Top 10 Reasons the Navy is the Best Service


I might have been born Air Force. I did, in fact, give birth to a kid determined to join the Army. But I count myself lucky, lucky, LUCKY that I have spent my entire adult life loving on the Navy.  And even at it’s ripe old age of almost 238, it’s still looking good.

So I was delighted to run into so many other Navy lovers at our Live Spouse X event in Norfolk, Va. this summer. One of our groups put together this top ten list of how the Navy beats every other service, hands down, whether it’s the 238th birthday or not.

(OK, OK, OK — Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force send us your lists and we will print them on your service’s birthday, we promise.)

So why is the Navy the best service? We’ll tell you:

Top 10 Reasons the Navy is the Best Service

1. Oceanfront property. Be it ever so humble, the Navy forces you — just forces you, Dear — to live near an ocean. You have to walk on beaches in the sunset — there is a law. You simply must learn to pick crab or lobster while drinking local beer and listening to Buffett. Porpoises and dolphins are such an every day thing that you don’t even bother to look up when they flash by. Once in a while you get a weirdo billet (NAS Fallon we’re talkin’ to you) where you can’t even remember what the ocean looks like, but most of the time you get to live near the sea.

2. White uniforms. Not only do our own sailors develop miraculously good superstar looks when they don the spanky white version of their uniforms, this trick works for actors, too. Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Richard Gere in Officer and a Gentleman. Cuba Gooding Jr. looking his cutie best in Men of Honor. John Wayne and Cary Grant also quite delightful in Navy garb. Makes you wanna wake up and smell the polyester!

Please note: Putting on the “blueberry” uniform does not work the same way, Liam Neeson.

 3. New Chief season. The Navy is a service surrounded by history and traditions and customs. One of our favorites happens in August when they do the CPO induction and you see all these ridiculously cheerful people out doing car washes to raise money. We like when good things happen to good people. Now get out there and be the backbone of the Navy.

4. The Big Turnaround. All the services do this in one way or another, but we love when kids join the Navy out of high school. Then they kind of look around and figure out who they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to be doing. My own nephew enlisted in the Navy (and recently reenlisted) and found a place in the world to do good work. Gotta love it.

5. Huge support group. In Navy towns like Norfolk, San Diego, Jacksonville, and Bremerton you can’t walk a block without running into someone with connections to the Navy. Not only have these neighbors walked the walk, but they have really good advice about getting up to speed on all you need to do…along with a nice plate of brownies.

6. Never say goodbye. In Navy life, the limited number of bases means that you never really say goodbye to the people you meet. Instead we say, “Fair winds and following seas.” Translated I think this means, “Bye for now and we’ll catch up at the commissary two duty stations from now.” Or it could also be like that Far Side comic where the sea captain is trailed into a dark alley by a following sea … one of the two.

7. Ships slipping over the horizon. One of the most beautiful moments of a Navy homecoming is that instant when the ship slips over the horizon and into view. One minute there is nothing but some ugly oiler jacking up the horizon. The next moment there is this huge, grey vessel slipping across the ocean like a mist. The whole thing makes you choke up with the joy of it. Really.

8. Homecoming on a pier — not in a gym. For the majesty of the event, nothing beats a Navy homecoming where the sailors line the rails of the ship and then descend onto the pier into the arms of their loved ones. This is a little less picturesque in the rain. Or the snow. Or that unfortunate sleet storm that pummeled all the balloons. But it is really, really pretty most of the time.

9. Land, sea and air — we fight everywhere. Unlike the other services, the Navy is equipment driven. We may rib each other about whether surface, air, subs, SEALs, supply, etc. are the best part of the Navy, but in the moment of crisis we got it all.

10. Sailors have more fun. Trust us. They just do.


About the Author

Jacey Eckhart
Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom. Find her at

63 Comments on "Top 10 Reasons the Navy is the Best Service"

  1. sabrinacking | October 8, 2013 at 8:56 am |

    I will give you this one: ships disappearing on the horizon absolutely beats blue buses hands down any day of the week.

  2. USN Ret/Navy Wife | October 8, 2013 at 9:17 am |

    What a well written piece!

  3. Amy_Bushatz | October 8, 2013 at 10:01 am |

    Go Army beat Navy!

  4. Trying to stir the pot? lol Oh, and I have known many Navy people who are stationed nowhere near a body of water! ;-) Our son plans on joining the Navy, so we will see which is better soon.

  5. Virtudes Medina Sellstrom | October 8, 2013 at 7:47 pm |

    I am a navy medic vet and those wonderful years still brings smiles to my face
    I wish I could still be there . I enjoy every minute of it. Now I am a disabled vet but still happy that I have those wonderful assignments from San Diego to Kuwait navy leaves its mark in my heart.

