Time to think about joining the Navy League

One of my favorite organizations is the Navy League.  I wrote this post last September to encourage people to check it out.  I’m reprinting it today, slightly modified, because, for no clear reason, the Navy League has been in my mind.  I guess the dog days of Spring already have me longing for the October fun of Fleet Week.


I always look forward to Fleet Week, which comes to San Francisco every October.  For the past three years, though, Fleet Week has been extra special for my family because of our Navy League membership.  Thanks to our affiliation with that organization, we get to take tours and participate in Fleet Week events that go above and beyond the excitement that hundreds of thousands of other happy Fleet Week visitors get to enjoy.  (These are a few posts detailing the fun we’ve had.)

And what is the Navy League?  Long-time readers know that it’s an organization formed to support the Navy and related military organizations.  Here, from the Navy League’s own website, are the organization’s mission and policy statements:

The Navy League has set forth the following objectives:

  • To foster and maintain interest in a strong Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine as integral parts of a sound national defense and vital to the freedom of the United States.
  • To serve as a means of educating and informing the American people with regard to the role of sea power in the nuclear age and the problems involved in maintaining strong defenses in that age.
  • To improve the understanding and appreciation of those who wear the uniforms of our armed forces and to better the conditions under which they live and serve.
  • To provide support and recognition for the Reserve forces in our communities in order that we may continue to have a capable and responsive Reserve.
  • To educate and train our youth in the customs and traditions of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard and the Merchant Marine through the means of an active and vigorous Naval Sea Cadet Corps.

Statement of Policy

We of the Navy League of the United States stand for a strong America – a nation morally, economically, and internally strong.

We believe that the security of our nation and of the people of the world demands a well-balanced, integrated, mobile American defense team, of which a strong Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine are indispensable parts.

We support all Armed Services to the end that each may make its appropriate contribution to the national security.

We know that in a free nation an informed public is indispensable to national security and, therefore, we will strive to keep the nation alert to the dangers which threaten – both from without and within.

We favor appropriations for each of the Armed Services, adequate for national security, economically administered.

We oppose any usurpation of the Congress’s constitutional authority over the Armed Services.

We urge that our country maintain world leadership in scientific research and development.

We support industrial preparedness, planning, production.

We support efforts of our government to achieve worldwide peace through international cooperation.

We advocate a foreign policy which will avoid wars – if possible; if not, win them!

Significantly, the Navy League is not a political group or lobbying group.  Instead, it is an educational organization, that also focuses on the well-being of the men and women in the service.  As the Navy League says:

The Navy League of the United States is a 501(c)(3) organization of more than 60,000 members  dedicated to nonpartisan, enhanced public understanding of the missions and challenges facing today’s Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine, as well as advocating for the well-being of the men and women of each service.

The Navy League, of course, isn’t the only group associated with the various military entities it supports.  My post, therefore, is not intended to compare it to or elevate it above other military support organizations.  It is just to say nice things about an organization I think is really delightful and that, from my own experience with the organization, truly carries out its goals and effectuates its policies.

As for those policies, I don’t know about you, but I am in complete agreement with the policies that the Navy League advances, and I think its organization does a good job of effectuating those policies.  If you join the Navy League, your donation will work to forward those goals — goals that benefit, not only the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine, but all of us.  After all, our military is composed of our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, friends and neighbors. We are blessed in America with a citizen military and, as fellow citizens, we should care about the military’s well-being.

Moral support is one way to show we care, especially during economically difficult times.  The fact is that every time the military suffers economic cuts, taking away funds for weapons and personnel, the energy needed to resurrect those lost resources is far greater than the ease with which they were cut.  If the public is unclear about the military, viewing it as some strange “other,” it is going to be less willing to support the military’s needs in either war or peace time.

So, if you were sort of thinking about joining the Navy League, now would be a very good time.  And if there are comparable organizations for other branches of the military, please write and let me know, so that I can publicize them too.  The world seems chaotic and unbalanced right now, and I personally feel that a military that has America at its back (instead of in its face, as happened during the 1960s), is a strong bulwark against instability and danger.