TAMPA, Fla. — As Navy Week kicks off for the first time since 2018, active servicemembers are being honored in Tampa.
Mayor Jane Castor delivered a proclamation in support of Tampa Navy Week at a ceremony Wednesday morning.
"I, therefore, proclaim by the authority vested in me that this week...as United States Navy Week in the city of Tampa," Castor said. "We are very, very proud of all of our naval personnel and thankful for what you do each and every day."
Along with active members of the Navy present, new sailors were sworn in at the ceremony, marking a large step into their futures.
"There's a whole process that we go through to try to turn them into sailors, and this is step one," Admiral Sara Joyner explained.
While raising their right hands, more than 10 recruits recited an oath, swearing to support and defend the constitution, beginning their career as a U.S. Navy sailor.
The Navy Brass Band concluded the ceremony with Tampa-native sailors and USS Florida sailors taking their time to meet event-goers.
The ceremony was held on the pier of one of only four fully-operational WWII ships in the country, the American Victory Ship.
"Thank you for the people of Tampa who are welcoming us, and thank you to the families and new recruits we're bringing in today," Joyner said. "We are excited to make Tampa a Navy town."
So what's the goal of Navy Week? To help bring awareness to the military branch through community partnerships and volunteering.
On the schedule is a bay cleanup event at Gandy Beach and food-packing event at Feeding Tampa Bay.
"Navy Week is a fantastic week," Joyner said. "This is our chance to show you the rest of the Navy that you don't see on a day-to-day basis."
As of now, there are more than 28,000 active-duty Navy members in the Sunshine State, with 65,948 retirees, city leaders explain.
"I am eternally grateful for the men and women who do serve our country and to those young individuals that see the value and the worth in serving our country," Castor said.