As a young American man considering enlistment in the U.S. Navy, with the possibility of making it your career, you have a natural interest in where you may serve, what you will do, and what Navy life will hold for you. The object of this booklet is to answer your questions.
Perhaps the best starting point is a brief explanation of the Navy organization. We have touched upon the Navy's mission--maintaining the freedom of the seas for our commerce in peacetime and sweeping the enemy forces from above, below and on seas in wartime. To carry out its mission, the Navy is divided into two major parts, the Fleet which fights the battles and the Shore Establishment which supports the fleet. Naval aviation is a part of the fleet.
The seagoing forces may be divided into a number of fleets for strategic or tactical purposes, such as the Pacific Fleet, the Atlantic Fleet, the Mediterranean Fleet. These may be subdivided into numbered fleets, if necessary, as in the Pacific Fleet which includes the First Fleet and the Seventh Fleet. The number of warships in a fleet, and the types included, varies with the extent of the area in which it operates, the strategic importance of its mission, and other factors. Warships may be transferred from one fleet to another as needed.
The Navy alternates sea service with shore duty, striving to achieve an even balance insofar as the Navy's needs permit. One unusual feature of sea service is found among the crews of nuclear-powered submarines. The tremendous cruising range of the nuclear-powered submarines creates a condition in which the ship can outlast the man. Because of this, these submarines have two crews, the "blue" and the "gold." While one operates the submarine, perhaps submerged for weeks on end, the other crew rests and retrains ashore, taking over when the operating crew returns from its cruise.
Naval aviation squadrons rotate in service aboard aircraft carriers and at naval air stations ashore. Certain types of squadrons such as long-range patrol squadrons, and special-purpose squadrons operate
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