater operations and designed to carry out research, rescue, or specific wartime missions.

The Navy also has a large inventory of aircraft of all types to support the mission.

There are approximately 318,000 sailors serving on ships and installations across the world today.

Bill to Shield Veterans Services From Government Shutdown Advances

Capitol Building

WASHINGTON -- A bill to secure the funding of veterans' services in a time of uncertain federal budgets won an initial legislative victory on Capitol Hill this week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he will call a vote before the end of the year on the Putting Veterans Funding First Act. Reid announced this in a letter sent Tuesd... more

Troops, Vets to Get Checked for Chemical Exposure in Iraq

Soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, uncovered these munitions in a large weapons cache in Iraq on Sept. 28, 2005. Kevin Bromley/Army

The Pentagon will offer medical examinations and long-term health monitoring to service members and veterans exposed to chemical warfare agents in Iraq as part of a review of how the military handled encounters with chemical munitions during the American occupation, The New York Times reported Wednesday. An Oct. 15 Times story found that while ... more

Former Navy SEAL Probed Over Bin Laden Revelations

Osama bin Laden

A former member of the Navy SEALs who participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden is under criminal investigation for possibly revealing classified material, The New York Times reported. Matt Bissonnette wrote a first-hand account called No Easy Day under the pseudonym Mark Owen. He landed in hot water with the Pentagon, who said he d... more

Soldier or Civilian, Ebola Protocols Not the Same

U.S. personnel construct the Monrovia Medical Unit site in Monrovia, Liberia. The MMU is being constructed in the event any medical workers in the area catch Ebola while assisting in Operation United Assistance. Craig Philbrick/Army

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. soldier returning from an Ebola response mission in West Africa would have to spend 21 days being monitored, isolated in a military facility away from family and the broader population. A returning civilian doctor or nurse who directly treated Ebola patients? Depends. The Pentagon has put in place the most stringent Ebola s... more

Hagel Defends 21-Day Ebola Quarantines for Troops

Army Spc. Kristal Calderon practices donning and removing protective equipment and a mask after a class at the logistical warehouse on Fort Gordon, Ga., Oct. 14, 2014. DoD photo

The differences in how civilians and military personnel will be treated upon return from West Africa were underlined by the case of Kaci Hickox, a nurse who returned from West Africa and has defied a voluntary quarantine. She went for a bike ride, followed by state police, on Thursday despite the voluntary quarantine for nurses who treated... more

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