Coming soon: the USS Britney Spears?

posted at 9:15 am on March 13, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

That’s an exaggeration, but not by much.  The famed aircraft carrier USS Enterprise departed Sunday on its final deployment, the 22nd of its amazing career of more than 50 years.  Later this year, the Big E will return home to be decommissioned.  The US Navy has a new carrier in the works, designated CVN-80 but as yet unnamed (Enterprise is CVN-65, for those keeping score).  Given the odd decisions on naming naval ships, Mark Krikorian has begun circulating a petition to transfer the name Enterprise to CVN-80 — or find a more appropriate name than limited imaginations have suggested of late:

But after this year the U.S. Navy will no longer have an Enterprise, which is why there’s a petition to name the next planned carrier, CVN-80, the USS Enterprise. Sign it, because we’ve gotten into the habit of naming our greatest warships after politicians, and not even dead ones — one of the newest carriers is the USS George H. W. Bush. Look, I voted for the guy, and he was a whole lot better than the current occupant, but nothing named by the U.S. government — not a building, not a scholarship program, certainly not one of the greatest warships built by mankind — should be named after a living person. Except for posthumous Medal of Honor recipients, it seems to me you should be dead for 50 years, preferably 100, before your name is even eligible to be considered for a naval ship.

And while we’re naming ships after Jimmy Carter and John Murtha and Bob Hope, keep in mind there’s no USS Lexington or Yorktown or Saratoga or Midway or Khe Sanh or, if we want to name them after people, Benjamin Franklin or John Adams or Jefferson or Madison or Monroe or Jackson. There have been nearly 1,000 Marine and Navy combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan — any one of those is more appropriate as the name of a ship than the USS Gabrielle Giffords.

I recall when the first Space Shuttle was built, and Star Trek fans wanted it named Enterprise.  They succeeded, but the joke ended up being on them (well, us); the Enterprise was a test vehicle that never flew in space.

At least that name made sense, however.  It hearkened back to naval days when ships took names that represented the values of the nation that launched them — Enterprise, Intrepid, Reliant, to name a few from American and British tradition, or that honored famous military victories like Yorktown and Saratoga, as Krikorian suggests.  We named nuclear submarines after the states, which might be a little more prosaic given their funding, but at least they represented the people as a whole rather than a living politician.  Even in Star Trek, the shuttles always took the names of famous explorers or those who had died in the effort to reach into space, such as Ellison Onizuka, Gus Grissom, and Christa McAuliffe.  There wasn’t a shuttle named Jean-Luc Picard in ST:TNG.  Instead, the naming conventions of the past several years seem to express the notion that values and history matter less than self-celebration.

Let’s name CVN-80 Enterprise and continue a tradition of audacity and excellence in the carrier fleet.  But even more to the point, let’s return to a tradition of honoring the values and history of this country in the naming of our naval ships.  Stop the madness before we christen a new ship the USS Britney Spears and we all have to say, “Oops! They did it again.”

Update: The last line in the penultimate paragraph should have read “matter less” rather than “matter more.”  I’ve fixed it, thanks to Twitter follower Bcwlk.


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I’m all in favor of naming the new ship for former presidents: “USS Chester A. Arthur,” ftw!

irishspy on March 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Bawney Fwank demanded to be a cruiser.

viking01 on March 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM

USS Sandra Fluke

Free Indeed on March 13, 2012 at 9:18 AM

That one has good berth control.

philoquin on March 13, 2012 at 9:21 AM

No way! It would be too easy to penetrate.

Archivarix on March 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Nope, condoms are used to cover guns to to keep the dirt out. Non-lubricated though.

cozmo on March 13, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Nope, A tampon is a plug or cover for the muzzle of a cannon or gun to keep out dust and moisture…. [Middle English, from Old French tampon, variant of tapon, rag for stopping a hole, of a gun. They can be found on both land based artillery and naval guns.

Standard Navy terminology calls the thing you stuff in the ship’s guns is tampon.

Happy Nomad on March 13, 2012 at 10:54 AM

I really can not express how off base you are with this one Ed. Both Jimmy Carter and GHW Bush were US Presidents and naval veterans to boot. As was Gerald Ford. Ronald Reagan was still living when they lay the keel for his ship too, was he not deserving. FDR had a carrier named after him in his lifetime as well

TinCanNav on March 13, 2012 at 10:55 AM

I’m holding out for the USS Oprah Winfrey.

