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The United States Department of the Navy was established by an Act of Congress on 30 April 1798, to provide administrative and technical support, and civilian leadership to the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps (and when directed by the Congress or President, the United States Coast Guard). It is headed by the Secretary of the Navy, also known as the SECNAV in naval jargon. He is assisted by an Under Secretary of the Navy. The Department was a cabinet position, along with the War Department which contained the US Army until 1947 when the National Military Establishmentmarker was formed. The National Military Establishment was later renamed Department of Defense marker in 1949. The Department of the Navy then became a component of the DOD.

The Department of the Navy consists of Executive offices, mostly located at the Pentagonmarker and the adjacent Navy Annex, and is responsible for the recruiting of military and civilian personnel, organizing, supplying, equipping, training, and the mobilization and demobilization of the Navy and Marine Corps, and their human capital and physical assets. The Department also oversees the construction, outfitting and repair of naval ships, aircraft, equipment, and facilities.

2006 Department of the Navy command structure
The Department comprises two uniformed services, also called the sea services, the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps.

The highest ranking military officers in the department are the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, who are the President's and the SECNAV's principal Naval advisors. They run their respective military components of the department and serve as members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

2007 - Unsuccessful attempt to rename as the "Department of the Navy and Marine Corps"

In H.R. 1585, the Fiscal Year 2008 National Defense Authorization Bill (NDAA) for 2008, the Department of the Navy was to be renamed the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps. The Bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on 17 May 2007.

The proposed renaming encountered opposition among members of the DOD civilian leadership and among senior Navy admirals and Marine Corps generals. In the U.S. Senate the House Bill was replaced by SA2011, an amendment in the nature of a substitute, removing the renaming provision along with other changes. The amendment was sponsored by Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, introduced on 9 July 2007, and agreed to by unanimous consent on 1 October 2007.

The House version including the provision was withdrawn in conference committee.

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