© U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zach Sleeper/Released | Navy League of the United States
Many New Yorkers and sea service personnel worldwide know the New York Council Navy League as one of the founders of Fleet Week New York, a beloved celebration of U.S. sea services, but they may not know that our impact is so much broader.
America is a maritime nation, and strong sea services are the driving force of a maritime nation. Sea service personnel make sacrifices for us, and they deserve our support. The New York Council Navy League is a member-driven military support organization that supports the sea services—Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and U.S.-flag Merchant Marine.
The New York Council was the first council established 120 years ago and is now one of the largest and most active of the Navy League councils, with nearly 700 members and five consecutive Outstanding Council awards.
We host programs that educate the public and our elected leaders on the importance of the sea services, foster youth leadership development and, most importantly, support sea service personnel, families, and units. We’re financially independent of our national organization, so money given locally stays local.
This year’s Fleet Week marked the first in-person Fleet Week in three years. In addition to hosting 2,500 Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen for Fleet Week 2022, we support ten local sea service units and two adopted ships with ties to NYC, serving 8,000 sea service personnel and their families annually. This number is only set to increase—this fall, another adopted ship will be added when we help commission the USS Cooperstown.
Advocacy and education are critical points of the New York Council. We meet with elected officials locally and through an annual Hill Surge to advocate for specific sea service needs, a mission made stronger with the help of our members who amplify our messaging. As well, we host a National Security Briefing Series, have highlighted the heroism of the maritime industry with events discussing the 9/11 Boatlift, the largest maritime evacuation ever—larger than Dunkirk—and sponsor an annual reception with the Salmagundi Club for new works of fine art accepted into the Coast Guard Art Program. We are currently in the planning stages to host a major Maritime Security Conference this fall.
Our membership comprises veterans of all service branches, family members of those who serve, active duty and reserve military personnel, and other civilians from all walks of life who support our mission. This includes hosting youth programs that instill the values of service, citizenship, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment to 1,500 participants annually, many of whom come from low-income neighborhoods and are first-generation Americans.
We help fund uniforms, equipment, STEM programs, military drill meets, field trips, and academic stipends for four Navy JROTC units, one Marine Corps JROTC unit, two Young Marines units, and one Naval Sea Cadet Corps unit. One of the most gratifying things we do all year is present awards to some of the top-performing cadets from our sponsored units. These young people never fail to impress with their confidence in themselves and support for each other.
Our work is member-driven, as is our funding, so we encourage everyone to visit our website, attend an event, consider donating, and become a member.
Learn more at nynavyleague.org
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About the Navy League of the United States
We are a citizen-led military support organization founded in 1902 to support the sea services — U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S.-flag Merchant Marine. The New York Council was the first council established and is now one of the largest and most active of the Navy League councils. Many New Yorkers and Sailors know us as one of the founders of Fleet Week New York.