The Navy and Merchant Marine relationship is a storied one. Originally, the two were almost indistinguishable. In fact, John Paul Jones—generally considered the “Father of the U.S. Navy”—spent much of his life as a merchant seaman like many sailors of his day. Over time, however, the Navy-Merchant bond has waxed and waned. In times of war, the services remain close; in times of peace, they often grow apart. Technology, politics, legislation, and economics also drive this dynamic relationship. Today, the Navy sailor and merchant mariner are more-or-less formally estranged.
‘Military to Mariner’ Program Bridges Merchant/Navy Gap
By Lieutenant Shawn M. Henry, U.S. Navy