Given the current Narcissist-in-Chief, I wouldn’t be surprised if he named the ship after himself. They could nickname it “The Big Zero”.

GarandFan on March 13, 2012 at 10:58 AM

I agree… no naming of USG properties with names of the living.

JohnGalt23 on March 13, 2012 at 10:58 AM

USS Sandra Fluke
 
Free Indeed on March 13, 2012 at 9:18 AM

 
That one has good berth control.
 
philoquin on March 13, 2012 at 9:21 AM

 
No way! It would be too easy to penetrate.
 
Archivarix on March 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM

 
Everyone is free to come aboard.

rogerb on March 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Given the current Narcissist-in-Chief, I wouldn’t be surprised if he named the ship after himself. They could nickname it “The Big Zero”.

GarandFan on March 13, 2012 at 10:58 AM

“I, I, I, I, Captain!”

Shy Guy on March 13, 2012 at 11:01 AM

USS Sandra Fluke

Free Indeed on March 13, 2012 at 9:18 AM

That one has good berth control.

philoquin on March 13, 2012 at 9:21 AM

No way! It would be too easy to penetrate.

Archivarix on March 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Attention ! Attention ! This is not is a drill.

viking01 on March 13, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Standard Navy terminology calls the thing you stuff in the ship’s guns is tampon.

Happy Nomad on March 13, 2012 at 10:54 AM

You plug your muzzle with a tampon, I’ll cover mine with a condom.

cozmo on March 13, 2012 at 11:02 AM

As a former member of the Naval Nuclear Power (surface) community and someone who is currently building the CVN 78, I can say that myself and many of my colleagues were disappointed that the whole class of carriers were not named enterprise vice Ford. Enterprise has traditionally been not only the name of important ships, but the vanguard of a class. And while the mobile Chernobyl is going away, the name deserves to be respected and given its due as the beginning of a new ship series.

DomingoMcSpicy on March 13, 2012 at 11:03 AM

We can find the uglest ship and call it the Bill Maher.

Oil Can on March 13, 2012 at 11:04 AM

I’m holding out for the USS Oprah Winfrey.

Too much displacement.

viking01 on March 13, 2012 at 11:04 AM

I’m all in favor of naming the new ship for former presidents: “USS Chester A. Arthur,” ftw!

irishspy on March 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Still makes more sense than Murtha & Giffords.

Arthur tried to rebuild the US Navy:

“Democrats turned against the “New Navy” projects and, when they won control of the 48th Congress, refused to appropriate funds for seven more steel warships. Even without the additional ships, the state of the Navy improved when, after several construction delays, the last of the new ships entered service in 1889.”

mankai on March 13, 2012 at 11:06 AM

I signed the petition. I really encourage everybody to do the same. I was stationed on the “Big E” in the Gulf of Tonkin in ’66 and ’67. She comes from a very proud line of ships named Enterprise. The carrier of WWII was called “The Grey Lady” and was a major target at Pearl Harbor, but she had engine trouble at sea the day before the attack and never made it into port.

Please sign the petition!!!

We don’t want a “U.S.S. Barack H. Obama!!!”

Star20 on March 13, 2012 at 11:09 AM

I say go with “USS Caine”. Obama plays Captain Queeg.

eaglephin on March 13, 2012 at 11:12 AM

I think it was a mistake to begin naming carriers after prominent American leaders. Naming one after a famous admiral – Nimitz – is at least understandable. But when we took to using U.S. presidents, it became a kind of exercise in American monarchism, which seems to only accelerate the imperial presidency. And it’s getting harder for contemporary presidents to escape the honor: over half of presidents from FDR onward have had a carrier named after them. I know several served honorably in the Navy, but still: there are millions of others who have as well.

Why can’t return to the old tradition of naming them after famous battles (Yorktown, Saratoga) or past famous ships (hornet, Wasp, Enterprise)?

I think Krikorian goes overboard with a 50 year waiting period (the Sullivans would not have qualified), but I do agree that we have a long list of Medal of Honor winners that would be more fitting than Gabby Giffords for such an honor, and I say that with no disrespect for the congresswoman. We need more ship names like USNS Gordon and USNS Shughart.

