Como funciona a Marinha dos Estados Unidos

Ed Grabianowski

The United States Navy is an American military segment equipped to fight wars in the oceans, seas, and rivers in the world. It is the largest Navy there: if all the other navies of the world were combined into one large Navy, this would be only 5% larger than the United States Navy [source: The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis (CSBA)]. The naval domain is a vital part of military strategy because ships can patrol international waters, extending the reach of the United States beyond the physical borders of the country. The Navy also allows key elements of the arsenal of the United States, such as nuclear weapons and aircraft groups remain positioned outside American soil, preventing the military are neutralized by some major attacks on the American continent.

Navy flag
Public domain Flag of United States Navy

In this article, we a little more about the history of the Navy, we know how it is structured and what ship she uses. We will also see how it's done enlistment, what life is like inside and how to get out of the Navy.

Structure of the Navy

Doanld C. Winter
Photo courtesy Sealift Command Navy of the United States Secretary of the Navy Honorable Donald C. Winter

The Navy is one of the main segments of the United States military. As such, the Department of the Navy belongs to the Department of Defense. President , as Commander-in-Chief, is technically the naval officer with the highest rank, followed by the Secretary of Defense. The Navy Department is headed by a Secretary. Along with a huge administrative staff, the secretary handles administrative tasks and policies and oversees everything the Navy does. The Chief of Naval Operations (the officer with the highest rank in the Navy and the Commander of the Joint Staff) is below the Secretary. The Marine Corps of the United States  is also part of the Department of the Navy, under the command of the Secretary of the Navy [source: United States Navy]. However, the Marines are a separate military branch and no patent Marine Corps responds to any naval officer (except when on board a Navy ship).


The military structure is divided into the Navy Operational and Coastal Forces Base. There are nine Task Force:  

  • Atlantic Fleet (now known as Fleet Forces Command)
  • Pacific Fleet
  • Military Sealift Command
  • Naval Forces Central Command
  • Naval Forces Europe
  • Warfare Command Naval Network
  • Naval Special Warfare Command
  • Force Operational Test and Evaluation
  • Navy Reserve

Within each Task Force there are several numerous fleets that have jurisdiction over a specific geographic area. When a task force of ships moving from one area to another, they are designated as part of the new fleet area. The smallest self-contained operational unit in the Navy is the individual vessel. However, vessels rarely operate alone. Each ship has specific functions, strengths and weaknesses and thus they operate in task forces in which groups of ships complement each other to help accomplish the overall mission.

Individual vessel
Photo courtesy of United States Navy ship A MH-60S Seahawk maneuver from the landing deck of amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5)

The Military Sealift Command is a special part of the Navy because it performs the transportation of supplies for each branch of the military services of the United States. Dry goods and fuel are transported in huge cargo ships and tankers all over the world, wherever the military services need them.

The Coast Base is divided into a variety of segments to deal with naval intelligence, training, research and development, repair and maintenance, and other logistical concerns. The Naval Academy is part of the Coastal Base.

Patent Navy

Commissioned Officers Subficiais Officers *
Navy admiral (special patent of only one person, Admiral George Dewey, resulting from their farms in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War) 5 Warrant Officer (WO-5) Sergeant Major of the Marine
Fleet Admiral - Five Star (unassigned since World War II) Lieutenant 4 (WO-4) Sergeant Major
Admiral (ADM) - Four Stars Lieutenant 3 (WO-3) Chief petty officer
Vice Admiral (VADM) - Three Stars Lieutenant 2 (WO-2) NCO
Rear Admiral Upper Half (RADM) - Two Star   Petty Officer 1st Class
Rear Admiral Lower Half (RDML) - Star   Petty Officer 2nd Class
Captain (CAPT)   Petty Officer 3rd Class
Commander (CDR)   Sailor
Lieutenant Commander (LCDR)   Apprentice Seaman
Lieutenant (LT)   Recruit
First Lieutenant (LTJG)    
Ensign (ENS)    
* Note: the enlisted officers are grouped by position rather than patent.

Along with his patent, a sailor has a position, which is your specific role in the Navy. Examples of positions include Electronic Technician, Gunner helper or helper Foreman. This should not be confused with classification, which is the level of pay for enlisted sailor.