Today’s Navy handles operations on and under the sea, in the air and on the ground. It spans 82 international ports and the open ocean. Elite groups within the Navy, such as the SEALs and Navy Divers, receive specialized training for advanced warfare situations. A Navy Sailor generally serves a term of four years aboard one of the Navy's 297 deployable ships, though options for shorter time commitments exist.
- Full-time service
- 347,800 active-duty personnel
- More than 150 career specialties
Serving in the Navy
Service members share their views on the Navy.
Video Published on Jul 29, 2021Length 1:09 View Transcript
Lt. Alex Burtness: I knew that I wanted to go to a service academy and for me the Naval Academy was the obvious choice just because you had the option of you know, flying jets, becoming an EOD tech, you know leading Marines, driving ships, driving submarines.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Crandall: After high school, I decided that I didn’t want to just go right to college. I figured I would join the Military, do something for my country, and maybe get a little money for college on the side.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert Glaude: Talking with friends who are back home, it’s actually pretty exciting because, you know, they’ve been in Texas the whole time, and I’ve been in two years and I’ve seen eight different places. Honestly, I’ve gotten a lot more than — than what I can measure. Like, in college courses or in money in the bank account — the life experiences I’ve gotten, I’ve got from the Navy and just the growing up, the maturity that I think I’ve gotten from the Navy.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Maya Dover: You really see how much you impact the Navy. It’s definitely humbling.
Lt. Alex Burtness: Military service is very fulfilling. The opportunity to serve your country and work with other like-minded people and particularly for me the opportunity to do this job, I really can't imagine a line of work that is more fulfilling.
Serving in the Navy
Types of Military Service
The U.S. Military consists of six active-duty Service branches and their respective Guard and Reserve components. Together, they offer a broad variety of ways to serve.