The_Jacobite on March 13, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Enterprise!!

ted c on March 13, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Enterprise!!

ted c on March 13, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Khaaaaan!!

cozmo on March 13, 2012 at 11:13 AM

There are plenty of war hero’s who have died in the service of their country, why can’t we have a former vet’s name on the side.
I don’t think anyone who didn’t serve should have their name on the side at a Navy vessel, including former president’s.

angrymike on March 13, 2012 at 11:13 AM

JFK: Navy LCDR, served in combat in WW II (PT 109)
—–
LBJ: Navy LCDR, rode in an airplane in a combat zone. No ship for you.
—–
Nixon: Navy LCDR, served in combat in WW II. Watergate. No ship for you.
—–
Ford: Navy LCDR, served in combat in WW II. Distinguished record.
—–
Carter: Navy LCDR, nuclear submariner. That’s “why” a sub and NOT a carrier. Jimmy was a USNA graduate, but I never considered him a “friend” of the Navy when I was doing my 30 years (Active and Reserve)…
—–
Reagan: Army officer in WW II. Physically disqualified/deaf in 1 ear due to a filming incident when a prop gun was discharged too close to his ear, blowing out an eardrum. Led a Unit that made (a lot of very necessary) training films with other Hollywood people during WW II. Due to his Presidency, a carrier is and was WELL DESERVED.
—–
GHWB: youngest Naval aviator in WW II. Served in the Pacific theater. Distinguished record. Carrier well deserved.

—–

BTW, Bob Hope worked TIRELESS for over 50 years (probably closer to 60) in support of the troops (see Bob Hope USO tours). His ship class is WELL DESERVED.

I completely disagree with Murtha and Giffords getting ships named after them. Especially Murtha…

Khun Joe on March 13, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Given the current Narcissist-in-Chief, I wouldn’t be surprised if he named the ship after himself. They could nickname it “The Big Zero”.

GarandFan on March 13, 2012 at 10:58 AM

The first time a ship is named after a person, they use the fuller name (hence the USS George H.W. Bush or the USS Ronald Reagan). I have no doubt that the crew of the USS Barak H. Obama would indeed call it The Big Zero and that among its characteristics is that it would tend to run in reverse and the bow would tend to sink a little lower in the water when passing a middle eastern ship.

But that brings up a problem. The Navy had no problems finding people to man the Reagan. Sailors were re-enlisting specifically to serve on a ship named after a man they admired. Somehow I don’t think that will happen for the Murtha, Chavez, or Giffords.

Happy Nomad on March 13, 2012 at 11:15 AM

I think it was a mistake to begin naming carriers after prominent American leaders.

Why can’t return to the old tradition of naming them after famous battles (Yorktown, Saratoga) or past famous ships (hornet, Wasp, Enterprise)?

The_Jacobite on March 13, 2012 at 11:12 AM

The gator navy is keeping tradition alive. Its not the name a ship is given, but the crew who man her that makes a ship a legend.

If ships were only named after their predecessors there would soon be another carrier named Shangri La. And yes, I know why it was given that name.

cozmo on March 13, 2012 at 11:18 AM

I completely disagree with Murtha and Giffords getting ships named after them. Especially Murtha…

Khun Joe on March 13, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Especially a ship designed to transport Marines. Murtha is a disgraced Marine who decided to attack innocent people in the press to press his own agenda and distract from the fact he was about as corrupt as they come (conveniently brushed under the rug when he died).

Naval ships are supposed to be named after heroes or noble ideals. Not a corrupt traitor.

Happy Nomad on March 13, 2012 at 11:18 AM

FDR had a carrier named after him in his lifetime as well

TinCanNav on March 13, 2012 at 10:55 AM

If you’re referring to the FDR it was named that after FDR died. Truman approved the name change.

Oldnuke on March 13, 2012 at 11:19 AM

How about a carrier named in honor of Barack Obama?

The U.S.S. “It’s not my fault”

Others could be U.S.S. “Love Boat”
U.S.S. “Occupy”
U.S.S. “Pelosi” That should be a submarine with a sun roof and runs on solar power.
U.S.S. “You must pass the bill to find out what’s in the bill”

maddmatt on March 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM

USS Carroll LeFon “Neptunus Lex”

Melba Toast on March 13, 2012 at 11:22 AM

USS Palin’s Womb

faraway on March 13, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Standard Navy terminology calls the thing you stuff in the ship’s guns is tampon.

Happy Nomad on March 13, 2012 at 10:54 AM

You plug your muzzle with a tampon, I’ll cover mine with a condom.

cozmo on March 13, 2012 at 11:02 AM

And just to be clear, its tampion.

cozmo on March 13, 2012 at 11:41 AM

We can find the uglest ship and call it the Bill Maher.

