SecNavs’ Navy Birthday Address

Happy Birthday, Shipmates!

From the Honorable Gordon R. England
Secretary of the Navy
On the occasion of the 229th Birthday

Birthdays are traditionally milestones in time that call for both reflection on achievements past and thoughts on changes ahead. The Navy’s birthday is no different.

On the occasion of this 229th milestone, we can all take enormous pride in a naval history rich in tradition and unparalleled in success. Today, the United States Navy stands alone, unmatched in the world.

John Paul Jones set the tone of our service when he stated, “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm’s way.” For more than two centuries, this legacy has endured, along with our core values of honor, courage, and commitment. Brave Sailors and Marines have repeatedly fought to guarantee the security and prosperity of our great Nation and to defend freedom and democracy around the globe.

Freedom and liberty are not birthrights; rather, they need to be guarded, defended and protected. For 229 years, magnificent men and women have stepped forward to preserve this gift of freedom and liberty for us. Now, it’s our responsibility to pass on this gift to future generations.

Today, our Navy again sails in harm’s way fighting global terrorism – a profound threat to peace, stability, and our way of life. We are again a Nation at war, and these are historic times.

Like the men and women who served during World War II, this generation will also earn the respect and admiration of generations yet unborn for answering the call and defeating the global scourge of terrorism. You and your families are making many sacrifices to preserve our way of life, and it is deeply appreciated by the American people. In this global war on terror, your service is vitally important and highly valued.

For me, it’s an honor and privilege to serve with the professional men and women who wear the Navy uniform. I also thank all the civilians in our Navy family for their hard work and devotion. Quite simply, without our civilians behind the lines, Sailors and Marines could never deploy to the front lines. In this fight, we truly are One Team!

Happy 229th birthday to the greatest Navy the world has ever seen. God bless each of you and your families, and may God continue to bless America.