13 Amazing Facts About The U.S. Navy

Navy SEALs have trained their brains to process fear differently.

Navy SEALs have trained their brains to process fear differently.

Scared of the dark? How about jumping from a plane into a dark, cold ocean? Navy SEALs undergo incredibly strenuous mental and physical training, actually changing the way their brains process fear. Through this training, SEALs have better stress-reducing methods, and they are able to think clearly in times of panic and chaos. 

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All submariners are volunteers.

All submariners are volunteers.

Could you imagine being underwater with no light, hardly any room to move, and a nuclear reactor lurking nearby? Sounds intense, right? Well, what's even more mind-blowing is that the people who operate the submarines are volunteers—albeit some of the best trained people to come from the U.S. military.  

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There are a lot of brave men and women fighting for the U.S.

There are a lot of brave men and women fighting for the U.S.

As of this year, there are currently 328,186 active duty members in the U.S. Navy. Of that number, there are 54,713 officers, 268,987 enlisted members, and 4,486 midshipmen. That's a lot of bravery!

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The largest flying boat in existence was built for the Navy.

The largest flying boat in existence was built for the Navy.

The Martian JMS-3 Mars was introduced to the U.S. Navy in 1938. With a 200-foot wingspan and ample room for weaponry, the Mars was the most intimidating aircraft of its time. The PBY Catalina pictured here, for comparison, has a wingspan of "just" 104 feet.

Image: ©Riccardo Niccoli/Stocktrek Images/Corbis
There are 140 NCIS locations scattered around the world.

There are 140 NCIS locations scattered around the world.

Ever wondered what it would be like to fight crime like NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs? With a lot of training and a healthy dose of bravery you could protect those who protect us. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service operates worldwide, working to prevent crimes, protect U.S. citizens, and uphold centuries of courage and honor. Agents are even stationed on ships.

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TOPGUN is more than just a famous movie.

TOPGUN is more than just a famous movie.

TOPGUN, otherwise known as the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, was created during the Vietnam War to improve air combat. Following its introduction, TOPGUN drastically increased the ratio of enemy-to-U.S. military deaths. 

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Women make up 20 percent of all U.S. Naval personnel.

Women make up 20 percent of all U.S. Naval personnel.

There are currently 11,765 female officers and 55,922 enlisted female members in the Navy. Smart, courageous, and strong? They must be Navy women!

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The Navy has an extensive list of specialty terms.

The Navy has an extensive list of specialty terms.

Wanna join the Navy? Better read up! The Navy has a huge list of terms, each with its own fascinating history. For example, did you know that the term "Field Day" comes from the early 1800s when military men would attend parades in their honor? 

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The Naval Academy's song is over 100 years old.

The Naval Academy's song is over 100 years old.

"Anchor's Aweigh" was written by Lt. Charles Zimmerman, who was the Musical Director of the Naval Academy in 1906. Naval students and Navy members alike still proudly sing the anthem today. 

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The Naval Academy has some big football rivalries.

The Naval Academy has some big football rivalries.

Since 1927, the Naval Academy has gone head-to-head with Notre Dame on the football field. However, the teams have never competed at the Naval Academy's field in Annapolis, Maryland.

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There are only 17 officers in the Blue Angels each year.

There are only 17 officers in the Blue Angels each year.

Think you've got what it takes to fly with the Blue Angels? There are only 17 people who voluntarily serve with the Blue Angels each year, making the position quite prestigious. If you've never seen these babies fly, you're in luck. The Blue Angels travel all over the country and you can check out their upcoming show information.

Image: ©Paul Souders/World Foto/Corbis
The Seabees flex their construction muscles.

The Seabees flex their construction muscles.

You've heard of the NAVY SEALs, but have you heard of the Seabees? This heroic team travels the world building Naval bases and airstrips. Their motto "We Build, We Fight," sums up their duties perfectly.

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Dogs can be heroes, too.

Dogs can be heroes, too.

You probably won't find any actual seals hanging out with the prestigious U.S. Navy SEALs, but you might find a few war dogs. Take, for example, Cairo, a Belgian Malinois like the one pictured here. He was part of the 81-member SEAL DevGru unit responsible for taking out Osama bin Laden. 

The dogs undergo rigorous training, and they even parachute in with their human co-fighters!

Image: ©Mark Raycroft/Minden Pictures/Corbis