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"Navy" is also the nickname of the United States Naval Academy.

A navy is the branch of the military that operates primarily on water.

Most nations which have coastlines have their own navies; a few landlocked countries also possess navies, often as a matter of national prestige. The navy is almost always distinct from the army and the air force, in terms of organizations, uniforms, and traditions. Naval personnel usually wear navy blue or black uniforms in winter, and white uniforms in summer. Unlike the army and the air force, naval uniforms often make clear distinctions between officers and ratings.

A modern navy typically uses a combination of ships, boats, and sometimes submarines, as well as aircraft based on aircraft carriers, conventional warships, or the shore.

Some navies include amphibious forces (marines) to fight on land and defend sea craft. In some countries, the navy is the oldest branch of the armed services. Hence, for example, the British term "the Senior Service." In Russia, by contrast, the navy is traditionally considered "the junior service".

Merchant navy is a British and Commonwealth term for the civilian seafaring industry, recognizing both the shared hazards of seafaring activity during wartime, as well as the expectation that civilian vessels may be put under various kinds of control by military authorities. In the USA the equivalent term is merchant marine.

The word navy came via Old French from Latin "navigium".


See also

Other meanings

  • The colour navy blue.
  • "Naval" is occasionally a misspelling for navel.

Types of naval vessel

For a list of the prefixes used with ship names (HMS, USS, &c.) see ship prefix.

External links

  • NOSI (Naval Open Source Intelligence) - a digital library of world naval operational news, curated from open source intelligence, and intended to serve as a source of continuing education on naval and military affairs
  • Naval & Maritime page of the World Wide Web Virtual Library

Last updated: 02-07-2005 04:06:35
Last updated: 02-20-2005 07:04:51