SUFFOLK, Va. – Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR) Sailors, Department of the Navy
(DON) civilians, Joint Staff, Naval Network Warfare Command, U.S. Fleet Cyber
Command/U.S. 10th Fleet South (FCC) and Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command (NCDOC) celebrated the Navy’s 244th birthday together in the Information Warfare Hall of Heroes Auditorium, Suffolk, Virginia, Oct. 11.
The Navy's 244th birthday theme “No Higher Honor” draws upon the extraordinary service, sacrifice and heroism of the Sailors who fought during the Battle of Leyte Gulf off Samar. On Oct. 25, 1944, a small group of destroyers known as Taffy 3 bravely charged into a line of Japanese battleships to protect American forces landing on the islands. The American destroyers were decimated, but their actions prevented enemy forces from concentrating fire on the landing forces. As a result, American troops eventually liberated the Philippines.
More than 400 Sailors, DON civilians and guests attended the event, which included the guest speaker Mr. Ed Moore, a volunteer at the Mariners’ Museum who primarily speaks about Naval Warfare.
Capt. Eric R. Johnson, chief of staff, NAVIFOR, delivered the ceremony’s opening remarks and introduced the guest speaker.
“Good morning and thank you for being here to celebrate the Navy’s 244th birthday,” said Johnson. “On Oct. 13, 1775, a resolution of the Continental Congress established what is now our Navy. Acting on this authority, Congress established the Department of the Navy on April 30, 1798. Nearly 200 years later, in 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, designated October 13 as the Navy’s official birthday, and directed that it be commemorated so as to “enhance appreciation of our Navy heritage” and reinforce “pride and professionalism in the Naval Service.”
Johnson discussed the service of our World War II shipmates who cemented the Navy’s legacy and how those past heroes offer today’s Sailors multiple examples of heroism in action as we again face great power competition.
“Heroism takes on many forms, from cyber to aviation, the actions of our Sailors, both past and present, prove there is no higher honor than to serve in the United States Navy, so our part in the fight, as the Information Warfare Community, has never been more important,” Johnson said.
Moore, a retired newspaper sports editor and columnist, won 91 journalism awards in his career, and was named one of the top five sports columnists in the United States three times in which sports sections he edited were named among the best in the nation 18 times.
Moore’s presentation highlighted John Paul Jones one of the Navy’s finest leaders who helped shape the United States Navy into the most formidable in the world. He spoke about Jones’ upbringing as a child, his time as a merchant marine, his role in the Revolutionary War and after. The focus of the discussion pertained to this year’s theme “No Higher Honor,” with the battle of Battle of Flamborough Head in which John Paul Jones commanded the USS Bonhomme Richard and defeated the HMS Serapis.
After his formal presentation, Moore talked a bit about what the Navy means to him. “My father was in the Navy and he passed away last year. I grew up fascinated by the Navy, Naval warfare, technologies and how it affects tactics. I have nothing but respect and honor for it,” Moore said.
The celebration also featured a commemoration segment honoring Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW-MIA) with a table display, and concluded with a cake-cutting ceremony conducted by the oldest and youngest Sailors.
The youngest Sailor, Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Nicholas Nodalo, shared what the Navy’s Birthday means to him. “I enjoyed today because we get to celebrate how the Navy started and honor those that came before me.”
NAVIFOR' s mission is to support operational commanders ashore and afloat by providing combat-ready Information Warfare forces, which are forward deployable, fully trained, properly manned and capably equipped.
For more information about NAVIFOR, visit the command's website at http://www.public.navy.mil/fltfor/navifor/Pages/Default2.aspx, Navy News webpage at http://www.navy.mil/local/navifor or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NavalInformationForces.