    • Navy Medic vet? Medics are Army! CORPSMAN is NAVY! lol
      Navy Vet HM2 Karns

    • What?!? Interesting, never heard of this, Corpsman 8 yrs., Navy, 13yrs.+ Coast Guard. There are only two types of vets, both Army, one for the troops (jab,jab,jab!) and the others for the 4 legged version.

  6. Christy Shields | October 8, 2013 at 8:25 pm |

    I am an Army gal, but have to say your article put a smile on my face! Can’t argue with all the great reasons you list that make it cool to be associated with the Navy. I just can’t pick one service over the other however, as every one of them offers several “cool factors”. Coast Guard = cool rescues and kick ass Counter Drug Operations, Air Force = amazing aerials and immense, spot-on, fire power, Army = “Devils in baggy pants – need I say more?”, Marines = they are looking for a few good men – damned good men…and they have the best commercials ever! Clever article Jacey, thanks for the levity :)

  7. Navy not just a job an adventure

  8. The biggest reason is the Navy is the ultimate service……We have ships (Navy), the Marines, yes you guys are in the Navy (Army), and jets Air Force). What more do you need?


    • Hey shipmate, no need to yell! But your heart in is the right place! 30 years in our Navy, and I miss my ships SO much! I would do it all over again, even the Viet Nam war. I begged them to let me come and play during the Gulf war, they just said that's okay Senior Chief, we got it from here .. hohoho!

  10. Clean sheets, hot chow and a laundry during wartime. Go Navy!! Until recently we are also the only service who goes to war wearing a coat and tie— big class points!

    • Cool story Steven .. reminds me of one of my transfers, going to a ship. The trip was long, exhausting, and I arrived in a driving rainstorm. They welcomed me aboard, filled me up with hot chow, and gave me a clean, crisp rack with that warm grey Navy blanket right away … I cannot say how strongly I felt that I was HOME! At last, with my shipmates, it doesn't get any better'n that!

    • Sherry Reilly | October 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm |

      Steven, Navy women still go to war with a coat and a tie (tie-tab)…lol. The WAVES started it and we continued it! Hoo-yah!

  11. Kinda makes your heart pump!

  12. Never a regret. Small town USA, '56. Four guys enlisted under the Buddy Plan; four guys stayed with it. Over 80 years of Naval Service. GOTTA LOVE IT!!

  13. wordsmithjess | October 10, 2013 at 12:10 am |

    Aw…my poor CPO fiance has been stationed in more deserts and plains than water. Go Midwest Sailors!

  14. Navy guys are also the smartest!

    • Air Force are the smartest silly. We have the highest test scores. They are right behind us though.

  15. Proud navy wife here, GO NAVY!!!! It really is the best :)

  16. Lee Tolentino | October 12, 2013 at 3:35 am |

    The best time of my life is when I was in The Navy. I misses the good old time and life on board the ship….every time. I have a chance to visit a navy vessel i felt I am home again…..

  17. Antonio C Reyes alias Maysonet | October 13, 2013 at 11:09 am |

    I served in the Navy from 1964 to 1967.I loved every minute of it.I visited countries that I never would have been able to visit.I have one regret thou,and that is that I left my Navy pea coat aboard my ship( The USS Boston CAG-1. I sure miss being kn that ship. I will never forget her.

    • Those Pea Coats were great.

    • Ed Therrien | October 23, 2013 at 3:03 pm |

      My brother, Tom Therrien, served onboard Boston about the same time frame (maybe earlier). He always had good things to say about it. He was a BMSN and then BM3 onboard. Although he got out, I spent almost 30 years in the old "canoe club" … loved every minute of it.

  18. I married into a Navy family and have a grudging respect, for many of the people who have been in my life who are sailors. Unfortunately little of this article is based on any quantitive evidence and despite the fact (Yes I believe fact is the right word) that there are some extremely motivated and professional people in the Navy this article in its entirety can only be classified as puffery, but what the hell it's your birthday, Semper Fi swab jockeys, all the best sincerely.

  19. Yeah sure maybe from the perspective of a spouse or child of a Sailor. Or maybe even when you are not out to sea. But who the heck wants to be stuck in a tin can in the middle of an ocean eating crappy food sleeping 6 inches from someone to your left, right, top, and bottom. Give me the Wild blue yonder any day of the week and green golf courses regardless of where you are.

  20. Kendra Marquis | October 13, 2013 at 3:48 pm |

    Navy Brat, Navy Wife (prior service), and Navy Civil Servant for 13 years. Gotta love that Navy!!

  21. James,

    It's obvious you have no idea what shipboard life is like.

    • Although I haven't personally lived aboard a ship, my husband served for 8 years and I have had family members serve in the Navy as well. From what I understand of it, and after touring a few ships myself, I think what James said coincides with what I've seen and been personally told.

