New Year’s Deck Log Poems: What Rhymes with Lovell?

By Dan Smaczny, National Museum of the American Sailor Contract Curator

U.S. Navy vessels record events like inspections, speed changes, and their location in a chronological manner in official deck logs. Logs are sent to the Naval Historical Center in Washington, D.C. and stored for thirty years before being transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration. Deck logs are usually written in a matter-of-fact style with one exception, the first deck log entry of the New Year.

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Dog Tags and Infamy: Remembering Pearl Harbor

By Kelly Duffy, National Museum of the American Sailor Contract Curator

Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy.” During the Japanese attack, 2,403 Americans were killed, of them 2,008 were sailors with another 710 sailors wounded. In total, the Navy lost eighteen ships including five battleships. Continue reading

From Stripes to Anchors: The Navy’s Chief-Selects

By Erik Wright, National Museum of the American Sailor Education Specialist

As the sharp formations of sailors with ornately decorated charge book vessels and anxious faces came marching up to the National Museum of the American Sailor, one uniform was slightly different than the rest. Among the nearly one hundred promotable petty officers first class was a service member with Air Force E-7 rank. Continue reading

Here to Help: Volunteering at NMAS

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Each year, approximately 40,000 recruits pass through Recruit Training Command (Boot Camp) at Naval Station Great Lakes.  These young men and women volunteer to serve in the United States Navy.

But there is another group of dedicated individuals, albeit somewhat smaller, who also donate a portion of their time and energies to the U.S. Navy.  They require no PFT, no uniform issue, and will not have to go through the rigors of Battle Stations 21.  They are the volunteers at the National Museum of the American Sailor.  Their contributions to the preservation and interpretation of the history and heritage of the U.S. Navy can not be understated.

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The Navy is much more than a job; much more than service to country. It is a way of life. It gets in your blood.

– Albert Pratt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1955

Welcome to the official blog for the National Museum of the American Sailor! Formerly the Great Lakes Naval Museum, the National Museum of the American Sailor’s mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of the United States Navy’s Sailor for the benefit of the U.S. Navy and the people of the United States. The museum is located directly adjacent to the Main Gate of Naval Station Great Lakes, the home of the Navy’s only boot camp, in Great Lakes, Illinois.

To echo the above sentiments of Assistant Secretary of the Navy Albert Pratt, the Navy is in our blood as well! We view working here at the National Museum of the American Sailor as an honor and from collecting and preserving historic material to creating exhibits and educating visitors about the historic and continued importance of the American Sailor, this blog will allow us to further engage and educate visitors about the Navy way of life. Readers may look forward to artifact research blogs, education program articles, historical essays, and more.

The National Museum of the American Sailor is located in the historic Hostess House at Naval Station Great Lakes. Constructed in 1942 to serve as a gathering place for sailors and their families coming to Great Lakes for boot camp during World War II, the facility was designed by the prominent architect Gordon Bunshaft of the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. NMAS is one of ten official Department of the Navy museums operated by the Naval History and Heritage Command. Current exhibits at the museum focus on the history of the Naval Station Great Lakes, Navy boot camp life, and the important role of women and minorities in the United States Navy since its earliest days.

Thank you for your interest in and support of the National Museum of the American Sailor and visit this page often for updates about the museum!

For information about the National Museum of the American Sailor visit our website and our Facebook page.