According to historians, there are two main periods in United States Navy history: the “Old Navy” and the “New Navy.” The Old Navy period began on October 13, 1775, with the establishment of the Continental Navy by the Second Continental Congress. This Naval Force served in the American Revolutionary War before being disbanded in 1785.
However, in response to North African pirates disrupting American sea trades, Congress passed the Naval Act of 1794, establishing a permanent standing U.S. Navy. The Navy was involved in the Quasi-War (1798 —1799), the First and Second Barbary Wars, the War of 1812, the Mexican–American War of 1846, and the American Civil War.
The U.S. Navy also assisted in the fight against piracy in the Mediterranean and Caribbean seas, as well as the slave trade off the coast of West Africa. To deal with the growing number of outdated ship designs, Congress approved the construction of new modern battleships and cruisers in the 1880s. By 1870, America had risen from twelfth to fifth in the world in terms of naval fleet size. They surpassed the British Royal Navy in terms of uniformed men and women and capital ship size during the 1920s and 1930s. This expansion lasted until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1941. The Navy became the world’s undisputed naval superpower following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990–1991.
On March 3, 1915, Congress passed legislation to establish the Federal Navy Reserve. On April 6, 1917, it was renamed the U.S. Naval Reserve Force. The Naval Reserve Force joined WWI with about 8,000 sailors, growing to 250,000 reservists by the end of the war. The Reserve served during WWII, making up 84% of the United States Navy’s fighting force. They also served in major armed conflicts, such as the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the first Gulf War, and the contingencies in Bosnia and Kosovo. In 2005, the Naval Reserve Force was renamed to Navy Reserve.
According to nationaltoday.com. Source of photos: internet