Since its early beginnings, Navy personnel have always been the U.S. Navy’s greatest strength. Record keeping of personnel actions are a vital component of the Navy’s overall mission. Over the course of the Navy’s existence, personnel strength has fluctuated depending on capabilities, equipment, world events, and a host of other factors. For instance, during the American Revolution, personnel strength of the Navy peaked at more than 3,000, but after America won its independence, the Navy was disestablished and personnel strength went to zero. During World War I, the ranks grew to more than half a million, but after the Great War was over, the Navy shrank to less than 92,000. World War II marked the biggest increase in the Navy topping out at more than 3.4 million in 1945. Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) made up the vast majority of personnel who would process the massive amount of paperwork WWII generated.
In addition to personnel strength, pay, quality of life, personnel actions, awards, decorations, unit history, distribution of mail, and a host of other actions are processed for all Navy personnel. Although this page is not all encompassing, links have been provided for historical research purposes. NHHC also provides resources for veterans to assist those attempting to locate records relating to their own military service.