Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the American Sailor

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Military Education and Outreach

The National Museum of the American Sailor offers an array of naval history and heritage programs for current military.


The museum offers history and heritage presentations and walking tours for current military. Presentations are typically 45 minutes in length and feature an accompanying PowerPoint slideshow. Museum staff can travel to your Command or programs can be delivered at the museum. Programs delivered at the museum may have accompanying artifacts.

Walking tours of Naval Station Great Lakes are approximately 1 hour in length and include approximately 1 mile of walking. Walking tours are available between April and October, weather dependent.

All museum programs are free of charge. To schedule a program, contact the museum at or call (847) 688-3154.


Available Presentations

The Skies Above Great Lakes

"The Skies Above Great Lakes" is a presentation about the naval aviation history at Naval Station Great Lakes. The presentation explains the origins of naval aviation, then addresses Great Lakes' contribution to naval aviation during both world wars. 

Brick by Brick: A Brief History of Naval Station Great Lakes

"Brick by Brick" explores the history of Naval Station Great Lakes, from its founding in 1911 through two world wars, the development of modern warfare technology, and its current role as the home of Recruit Training Command. 

The Golden Thirteen

In 1944, sixteen African American sailors arrived at Great Lakes for a groundbreaking officers' training course. Thirteen of those men became the first African American commissioned officers in Navy history. In this program, we explore the experiences of the Golden Thirteen at Great Lakes, their time in the fleet, and the lasting legacy of these pioneers.

Great Lakes, Great Women

"Great Lakes, Great Women" explores the significant contributions of women to Naval Station Great Lakes from its opening in 1911 to the present. This presentation highlights individual women who broke legal and civic barriers in the fight for inclusion, equality, and recognition within the United States Navy.

The Inky Sea: Tattoos and the U.S. Navy

Naval history is rich in the culture and tradition of tattoos. Tattoos have been a part of the Navy for centuries and each one tells a story. In this presentation, we discuss the ways in which tattoos and Navy culture intertwine, how tattoos are part of Navy traditions, and the stories behind common Navy tattoos.

Play Ball! Baseball and the U.S. Navy

Did you know Hall of Famers Bob Feller, Ted Williams, and Larry Doby all played baseball for the Navy during World War II? Discover that story and many more in "Play Ball!" This program explores the historic and modern roles and benefits of baseball in the Navy, including its impact on teamwork, morale, physical fitness, and Navy pride.


Available Walking Tours

Welcome Aboard! Naval Station Great Lakes Walking Tour

Travel back in time to 1911, when Naval Station Great Lakes was first established on the shores of Lake Michigan. This walking tour begins with the architecture and use of the original brick structures, then explores the base's more than 100 year history, including the massive changes that occurred over the course of two world wars. 

Naval Station Great Lakes Cemetery Tour

Venture through one of the Navy's most private cemeteries and the final resting place of sailors, civilians, and Navy family members. This walking tour explains how the Spanish Flu impacted NSGL, visits the final resting place of NSGL's first recruit, and honors all who have served at NSGL.

Published: Wed Nov 06 14:36:30 EST 2019