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Document: Report to Congress on U.S. Navy Ship Names

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and ship's sponsor, Dr. Jill Biden, watch as Vice President Joe Biden puts on a USS Delaware ball cap at the Pentagon announcing the name the future Virginia-class attack submarine USS Delaware (SSN 791) on Nov. 19, 2012. US Navy Photo

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and ship’s sponsor, Dr. Jill Biden, watch as Vice President Joe Biden puts on a USS Delaware ball cap at the Pentagon announcing the name the future Virginia-class attack submarine USS Delaware (SSN 791) on Nov. 19, 2012. US Navy Photo

The following is the Oct. 22, 2014 Congressional Research Service report, Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress.

  • uncaherb

    I think I need a decoder ring to read this…

  • vincedc

    I wonder how many sailor’s jobs could have been saved if congress had not asked for this report.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    The scheme for naming ships has become a disgrace, and it is a bi-partisan disgrace at that! The ONLY living people who deserve to have ships named after them are Medal Of Honor awardees! Also, the report states that a similar report was submitted back in 2012. I’ll bet my past dime that more such reports will be issued in the near future. The process and policies are a joke!

  • Ruckweiler

    We have the Russians and Red Chinese working together to oppose us around the globe and this is a priority? If we have a fight with these two countries it will be a desperate battle for us as the Fool at 1600 Pennsylvania is hard at work trying to degrade our ability to respond.

    • Michael Lepay

      How does ship naming (i.e. the topic of this article) degrade our ability to respond?

      • Ruckweiler

        My point was that a controversy in naming ships is kinda irrelevant in lieu of the state of naval forces opposing us now and in the future. Naming ships is important only in that it influences the morale of sailors. Read my message again….slowly.

        • Michael Lepay

          Comments like your last sentance are uncalled for and as far as I am concerned invalidate your argument.

  • Rob C.

    Shame on the naming practices, I find naming practices from World War II more balance than is now. I’m not fan naming important vessels after current political individuals, It doesn’t inspire people its crews, when I served. One ship named after a place verses a individual, I felt more connected to the ship named after a place than a person.
    I miss ships named intrepid, Lexington, etc. Least the ships sound like they have a spirit to them than named person as a memorial a float.

  • Michael Lepay

    Unless I mis-read something, since 1973 only 13 ships have been named after living persons. Not sure what the uproar is about? Otherwise I see nothing wrong in how the names are being selected.

    • Chesapeakeguy

      The problem is that some great, traditional naval names end up being lost, and people who might deserve to have a ship named for them are left out as well. Among present names that have been given to ships are John Murtha, Cesar Chavez, and Gabby Giffords. Murtha served in the Marine Corps, and received several significant decorations, but he died while being investigated for corruption while in office, and that after he slandered the Marines and other military services then serving in Iraq. Cesar Chavez was an activist, nothing else. He served briefly in the US Navy, a time he says was among the worst in his life. He HATED the Navy. Gabby Giffords is a SHOOTING VICTIM. While she should be admired for her courage and what she has endured because of that, it does not rate for the name of a US Navy combat ship! Things like libraries and highways and bridges and post offices and schools are much better for honoring these (other) people. For those who object to the names of GHW Bush and (especially ) Gerald Ford as being worthy of capital ships being named after them, I’m with them! The scheme has become corrupted.

      • James B.

        I think the bar should be extremely high for individuals whose service in the military was either not heroic. In the case of Presidents Bush and Ford, there may be greater naval heroes, but they were both presidents. In the case of John Murtha, there is no shortage of more heroic dead Marines, even retired colonels.

        Cesar Chavez and Gabby Giffords are clearly poor names for ships, Chavez hated his undistinguished time in, and Giffords is neither dead (traditionally a prerequisite), naval, or any more of a hero than thousands of others.

        • Old Nuke

          But I have to add that Gerald Ford was never elected President. His entire presidency evolved from corruption, beginning with Spiro Agnew and then through Watergate vis a vis Richard Nixon.
          I find naming an entire class of CVNs after Ford …. a bit unsettling.

        • Chesapeakeguy

          But there WAS a means to honor Presidents. “Boomers” were usually named for them. carriers, and this is a personal opinion, should represent something greater.

  • Carl E Ramsey

    I remember battleships named for states, cruisers, and later submarines named for cities; many, not all original carriers were Revolutionary War battles and leaders; smaller ships like destroyers got named after heroes, fish, and attitudes (like WW II submarine USS Harder).