NORFOLK (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) celebrated the Navy’s 243rd birthday with a cake-cutting ceremony, Oct. 12.
The ceremony featured a video narrated by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith highlighting the history of the Navy and its many accomplishments, as well as remarks from Abraham Lincoln’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Putnam H. Browne and Abraham Lincoln’s Gun Boss, Cmdr. Anthony Hughes.
Hughes addressed those in attendance, speaking about improving naval traditions, how far the Navy has come from just 80 men on a wooden ship, and the importance of carrying on the tradition of self-improvement.
“I want you to make a promise to yourselves,” said Hughes. “Find something you can do better and make it happen for yourself. Be a better Sailor for your ship and the United States Navy. Our forefathers before us got the Navy to where it is today, and we are carrying on the tradition.”
Browne reflected upon how tradition defines Sailors and how the strength of the Navy emanates from their hard work and pride.
“It’s through the hard work that we define ourselves, and that makes us better people,” said Browne. “That is what you’re going to be really proud of. It’s important that we are the continuation of those who defined us, before us. As you move forward, think about what you’re going to do with your time in the service and leave with pride. Leave the organization a better organization because of your service. Be a giver, not a taker.”
Sailors have been forged by the sea since Oct. 13, 1775, when the Continental Congress determined a Navy was needed to protect America and its international interests. That day was immortalized in 1972, when Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized official recognition of Oct. 13 as the birthday of the U.S. Navy. Since then, a Navywide celebration of this occasion is encouraged to develop a greater appreciation of Navy heritage and pride in traditions and naval service.
The Honorable Richard V. Spencer, secretary of the Navy, stressed the importance of continuing the path of greatness and constantly improving on what Sailors have accomplished and established.
“Because of your hard work and dedication, the foundation for restoring readiness and increasing lethality has been set,” said Spencer, “but as we enter our 244th year of service, we must now build on that foundation. With your help, I have no doubt we will leverage every resource, leading practice and efficiency we can find with the professionalism, integrity and accountability the American people expect.”
From the original six frigates to more than 320,000 active-duty Sailors and more than 280 deployable battle force ships, the Navy has grown and will continue to grow and improve upon the legacy forged by those who served before.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.