Theodore Roosevelt Appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy

Roosevelt had always been fascinated by naval history.

Urged by Roosevelt's close friend, Congressman Henry Cabot Lodge, President William McKinley appointed a delighted Roosevelt to the post of Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1897. (Because of the inactivity of Secretary of the Navy John D. Long at the time, this basically gave Roosevelt control over the department.) Roosevelt was instrumental in preparing the Navy for the Spanish-American War and was an enthusiastic proponent of testing the U.S. military in battle, at one point stating "I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one".

The shots that hit are the shots that count.”

— Theodore Roosevelt

He also served briefly as Assistant Secretary of the Navy (1897-1898), a position FDR would later hold. While serving as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, TR agitated for war against Spain because of that country's treatment of Cuba, and when the Spanish American War broke out in 1898 he resigned to organize the First U.S. Volunteer Calvary Regiment.