Today’s U.S. Navy was born (or perhaps reborn) in the War of 1812. Though the Fleet was founded during the first year of the American Revolution, by 1812 it was still a small coastal navy with a limited ability to project power, protect ports, or control the sea. Those shortfalls hurt the United States in the War of 1812 and showed Americans very clearly the importance of a capable navy to protect the nation’s security and economic prosperity. At the same time, the characteristics that eventually carried the small U.S. Fleet to victories against the British—tactical proficiency, forward operations, and warfighting readiness—became hallmarks of our Navy that endure to this day.
Building on a 200-Year Legacy
Three bedrock lessons from the War of 1812 remain the basis for U.S. Navy operations in the 21st century.
By Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, U.S. Navy