John Barry Research Paper

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John Barry, a man with humble beginnings in rural Ireland, grew from poverty to stardom to be one of the greatest military leaders America has ever seen and is known along with John Paul Jones to be the “Father of the American Navy.” John Barry worked at sea at a very early on in his life. He was a master of trading with the West Indies on merchant ships and subsequently received a commission in the Continental Navy as a captain to serve the fledgling nation in its fight for freedom from England (“John”). The very first ship that Barry was assigned to command in his career for the United States military was the Lexington on 14 March 1776 (Bellesiles). While this ship was only hastily thrown together and had little to speak of in terms of…show more content…
Barry’s first cruise was very impressive and he was able to make a name for himself in the Navy with his quick thinking and ability to capture enemy ships and avoid being captured by the enemy. Just over a month into his command of the Lexington, Barry fought and won the U.S. Navy’s first battle when he captured the British Edward (Bellesiles). This is indicative of his inherent leadership abilities as he had only been commissioned as an officer and assigned to command a ship for a mere 34 days when he made the first of many steps to freedom from the oppression of England. One would not expect an officer with such little experience to so swiftly rise to success in command. This is evidence of Barry’s commanding nature, confidence, and his ability to take control of and coordinate the actions of subordinates with little time in which…show more content…
He was reputable and always honored by his peers and his sailors beneath him. “He was humane to his men as well as adversaries and prisoners” throughout his 17 years of service to the Navy and gained the trust and respect of people far and wide because of that fact (Kelly). In terms of discipline, he “single-handedly suppressed three ship mutinies” and “was firm though fair” in his punishments (Kelly). Commodore Barry is even said to have been “the most popular officer in the Revolutionary Navy” (“John”). After the war was over, Barry was the first person to receive a commission in the United States Navy as a Commodore, an honor which was bestowed on him in 1797 by the first president, George

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