Oil Can on March 13, 2012 at 11:04 AM

That’s a perfect name for the smallest dinghy that you can find.

VelvetElvis on March 13, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Jacob H Turbett
Loving Husband & Son
Corporal of Marines
USMC
KIA 13 FEB 10 Helmand, Afghanistan
Aged 21

There’s a d@mn candidate. Fine man. And there are near 1,000 of his Brother and Sister Marines and Sailors to choose from.

SgtSVJones on March 13, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Khun Joe on March 13, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Seconded. The USNS Bob Hope was rightfully earned by a civilian who spent more time visiting troops in war zones than many troops themselves. Also in the Bob Hope class of LMSR is the USNS Fisher, named after the man who founded the Fisher House, which provides free housing near military hospitals to families of injured and wounded service members.

I worked on both ships when I was deployed to Kuwait in 2004.

BohicaTwentyTwo on March 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM

If you’re referring to the FDR it was named that after FDR died. Truman approved the name change.

Oldnuke on March 13, 2012 at 11:19 AM

You are correct, sir.
I served aboard her in 1974/75.
She was scrapped in 1977.

VelvetElvis on March 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Nope, A tampon is a plug or cover for the muzzle of a cannon or gun to keep out dust and moisture…. [Middle English, from Old French tampon, variant of tapon, rag for stopping a hole, of a gun. They can be found on both land based artillery and naval guns.

Standard Navy terminology calls the thing you stuff in the ship’s guns is tampon.

Happy Nomad on March 13, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Either “TOMPION” or “TAMPION” depending upon what part of the country your Chief Gunner’s Mate is from.

It has never been called a tampon. Geez…….

TKindred on March 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM

USS Carroll LeFon “Neptunus Lex”

Melba Toast on March 13, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Couldn’t agree more.

More here: http://atacusa.com/

Just look at the list of tributes there. Even SecNav Ray Mabus chimed in. Man was a gifted aviator and needs a warship with his name on it.

Heck of a lot better than USS Caeasar Chavez, John Murtha or Gabrielle Giffords, that’s for damned sure.

TKindred on March 13, 2012 at 11:50 AM

I can’t believe my Navy has stooped so low as to name ships in the manner which is now prevalent. Why do politicians turn everything, and I mean everything, into a political issue. Go back to the old way of naming ships. I about had a fit when they named the USNS Bob Hope. Can’t believe they are naming a Destroyer after a Congress woman who’s only claim to fame is as a target. Glad that’s not my ship. I’d paint over the name for sure!

CaptSteve on March 13, 2012 at 11:54 AM

The famed aircraft carrier USS Enterprise departed Sunday on its final deployment, the 22nd of its amazing career of more than 50 years.

Not nearly as famed as CV-6, the most decorted ship in WW2

burt on March 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Wikipedia says some want to name CVN-80 after Arizona or Barry Goldwater. Enterprise would be a fine name.

KillerKane on March 13, 2012 at 12:06 PM

USS Palin’s Womb

faraway on March 13, 2012 at 11:31 AM

How about one after you?

USS Afterbirth

Resist We Much on March 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

How about a escort aircraft carrier called the USS Heidi Fleiss

J_Crater on March 13, 2012 at 12:21 PM

USS Chuck Norris

That way we only have to park it off the coast of whoever is giving us crap and they will automatically surrender so the real Chuck Norris doesn’t show up and roundhouse kick their entire military into submission.

Wolftech on March 13, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Please. Not USS Bill Clinton.

Couldn’t bear to hear the crew relate to her (yes, Her) as the “BJ” or see a crew member wearing a CVN 80 patch that has the picture of a Spread-Eagle on it.

Or, God-Knows-What.

TimBuk3 on March 13, 2012 at 12:26 PM

I think a ship named after Britney Spears is more palatable than one named after John Murtha…what a disgrace.

ellifint on March 13, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Ed is the most interesting man in the world. When he’s not spreading santorum and reviewing movies, he’s naming Aircraft carriers. I don’t know how he does it.

Rusty Allen on March 13, 2012 at 12:38 PM

If I recall right, after a half century’s passing since I was on active navy duty, carriers were named after either, stinging insects, (Wasp, Hornet etc) or famous battles, (Lake Champlain [my ship] Oriskany, Lexington, Coral Sea)
I suggest we continue the later tradition and name the new ship “U.S.S Occupier” and draft all those Occupy” malcontents and send it straight into the Gulf of Hormuz.

