Fellow Citizens and Supporters of Our Sea Services:
The Navy League was founded in 1902 at the encouragement of President Theodore Roosevelt to provide a civilian voice that could help to influence the country and the Congress in recognizing the importance of a strong sea service. We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational and advocacy organization that supports America’s sea services — the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and U.S.-Flag Merchant Marine.
The Pittsburgh area has always had a strong role in providing manpower, materials and machines for the nation’s defense in times of war and peace. But the need for a formal support group became very evident in the weeks that followed the Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The Pittsburgh Council of the United States Navy League was founded in January of 1942 and has seen over seventy-nine years of continuous support.
The events in the world over the last, almost eighty years, have provided the opportunity for Pittsburgh and the Pittsburg Council of the Navy League, to be there to answer the country’s call. Pittsburgh’s steel helped to rebuild the shattered fleets and build new infrastructure across the country to support the war effort. Pittsburgh was at the center of the "Arsenal of Democracy" that provided steel, aluminum, munitions and machinery for the U.S. and the Allies during World War II. Pittsburgh's mills contributed 95 million tons of steel to the war effort.
When the Second World War ended, new threats emerged as the Iron Curtain rose around Europe. A small announcement was made on December 28, 1948 that would change the nature of warfare at sea: “The job of building the nation’s first atomic-powered engine -- for use in propelling a navy ship -- was assigned by the Atomic Energy Commission to the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, which immediately made preparation to employ some 600 persons in the district for the project.”
From that humble birth, a nuclear Navy was born that protects the nation to this day.
During all that time, the Pittsburgh Navy League, with the help of people like you, has provided much needed and appreciated support to the members of the sea services in our community, with time, money and assistance from many selfless and dedicated volunteers. Our quarterly newsletters linked on this website identify the specific programs and as well as the opportunities where you can participate.
A sample of projects supported by the Pittsburgh Chapter include, but are not limited to:
I am sure that you will agree that these programs are not only worthwhile and help us to fulfill our mission, but also deserves our continued on-going support.
Furthermore, I am certain that you will agree that, “A civilian organization dedicated to informing the American people and their government that the United States is a maritime nation and that its national defense and economic well-being are dependent on strong seas services – United States Navy, United States Marine Corps, United States Coast Guard and United States Merchant Marine” is as vital and necessary now just as it was during wartime.
Why does it matter? When Theodore Roosevelt first saw the need for a National Navy League, America was just at the beginning of its journey to be a global power. The threats in not doing so were very real then. The threats of not maintaining that strength now are even more important and must be addressed. Countries that have shown hostile intent towards our interests are once again on the rise around the globe. The Global War on Terror has tested our military and steadily worn down our capacity to respond to these emerging threats. We must make sure that the nation is prepared for war or peace.
I am convinced that the Navy League is needed now just as it was in the past. We have a responsibility to be the voice that reminds people of the challenges in the world today that will only be met by maintaining a strong response to those threats, and the sea services are a vital piece of that defense.
As your President, I am asking for your help. First, your continued support for the programs identified in our newsletters with your much needed and greatly appreciated volunteerism and financial support. Second, you need to make sure you are staying educated about how important Pittsburgh still is to defend our nation. Third, you should seek ways that you can help the League with its mission of educating others, specially the Congress and our local and regional governmental leaders. While we face a different kind of enemy today than we did during both the “Hot” and “Cold” wars in our recent history, the contribution that is made to our national defense and our way of life cannot be denied, and is not only worthy of our continued support, it demands it.
Sincere thanks to all our members, particularly to those who continue to step up and volunteer your time and efforts to assure our continued success in carrying out our mission to our sea services in Pittsburgh. You have, and will continue to make a difference, and it is much appreciated by those we serve.
In Support of our Sea Services
Tom Clark, President