Victory at Sea: Recognizing the U.S. Navy's 245th Birthday

By Perry Luksin 10/13/2020
Victory at Sea: Recognizing the U.S. Navy's 245th Birthday

The U.S. Navy will turn 245 years old on October 13. The Navy recognizes it's birthday each year both internally and externally with a variety of activities, not only to help raise awareness and support for their organization, but to also show appreciation for their mission and their heritage.

The theme of their 2020 birthday celebration is "Victory at Sea," which pays tribute to the Navy's role during World War II. This year, COVID-19 has impacted the Navy's ability to conduct their annual large-scale celebratory events, so instead, they’ve created online toolkits to help their commands celebrate locally.

In honor of the Navy's 245 years of service, we’d like to share some of our own fun facts and project highlights with the Navy.

Fun facts

  • Our projects with the Navy span 33 states and territories.
  • There are currently 85 nonprofit agencies (NPAs) working on active Navy projects.
  • As of late September 2020, SourceAmerica has 174 active Navy projects on the Procurement List.
  • Food service is our largest line of business with the Navy, followed by custodial services and total facility management.
  • The food service, administrative and logistics services contract at Naval Station Great Lakes in Great Lakes, Illinois provides approximately nine million meals annually!
  • A grounds maintenance project at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington is our oldest active Navy project, dating back to 1971. The work is still being performed by the original NPA, New Leaf.
  • NPA VersAbility Resources has helped the Naval Ophthalmic Support and Training Activity produce 295,656 sets of eye glasses for active duty service members, retirees, contractors and public service workers.

Project highlights

Shipboard Provisioning Services
We currently have a contract with the Navy and VersAbility Resources to provide shipboard provisioning services in the United States and Guam. CW Resources, Inc., Pride Industries, Northwest Center, Challenge Enterprises of North Florida, Inc., Goodwill Contract Services Hawaii, Inc. and Pacific Ability Resources Inc. are all NPAs working with VersAbility as subcontractors. Together, 322 people with disabilities make up the shipboard provisioning services team, transporting massive quantities of provisions onto ships and submarines.

Notably, at the beginning of the pandemic last March, NPA employees in Norfolk loaded the USS Comfort with over 13,000 cases of provisions over a two-day period, while NPA employees in San Diego loaded the USS Mercy with 5,484 cases of provisions in one day. NPA employees and Navy personnel in Norfolk also worked together during Hurricane Isaias last summer, loading nine Navy ships with over 2,000 cases of provisions.

Food Service and Logistics Services
NPA Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, which is on the food service, administrative and logistics services contract at Naval Station Great Lakes, in Great Lakes, Illinois, is not only responsible for the care, feeding and support of the recruits attending boot camp, but also the sailors on the main side of the base. Employees on this contract work closely with Navy personnel to prepare and serve food, clean the galleys and greet recruits and sailors. The logistics services operations include transportation services (drivers for light, medium and heavy trucks); uniform distribution, linens and other items for new recruits; mail handling and other deliveries. There are approximately 600 employees with disabilities supporting this contract. They work hard at providing services seven days a week, 365 days a year, and are essential personnel for this installation.

Total Facilities Management
NPA Skookum has been performing base operations support for the Navy’s Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest (NAVFAC NW) at the North Sound facilities in the state of Washington since 2017, with 130 people with disabilities working on this contract. Skookum provides facility management, utilities support, transportation, pest control, solid waste disposal and more. Skookum also maintains an inventory of over 14,000 assets annually, which the Navy uses for repair and replacement decision-making.

Uniforms and Supplies
Uniforms and other apparel
NPAs have produced the Navy Working Uniform, the black knit watch cap and the ubiquitous white Navy service "Dixie Cup" hat. Additional items include combat fabric helmet covers, garrison and utility caps, slacks and coveralls. The NPA community provides a range of supplies as well, from food provisioning to aerospace componentry to maritime safety technologies.

Nuclear wiping and filtering cloths
NPA Chesapeake Bay Industries, Inc. has been proudly producing nuclear wiping and filtering cloths for the Navy since 1986 with 22 people with disabilities working on this project. The cloths are made of 100% American-made cotton and are produced in various sizes for cleaning and maintaining nuclear propulsion systems aboard Navy vessels.

Personal protective clothing for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
NPA Community Workshops, Inc. (DBA Community Work Services) has been producing personal protective clothing items for the Navy since 2007. Four people with disabilities have worked on this contract, producing hoods, hard hat liners and protective overshoes for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire. These items are used during painting and sanding/sandblasting operations on Navy vessels.

Additional info

SourceAmerica is a leading job creator for people with disabilities. We are also a connector—a force for change—uniting individuals and organizations committed to increasing economic and social inclusion for people with disabilities. Working together—with other organizations, policymakers, and people like you—we're making progress every day. If you have any questions about SourceAmerica, please contact