By Danielle DeSimone
How many fleets does the U.S. Navy have? How do submariners tell time? Which U.S. president was a sailor in World War II? For a military branch that has been around for over 200 years, the Navy has established itself as an impressive fighting force.
Here are seven facts about the U.S. Navy:
1. How Many Fleets Does the U.S. Navy Have?
The U.S. Navy has seven active, numbered fleets in its arsenal. 2nd Fleet, 3rd Fleet, 4th Fleet, 5th Fleet, 6th Fleet, 7th Fleet and 10th Fleet. Certain numbered fleets, which were originally established during World War II, have since been deactivated or merged with other fleets, which is why today’s seven active fleets are not numbered in numerical order.
2. Is the U.S. Navy the Largest Navy in the World?
Technically, the U.S. Navy is the world’s second-largest navy – as of a 2021 Department of Defense report, China holds the title of the largest on the globe. However, most of China’s navy force is made up of small, coastal patrol ships and frigates, so although their numbers are slightly greater, the U.S. Navy’s fleets far outstrip theirs in power.
3. The U.S. Navy is a Force to Be Reckoned With
The U.S. Navy has bigger and more heavily armed vessels than any other navy in the world. It boasts 11 aircraft carriers, 92 cruisers and destroyers and 59 small surface combatants and combat logistics ships. Its submarine fleet is made up of 50 attack submarines, 14 ballistic missile submarines and four cruise missile submarines. The U.S. Navy is also bolstered by the navies of American allies, who work in close collaboration with the United States.
4. Navy SEALs Are So Elite, Even Their Way of Thinking is Intense
Navy SEALs are well known for the incredibly intense physical and mental training that they undergo in preparation for some of the most dangerous missions undertaken by the U.S. military.
But did you know that this training actually changes the way their brains process fear? With this training, SEALs learn to how to remain calm and carry out their tasks even in the midst of chaos and high-pressure situations.
5. Several U.S. Presidents Were World War II Navy Veterans
Six U.S. presidents served in the U.S. Navy during World War II before they led the nation. These veteran presidents include John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush.
6. The Navy’s Blue Angels Serve as a Representation of Naval Excellence
The Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, is one of the world’s most elite military flying teams, with pilots capable of flying in such tight formations that sometimes their jets are only inches apart.
7. Submariners Are All Volunteers
Deployment on a submarine is incredibly challenging. Cramped in a nuclear-powered, tiny space, nearly 130 service members must sleep, eat, work and live with no sense of time for approximately 90 days at a time. Communication with loved ones back home is limited, as emails only send out when the submarine surfaces, and that only happens a few days per deployment. And submariners operate on constantly-rotating eight-hour shifts, making for a grueling schedule as they keep track of time by the hours they work.
Because of this, all submariners have volunteered for their positions, and many take great pride in that fact.
- This story originally appeared on USO.org in August 2021. It has been updated in October 2021.
More Stories Like This
7 Things to Cheer On The Navy’s Birthday
October 13 is the U.S. Navy’s 245th birthday! Originally established during the Revolutionary War in 1775, the Navy has played a central role throughout history and today, it continues its mission of maintaining the freedom of the seas. Here are seven reasons to cheer the Navy’s birthday!
What is the Difference Between Navy vs. Marines?
What is the difference between the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps and how do they operate? Here are five facts about the two branches and how they differ.
What is a Seabee? 9 Things to Know About the Navy’s Construction Battalion
A respected battalion in the U.S. Navy with roots dating back to World War II, the Navy Construction Battalion – better known as the Seabees – is responsible for building much of the temporary and permanent infrastructure at U.S. military locations around the world, to include places like Antarctica.
More from the USO
Feb 23, 2024
The USO's Eastern Europe Expansion: Meeting Service Members' Needs Amid Second Anniversary of War in Ukraine
It has been two years since Russia invaded Ukraine and destabilized the longstanding peace in Europe. As tens of thousands of U.S. troops are deployed or stationed in Europe to maintain the stability of the region and the safety of our allies, the USO has expanded our presence and efforts to support the people who serve - and their families - throughout Eastern Europe.
Feb 20, 2024
We're With David: A Soon-To-Be Air Force Veteran Figures Out His Next Step with the Help of the USO Transition Program
When David, a first sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, began preparing to transition out of the military into a new career, he turned to the USO Transition Program to help guide him on the right path to success.