September 23 ~  Have Not Yet Begun This People's Navy

"I have not yet begun to fight." ~ John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones

On this day in 1779, American commander, John Paul Jones uttered those famous words of determination during a Revolutionary War sea battle.

Outmanned and crippled, Jones refused to surrender. Against all odds, his American warship Bon Homme Richard defeated Britain's HMS Serapis off England's North Sea. His fighting spirit and heroism earned him the title of the "Father of the United States Navy."

Jones (1747-1792) was born in Kirkcudbright, Scotland and became a merchant marine while still a young boy. He traveled the world, seeking adventure.

He once said: "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way."

Arriving in America, Jones volunteered for the new Continental Navy in 1775 and soon commanded his own ship, working hard and building professional success and confidence in his rise to power.

"It seems to be a law of nature, inflexible and inexorable, that those who will not risk cannot win," he said.

As much as he loved the ocean, Jones was also passonately commited to learning as much about his craft as possible, studying tactics and manuevers. He was dedicated to winning and had complete faith in himself and his abilities. His accomplishments became a symbol of excellence for the U.S. Navy.

He once said: "If fear is cultivated it will become stronger, if faith is cultivated it will achieve mastery... We have a right to believe that faith is the stronger emotion because it is positive wheras fear is negative."

Hang tough. Give 'em all you got.