Perhaps if they earn their right to hate America -they might enjoy jumping ship in Iran- a country that fits their immature nonsense well.

Just thinking out loud….

Don L on March 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

USS Chuck Norris

That way we only have to park it off the coast of whoever is giving us crap and they will automatically surrender so the real Chuck Norris doesn’t show up and roundhouse kick their entire military into submission.

Wolftech on March 13, 2012 at 12:24 PM

There have been numerous bridges that were suggested to be named after him, only NO ONE crosses Chuck Norris.

TugboatPhil on March 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Wolftech on March 13, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Park it?

Don L on March 13, 2012 at 12:40 PM

We could name it the USS Obamacare and sink it ourselves!

Don L on March 13, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I’m afraid if we go back to the tradition of naming the ships after “values of the nation”, this time around we’ll get something like the USS Deficit, USS Welfare, USS Red Tape, USS Bureaucracy, USS Crony Capitalism, USS Mandate, USS Guilt, USS Apology, ….

dentarthurdent on March 13, 2012 at 12:44 PM

For a number of years I have suggested that to the extent any government names anything (ships, buildings, bridges etc), we should be pulling those names from a list of those who died for the country. Start with those who received the MOH and move down the list. If we run out, start back with the MOH winners who lived and move down. Run out of those who died, start with a list of those who served. I think it is disgusting to name vessels, bridges, buildings etc. after the biggest pigs at the trough. I would love to see the new Congress strip Byrd’s name from the 10,000 buildings, roads and bridges named after him.

Over50 on March 13, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Please. Not USS Bill Clinton.

Couldn’t bear to hear the crew relate to her (yes, Her) as the “BJ” or see a crew member wearing a CVN 80 patch that has the picture of a Spread-Eagle on it.

Or, God-Knows-What.

TimBuk3 on March 13, 2012 at 12:26 PM

The patch could feature a blue (dress) background with with stain a cigar and a $100 bill next to a trailer….

dentarthurdent on March 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Rusty Allen on March 13, 2012 at 12:38 PM

It’s not like you didn’t know that’s what bloggers do…or didn’t you?

Tennman on March 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Ship naming is very political, despite the traditions the US Navy sometimes tries to preserve. The current NIMITZ class carriers are named (mostly) after US presidents. A few years ago there was a delicate situation when it was time to retire the USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), a non-nuclear powered carrier stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. Of course, all US Navy aircraft carriers today are nuclear powered, but Japan is the only country to have suffered an attack by an atomic weapon. So which carrier would be stationed in Japan? It couldn’t be the NIMITZ, (CVN 68) because that admiral lead the naval force that defeated Japan. It couldn’t be the ROOSEVELT, (CVN 71) because FDR was president during the war. It couldn’t be TRUMAN, (CVN 75) because he was the president that actually order the atomic bombs to be dropped. Ultimately, the carrier selected for the role is CVN 73, the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, a name that doesn’t re-open any old wounds in the Japanese culture.
Another political aspect of ship naming has to do with funding. Remember, in Washington there are three types of elected officials: Republicans, Democrats, and Appropriators. The most powerful committees are the appropriations committees, which is why there two US Navy aircraft carriers named after people you likely would otherwise have never heard of: John Stennis (CVN 74) and Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (note: Vinson was long time chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, not Appropriations) And, yes John Murtha (LPD 26) was an appropriator. Then there’s Henry M. Jackson, while not an appropriator, has the honor of having an OHIO Class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN 730) name after him, the only one of the 18 not named after a state.
As far as honoring military heroes, cargo ships (T-AK class) are named after Medal of Honor recipients. There are 21 of them.
So, the best story about ship naming and politics comes in the world of attack submarines (SSNs). For the 688 Class, Navy Admiral Hyman Rickover lobbied hard to change the navy tradition of naming the ships after fish. Instead, he proposed that they be named after US cities. And so they were, with the exception of one, named after him (SSN 709), the “father of the nuclear navy.” His political reason for changing the naming convention from fish to cities is pretty sound: “Fish don’t vote.”

Galtian on March 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM

USS Diversity – can just give it to Islamic Extremists so they can defend themselves against the Great Satan.

kirkill on March 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM

I would love to see the new Congress strip Byrd’s name from the 10,000 buildings, roads and bridges named after him.

