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United States Navy

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The United States Navy is part of the United States Armed Forces (the military of the USA). It is the largest navy in the world.


The Navy looking for slaves using a newspaper ad

The navy was called the Continental Navy from 1775 until Congress disbanded it and sold the ships in 1785. It was started again as the Department of the Navy on April 30, 1798. The Department of the Navy needed places to make ships, which are called shipyards. So it paid slaveowners to borrow their slaves, then forced the slaves to build and run the shipyards in Washington, D.C.,[1] Norfolk, Virginia,[2] and Pensacola, Florida.[3]


Today, the US Navy has over 300,000 sailors and officers, and almost another 100,000 workers who are not official sailors. [4]


The US Navy has about 300 warships, or ships designed for fighting.[4] The largest warships are aircraft carriers, which have large and flat decks that act as small airports for planes carrying weapons. The US Navy has more of these aircraft carriers than any other navy in the world, and a large number of planes in Naval Aviation. Aircraft carriers are often protected by smaller ships, called cruisers or destroyers. [5]


Rank Title notes
Enlisted Ranks
E-1 recruit These ranks are divided into four groups:Seaman, Airman, Constructionman, and Fireman. The rank uses both the group and the title. For example, an E-2 (apprentice) who is a Seaman is a Seaman Apprentice. An E-3 just uses Seaman, Airman, Constructionman, or Fireman.
E-2 apprentice
E-3 Seaman, Fireman, Constructionman, or Airman
E-4 Petty Officer 3rd class Petty Officers are more commonly referred to by their speciality ("rate") and class. For example, a Electronics Technician (ET) who is an E-5 is called an Electronics Technician 2nd class (ET2)
E-5 Petty Officer 2nd class
E-6 Petty Officer 1st class
E-7 Chief Petty Officer Chief Petty officers are referred to commonly by their level as chief (Chief, Senior Chief, or Master Chief) and officially by their level and rate (Chief Electronics Technician - ETC, Senior Chief Electronics Technician - ETCS, Master Chief Electronics Technician - ETCM)
E-8 Senior Chief Petty Officer
E-9 Master Chief Petty Officer
E-10 Master Chief Petty Officer
   of the Navy
There is only one Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy at a time.
Officer Ranks
O-1 Ensign  
O-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade Commonly just called Lieutenant. Sometimes Lieutenant JG is used
O-3 Lieutenant  
O-4 Lieutenant Commander  
O-5 Commander  
O-6 Captain Same as the rank of Commodore in many other navies
O-7 Rear Admiral There are two ranks of Rear Admiral. While both are called the same, O-7 is Rear Admiral lower half. Lower half is only used when being very official.
O-8 Rear Admiral
O-9 Vice Admiral  
O-10 Admiral The rank of Fleet Admiral also O-10 but is only used at times of war

  1. Arnebeck, Bob (2014) (in en). Slave Labor in the Capital: Building Washington's Iconic Federal Landmarks. History Press. ISBN 978-1-62619-721-3 . 
  2. COLLISON, Gary Lee (2009-06-30) (in en). Shadrach Minkins. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-02979-8 . 
  3. Clavin, Matthew J. (2015-10-12) (in en). Aiming for Pensacola. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-08825-2 . 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The U.S. Navy". 
  5. "US Navy Ships".