Tag: Traditions

Jan. 7, 2021

Ringing in the New Year Navy Style

The Naval History and Heritage Command is hereby reviving the tradition of the New Year's Deck Log Poetry contest. The deck log is the official record maintained by all commissioned U.S. Navy vessels. While the contents of a deck log are generally fiercely regulated, the United States Navy has long held the tradition of the Midnight New Year's Day Poem. The first entry of the New Year, written in verse, gives a brief glimpse into the minds of the sailors and shipboard life, and provides a human voice to the otherwise impersonal deck log.

Dec. 31, 2020

Steaming Into the New Year

EDITOR'S NOTE: For many American Sailors, forward-deployed around the world in defense of freedom, it's already 2021. As America gets ready to celebrate the arrival of the New Year, we wanted to share a unique, longstanding U.S. Navy tradition you may not have heard of. U.S. Navy ships maintain a deck log in which they record all the important

Oct. 23, 2020

"Crossing the Line" in the Pacific War

While commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two, we reflect on the life of Harry H. Keith, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy in 1923, who commanded several ships over his Navy career. As a member of the staff of General MacArthur, he escaped Corregidor in 1942. Over two years later, he commanded the USS Osage (LSV

June 11, 2020

What So Proudly We Hail

Every morning at 0800, Sailors around the world hear the call to colors. They take a moment of silence, stop what they are doing, and stand at attention to salute the national ensign while the Star-Bangled Banner plays.Title 4, Section 6 of the United States Code (4 U.S.C. 6), states that "the flag represents a living country and is itself

Nov. 6, 2019

A Family Tradition

Hugh Wyman Howard's Naval Academy sweater....

June 7, 2019

Nautical Terms and Naval Expressions: Seamanship Edition Part 1

Basic seamanship is the foundation for a Sailor's life at sea. Whether it's line handling, understanding basic navigation, or just knowing your way around the decks of a ship - understanding basic seamanship plays a role in keeping Sailors organized, oriented and SAFE. In this series of infographics, we will explore the meaning and history behind a

Dec. 28, 2017

The Navy's Tradition of the New Year's Day Deck Log

Well, this is the watch on that special night,When the OD writes poetry by gangway lightTis the 1st of January, 1968 And I've the watch that runs quite late.USS Agerholm (DD 826)The naval service, by its very nature, thrives on rules and regulations. Above all else, a ship and her crew must promote self-reliance, discipline, and teamwork to

June 9, 2017

The Traditions of Ship Commissionings

The Navy's use of the word "commission" means the placing of a ship in active service. The commissioning ceremony is one of the most significant milestones in the life of a ship as it marks her acceptance as a unit of the operating forces of the United States Navy. Brought to life after ship naming, keel laying, christening and launching,

Dec. 21, 2016

Commemorating The Holidays Through The Years

While most of us are home sharing dinner or opening gifts with friends and family this Holiday Season, it's important to remember our Sailors and service members are in harms way aboard ships and in places far away from home. Let us take a look back at how our Sailors have commemorated the Holidays through the years.Christmas lights decorate the

Oct. 3, 2016

Manning the Rails: A Navy Tradition

Manning the rail, like the ceremonial military gun salute, is a centuries old practice for rendering honors aboard naval vessels. According to Royal Connell and William Mack's "Naval Ceremonies, Customs, and Traditions," the custom of manning the rail evolves from "manning the yards" (the spars on a mast from which sails are set) and cheering the