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History & Heritage

Tending the Side: A Navy Tradition

Rainbow sideboys render honors as Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus arrives aboard the then future amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) as it transited the Strait of Magellan, Aug. 19, 2014. America was traveling through the U.S. Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet areas of responsibility on its maiden transit, “America visits the Americas”. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Graham/Released)

By Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Daniel Garas Naval History and Heritage Command Welcoming dignitaries and visitors of special attention aboard ships carries with it the ancient nautical custom of tending the side. In modern age, the physical process of coming aboard a ship is as simple as walking up …

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History and Display of Military Awards and Ribbons

Vice Adm. Robin Braun awards Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 1st Class Paul Marticorena a Navy Commendation medal April 10, 2014, in honor of being selected as the Reserve Component Sailor of the Year. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Martin L. Carey/Released)

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Garas Defense Logistics Agency Public Affairs The practice of using military decorations to honor individuals or fighting organizations dates back to antiquity.   Early awards were usually used to recognize leaders in the nobility and military class of society. According to the Rosicrucian …

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The Colors of a Navy and Nation

By Annalisa C. Underwood Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division Flags, standards, and banners have been used for thousands of years as visual symbols of those who bear them. “The broad stripes and bright stars” of the American flag represent an indivisible nation “with liberty and justice …

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Nuclear Navy and Energy Independence Pick Up Steam in 1961

By Joshua L. Wick Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division Long Beach, the world’s first nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser, was commissioned Sept. 9, 1961, the same year as the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVAN 65).  With their nuclear-powered submarine counterparts already operating in the …

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Long Before Nuclear Power, There Was Turtle Power

By Elizabeth MurphyDirector of EducationSubmarine Force Museum and Historic Ship Nautilus (SSN 571)  On 17 July 1785, Thomas Jefferson wrote to his friend and colleague George Washington, requesting “you to be so kind as to communicate to me what you can recollect of Bushnel’s experiments in submarine navigation during the …

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When the Navy Operated in the Arctic

USS Burton Island

By Rear Adm. Jonathan White Oceanographer of the Navy and Director Task Force Climate Change Sixty years ago this day, the U.S. Navy icebreaker USS Burton Island (AGB 1) and the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker USCGC Northwind (WAGB 282) became the first two ships to transit the fabled Northwest Passage through the …

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