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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

U.S. Navy 245th Birthday Celebration Communication Plan

BACKGROUND: On October 13, 1775, a resolution of the Continental Congress established what is now the United States Navy with “a swift sailing vessel, to carry ten carriage guns, and a proportionable number of swivels, with eighty men, be fitted, with all possible despatch, for a cruise of three months….” After the American War of Independence, the U.S. Constitution empowered the new Congress “to provide and maintain a navy.” Acting on this authority, Congress established the Department of the Navy on April 30, 1798. In 1972, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized official recognition of October 13 as the birthday of the U.S. Navy.

Since then, each CNO has encouraged a Navy-wide celebration of this occasion “to enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage, and to provide a positive influence toward pride and professionalism in the naval service.” The celebration was codified in NAVADMIN 164/99 by CNO Admiral Jay Johnson who directed that the Navy Birthday and the Battle of Midway “will henceforth be celebrated annually as the centerpieces of our heritage.”

October 13, 2020, will mark the Navy's 245th Birthday. The central theme of this year's celebration is "Victory at Sea," which encompasses the Navy's efforts in battle during World War II.

PURPOSE: This plan streamlines and aligns Navy communication efforts commemorating the 245th Birthday of the United States Navy. It is designed to support Navy commands and staffs as they share stories in speeches, social media, written and broadcast materials, and in discussions with Sailors, colleagues, partners and other key stakeholders.

MISSION: Execute Navy Birthday events in a manner that brings honor and respect upon our service.

TIMING OF CAMPAIGN: Oct. 6-14, 2020

THEME: Victory at Sea, closing the 75th anniversary commemoration of World War II, recognizing 245 years of warfighting excellence, and relating them to modern Sailors who carry that heritage forward today

TONE: Celebratory

GOAL: Inspire esprit de corps among all Naval personnel through the celebration of the Navy’s 245th birthday by honoring the heroes who sacrifice their own interests for the security of all; a team strengthened by diverse perspectives and inclusivity, and the victories at sea won by courageous and resilient Sailors.


Key Message

Supporting Talking Points

Victory at sea for the U.S. Navy is driven by the valor of American Sailors


  • Since 1775, through today, American Sailors have stood the watch with honor, courage, and commitment.
  • Armed with honor, courage, and commitment, “The Greatest Generation” achieved victory at sea in World War II.
  • Their service inspires today’s globally deployed Sailors who ensure security and stability for our allies and ensure prosperity worldwide.
  • Sailors remain victorious by carrying on a two-century tradition of being ready to fight and win

As in World War II, victory at sea is achieved by Navy heroes among us

  • In addition to those who made the ultimate sacrifice — heroes are also the Sailors who inspire their shipmates to do, and be, better.
  • On the 20th anniversary of the attack on USS Cole, we remember those lost and honor the Sailors who heroically saved lives and saved their ship.
  • Cole’s Sailors left a legacy of what warfighters do in the face of adversity: persevere, fight, and win.
  • Every Sailor serves today with a Navy hero: the shipmate who is ready to protect and defend America and its allies.

Victory at sea is assured by an inclusive Navy that represents diverse backgrounds and perspectives

  • An enabler for modern Sailors to achieve victory at sea is their unwavering commitment to excellence and the fair treatment of all.
  • Strengthened by diverse views and perspectives, today’s Navy leaders rely on the energy and capabilities of an inclusive team.
  • Diverse contributions improve trust - and therefore improve performance – throughout all phases of naval operations.
  • Respect for the dignity of all in the Navy Team is essential to conducting ourselves according to our core values of honor, courage, and commitment.


HASHTAGS: #245NavyBirthday #VictoryAtSea

COMMUNICATION CHANNELS: All Navy leaders, commands, and units will aggressively leverage all available communication channels to share messaging about the Navy Birthday with Sailors and the public. NHHC will use:

Published: Wed Feb 10 17:26:50 EST 2021