The officially recognized birthday of the U.S. Navy is Oct. 13, 1775. As of July 2015, the U.S. Navy is the largest and most powerful navy in the world.
The Continental Congress established the Continental Navy in 1775 to address the United States' need for a way to fight the British at sea during the Revolutionary War. Prior to the Continental Navy, several colonies had created their own navies. Rhode Island originally introduced a resolution to the Continental Congress that proposed a Continental fleet funded by the Congress. On the day the Navy was established, Congress approved the purchase of two armed vessels to be used in defense. By the end of 1775, Congress had approved the construction of 13 additional ships, this time armed frigates.
As of July 2015, the Navy has 326,612 active duty and 110,076 ready reserve personnel plus a large civilian staff of almost 200,000 employees. The U.S. Navy also has 273 deployable battleships, 85 of which are currently deployed, including four aircraft carriers and four amphibious assault ships. In addition, the U.S. Navy has more than 3,700 operational aircraft. In addition to sea and air equipment, the Navy operates over 50,000 non-combat vehicles and 75,200 buildings worldwide.