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History and Heritage

Pass This Copy Along

Celebrating Two Years of All Hands Magazine Online

Budget. The sound of that word can be daunting, knowing that restrictions and tightening-up are just around the corner. For All Hands Magazine in 2011, it was a death sentence.

For 94 years, the Navy's major publication printed valuable content and distributed it across the fleet, informing Sailors of new changes, major advancements and providing an up-to-date snapshot of the status of the fleet. But, that was about to change. The Department of Defense released a new budget proposal limiting spending and ultimately cancelling the print version of the Navy's magazine. What had started as a brief bulletin printed in 1922 by the Bureau of Navigation, evolved into the diverse telling of the Navy's story that Sailors throughout the fleet anxiously anticipated with each issue and shared at their leisure at sea, in the air and ashore. But, the next issue almost never came.

All Hands ceased publication in December 2011. There were no more boxes filled with sea stories waiting in shops and spaces throughout the fleet. No more glossy pages in Sailors' hands assuring them they were part of something great. The boxes were empty, and the fleet moved on.

As budget can mean drawbacks and downsizing, it is also an inherent part of our Navy culture, and after the issues stopped rolling off the press, the small team of writers, editors and storytellers at All Hands Magazine viewed it not as a nail in the coffin, but as a unique challenge. After all, it was the 21st century, and the print mediums that were applicable in the '20s, '70s and even the '90s were fading more rapidly each day. It was time to move into the future. It was time to go online.

Navy Photo

After almost two years of innovating, rethinking and reshaping, All Hands Magazine went live on The new site was full of stories and content provided by Sailors across the Navy; for Sailors, by Sailors as All Hands' slogan touted. The ideas flowed into the fleet and every Sailor could see, hear and read their stories with the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen. All Hands was back.

It's been two years since went live, and the online publication still sticks to its roots and continues a nearly century-long heritage of compelling story craft. Just as the early publications in the '20s and '30s urged Sailors to "pass this copy along," the modern All Hands is one publication, shared by thousands of Sailors, Veterans and families across the globe telling the fleet's narrative.

We are America's Navy, and All Hands is our magazine. Pass this copy along.