      Endless drama because you live with your co-workers, long lines for bad food, spending 6+ months with shoes or boots on your feet unless you're sleeping, a lot of uniforms packed into a very small space, smelly berthing, announcements at all hours, watching people's relationships/marriages fall apart while trying to hang onto your own, weeks without setting foot on dry land…certainly doesn't sound fun to me.
      During a 7 month deployment, my husband spent an entire total of 15 days off the ship. Again, not fun.
      However, we did get to spend 3 years in Belgium, and that was freaking incredible. He said it made 5 years on a ship worth it.

  22. When you are not completely exhausted from working long hours the sunrises/sunsets at sea are the most beautiful things you will ever see.

  23. Don't forget that the Navy also has the best chow….

  24. Actually, the Best is the Coast Guard, but to the Navy, A Hardy Happy Birthday.

  25. It was an honor to serve my nation as a line officer in the United States
    and to set the celebration mood appropriately I offer:

  26. Coasties Rock! | October 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm |

    The military was the best and worse job I ever had. It made me the man I am today. I am proud of everyone in every service and of every veteran. With that said, I would never be a squid! Everyone knows the US Coast Guard is the absolute best service!

  27. OK so the Navy is better because it's pretty. Right. Be sure to tell the enemy that. I have NOTHING against the Navy, but this is silly. Maybe the Navy is best due to its strategic abilities.

  28. I like the Navy…their policies are stricter which make for a stronger sailor…

  29. Walter DeVoe | October 16, 2013 at 8:19 pm |

    In looking back, I wish I had stayed active in the Navy. But I did retire from the USNR. It wasn’t quite the same, but the check, and benefits sure come in handy.
    Happy Birthday US Navy.

  30. I love jet noise. I am seventh sailor second gen aviation boswains mate. I loved the movie Top Gun (with the exception of that horrid love making scene), A Few Good Men and any John Wayne movie. But anyhow I loved the Navy and I married a sailor boy I cant wait to have him home but those dress blues are fantastic! I wish I could still be a flier but it's ok four year of fun was perfect!

  31. 1, 2, & 8 is about all I can give you on that one…

  32. Navy life is compelling, training, Great ships like the Independence, great food, fond memories even 45 years later.

  33. Sharon Fensick | October 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm |

    My husband was in the Navy and took his last swearing in ceremony on the Constitution along with a few other sailors. He was a member of an aircrew that had the privilege of transporting the Navy band. He was always very proud of his service to our country and stayed with the reserves for over 20 years. Loved how he looked in the Navy dress, very sharp!

  34. well I am 64 now, joined the Navy when I was 20, did my 4 and got out. In that four years a boy became a man, I learned what responsibility meant , I learned to understand what my father had tried to tell me that made no sense at the time. I traveled and "saw the world" although while so doing , it was A GREAT ADVENTURE , I also learned how good we had it in the US. My Navy experience was a masters degree in life, that money could not buy, and provided memories for a life time. for this I am thankful, and am proud to be a US Navy veteran….

  35. Alisha Curry | October 19, 2013 at 4:42 pm |

    Some people go into the navy younge & spend years in acting like the barracks is a frat house. Especially if they are stationed in another country. They take full advantage of the time away from anyone who cares about them if they couldn’t PCS with them. Seen many of marriages & couples break BC the sailor didn’t have the commitment level they should have had when going into married. With the long 9 month deployments the colors show as well. My marriage is 1 of the broken ones. He has not learned anything passed his job & “friends” who constantly beg him to do things to hurt our marriage. Nothing but drunken babies. And I’ve seen it at every base. There is a bad side to being in the military if you as an individual don’t have strong values already instilled by the time you’ve found ” the one”. I pray for the broken families & hurting spouses.(on both sides). No one deserves that kind of pain.. no matter how far or how long anyone is gone.

  36. Jennifer vanhorne | October 19, 2013 at 7:48 pm |

    My son just enlisted in the Navy. Leaves for boot camp in February. He is really excited considering there are no jobs in our home town except minimum wage jobs. My Dad and brother made careers in the Navy. I am a very proud Navy mom!

  37. Joined the Navy in June 1950, discharged Nov 53. Could not stay away, joined the reserves Dec 54 then went back on active duty in June of 57. In Nov. of 66 took a discharge and reenlisted in the Air Force for
    family reasons. Retired on July 1, 1974. While in the reserves I got my three brothers to join the Navy.
    I never lost my love for the Navy. Today I am a proud supporter of the Navy Memorial.

  38. PATRICK R LORD | October 30, 2013 at 2:21 pm |

    Truth be known,….there are only two kinds of VETERANS, those who are U.S. NAVY VETERANS and those who wish they were U.S. NAVY VETERANS. I am proud to have served and I am especially proud to be a U.S. NAVY VET ! ! !

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