If you suddenly have an urge to hum “Anchors Aweigh,” the fight song of the United States Naval Academy, you have reason to. On October 13, the U.S. Navy celebrates 247 years of might and force projection upon the seven seas. On this day in 1775, the Continental Congress commissioned two schooners to intercept “such transports as may be laden with warlike stores and other supplies for our enemies,” which was Great Britain, at the time.
From two schooners to seven active and numbered fleets filled with frigates, corvettes, destroyers, cruisers, submarines and aircraft carriers, the Navy has come a long way.
(Did you know? When an anchor is “aweigh”, it is in the process of being brought aboard so that the ship may depart).
At University of Arkansas Grantham, we have a long history of helping our military service members and veterans—including our nation’s Sailors—access the information and education they need to succeed in their military careers and the civilian world. To celebrate their service birthday, here’s a few interesting facts about one of our nation’s most powerful fighting forces:
1 – The U.S. Navy is not the world’s largest (technically).
According to a 2021 Department of Defense (DOD) report, China has more ships, though most are small coastal patrol ships and frigates. In terms of power projection, especially on sea and away from land-based support, the U.S. Navy is superior.
2 – The U.S. Navy is bigger and more heavily armed than any other naval force.
11 aircraft carriers, nearly 100 cruisers and destroyers, dozens of small surface logistics and combat ships, and more than 60 attack, ballistic missile and cruise missile submarines. That doesn’t even touch upon the number of aircraft available in both support and force response.
3 – The U.S. Navy has the third most personnel of all U.S. military branches.
With 330,000+ active-duty personnel and more than 100,000 in ready reserve, you can find able-bodied Sailors all over the world—not just in the U.S.
Speaking of Sailors, we had the chance to talk with retired sailor Richard G., a recent graduate of UA Grantham’s Master of Science in Leadership program, about his learning experience and what he plans to do with the degree:
Why UA Grantham?
When I retired from the U.S. Navy after 24 years of service, the one major regret that I had was not continuing my education. As a leader, I stood up in front of those I was leading and told them how important it was to continue your education, but I never set the example in doing so. Soon after I retired in October 2017, a friend of mine and fellow retiree told me about UA Grantham and how easy it was to work with them and continue my education. I began working toward my bachelor's in business administration and four years later I achieved my master's in leadership, as well.
What was the best part of your UA Grantham experience?
By far it is the access you have to professors and how understanding they are with having a full-time job, a family and also trying to further your education. They are so helpful and positive, and in many cases throughout my educational experience, they are the reason I continued and didn't give up.
What will you do with your degree?
This was more of a personal goal than something I will apply professionally. I plan on using everything I’ve learned with UA Grantham and in my 24 years with the Navy as an opportunity to lead. I'm just not entirely sure in what fashion that will be currently.
There is no guarantee, express or implied, that a college degree or certificate from University of Arkansas Grantham will improve employment prospects, earnings, earnings potential, or career advancement opportunities.