This year marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the role of the U.S. Navy in winning that conflict figures prominently in nearly every American history book used across the United States. Many of the qualities that shaped and helped the Navy win 200 years ago still hold true today.
America’s Navy is our nation’s front line in peace and war; operating on, above and below the sea. Think of the Navy as America’s ‘away team,’ deployed around the world, defending our nation’s interests, every single day.
Water covers about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. Approximately 80 percent of the world’s population lives near the sea. About 90 percent of all world trade by volume travels by sea. In other words, what happens on the sea matters. It matters to our national defense. It matters to world peace. It matters to our economy and to the preservation of prosperity.
The Navy has never been more in demand. The President’s national security strategy emphasizes our commitment in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions – maritime areas of the world ideally suited for naval operations and in which the Navy maintains a robust presence.
The Navy is ideally suited for this kind of unsettled world because the Navy is fast, agile and by its very nature ready because it is operating forward.
We also can be a global force for good. In a humanitarian crisis, the Navy is there to deliver relief supplies and provide medical care.
We also must be mindful about how we power our ships, aircraft, and submarines. That’s why the Navy is a leader in pursuing our warfighting advantage through innovation in energy. This summer, we demonstrated a Green Carrier Strike Group powered for several days by alternative energy.
The United States is a maritime nation bounded by oceans on both sides with maritime highways in between. A strong Navy is necessary to preserve the American way of life. This requires warfighting Sailors who are highly trained, highly motivated and courageous; Sailors who are capable of meeting any challenge. It requires the best Sailors in the world – the men and women of the U.S. Navy.