Shon Douctre was a member of the United States Navy from 1987 to 1991. As such, Shon Douctre considers himself something of an amateur historian when it comes to United States Naval History.
The United States Navy has a history that can be traced back to the American Revolutionary War, during which time the Continental Navy was established. Shon Douctre recalls that the ships at this time were used mostly to defend against pirates along the Barbary Coast. After the American Revolutionary War, the Navy was briefly disbanded until a Congressional Order for the commissioning and manning of six frigates arrived in 1794. The United States Navy went on to be incredibly important during the War of 1812, notes Shon Douctre.
Modernization of the United States Navy began in the late nineteenth century, when the first steel hulled warships were built. These ships had multiple advantages, Shon Douctre explains. First and foremost, they were simply better than the wooden framed ships of the past. In addition to their increased safety and efficiency, these steel hulled ships help to stimulate the fledgling steel industry in the United States.
By the time of the Second World War, the United States Navy had morphed from a small outfit of wooden pirate fighting ships to a mammoth operation resembling the Navy with which we are familiar today. Most notably, according to Shon Douctre, was the advent of the modern aircraft carrier. These gargantuan vessels serve as floating airports, allowing the United States of America to fly a plan from nearly anywhere in the world. Aircraft carriers, and their surrounding fleet of protective destroyers, continue to be the main fixture of the United States Naval Forces.
The newest addition to the United States Navy’s firepower is the nuclear submarine. Nuclear submarines have the ability to stay submerged far below the surface of the water, sometimes for weeks or months at a time, Shon Douctre explains. These nuclear submarines carry a number of nuclear missiles as well as other advanced missile technology. Until very recently, only men were allowed to serve on submarines of any type, including nuclear submarines. This was due in part to the belief that keeping women and men in such closed quarters for such a long amount of time would result in difficult to manage situations. Shon Douctre encourages anyone who is interested in United States Naval History to do a little research of their own.