Over50 on March 13, 2012 at 12:46 PM

You bet!!
On the other hand, in Colorado we have a bridge named “Bob” (in Avon near Vail), and one called “The James Brown Soul Center of the Universe” in Steamboat Springs.

dentarthurdent on March 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Hey, check out those guns on Britney Spears!

NickelAndDime on March 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Hey, check out those guns on Britney Spears!

NickelAndDime on March 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM

If we were to name any ships Britney Spears, Madonna, Paris Hilton, or other similar types – I think it would have to be a class of landing craft – big wide open doors in front……

dentarthurdent on March 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

“We think fallen Marines and perhaps supporting sailors should go on fantails before random victims,” he said.

Obama tells you: Well, if a Marine has fallen, then he just ought to get back up again.

Paul-Cincy on March 13, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Please. Not USS Bill Clinton.

TimBuk3 on March 13, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Old Yellow Stain.

Shy Guy on March 13, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Someday we should name the Navy’s largest vessel in terms of displacement after William Howard Taft.

Dunedainn on March 13, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Our biggest naval swinging di… at anchor warship should always be named the Enterprise

Knott Buyinit on March 13, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Maybe we’ll have to do like Football stadiums do as our nation goes more and more into debt. USS Coca-Cola? USS Bill Gates? USS Goldman-Sachs?

Pay at least half the cost of a ship and it’s named after you or your company.

slickwillie2001 on March 13, 2012 at 1:14 PM

This is a good opportunity for me to get in some more shamless blog promotion with my open letter to Gabrielle Giffords after the absurd, disgraceful naming of LCS-10 for her.

As far as naming ships for individuals of varying notability, that has always been the practice for destroyers and frigates, and don’t forget the “41 for Freedom.”

Really, does anybody realistically want to argue it isn’t appropriate for there to be a USS John S. McCain or USS Winston Churchill?

And to answer a previous comment, true there is no ship named for Khe Sanh, but there is the USS Hue City (CG-66).

The blatant politicization of ship names, USS Gabrielle Giffords, USNS Cesar Chavez, is what has to stop.

allanbourdius on March 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM

A few years ago there was a delicate situation when it was time to retire the USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), a non-nuclear powered carrier stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. Of course, all US Navy aircraft carriers today are nuclear powered, but Japan is the only country to have suffered an attack by an atomic weapon. So which carrier would be stationed in Japan? It couldn’t be the NIMITZ, (CVN 68) because that admiral lead the naval force that defeated Japan. It couldn’t be the ROOSEVELT, (CVN 71) because FDR was president during the war. It couldn’t be TRUMAN, (CVN 75) because he was the president that actually order the atomic bombs to be dropped. Ultimately, the carrier selected for the role is CVN 73, the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, a name that doesn’t re-open any old wounds in the Japanese culture.

Galtian on March 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Uh, from 1973 to 1991 the forward-deployed WESTPAC carrier home-ported in Yokosuka was the USS Midway (CV-41). Hardly a namesake that takes Japanese sensibilities into care.

allanbourdius on March 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

We name the Subs for states because they superseded the battleship as the big guns of our fleet.

Crusader on March 13, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Depressing reading your post on your blog, Allan…there is nothing sacred anymore, politics dirties up and cheapens EVERYTHING. I have prayed for Gabby to be well, she seems like a perfectly nice lady, but as you said, she is unworthy of having a ship named in her honor…

ellifint on March 13, 2012 at 1:41 PM

We name the Subs for states because they superseded the battleship as the big guns of our fleet.

Crusader on March 13, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Ship Naming in the United States Navy

There was nothing political in naming the USS Gabrielle Giffords.

/sarc

The U.S.S. Barack O’Bama could be a bow line.

Roy Rogers on March 13, 2012 at 1:44 PM

The improper naming standards are just a symptom of the disease. Our rotting culture is amplifying and accelerating the ridiculous clusterfark of military/government bureaucracy.

tuffy on March 13, 2012 at 1:52 PM

I think corporations should get sponsoring rights and name the ships after them along the same lines as sports venues. The funds would be applied to the building and maintenance of the named ship.Although I would be hesitant to name a ship the USS Target.

sanclemman on March 13, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Name it the Enterprise. Let the USS Gabby be retired/sold off sooner than later. The USS George H. W. Bush should have never been named that – I blame Booooosh.

The USS RR was right, as was the Nimitz, after a war hero.

In similar vein, Jimmy Carter and John Murtha does not belong on any ship — well maybe on a garbage scow –, while Bob Hope would be deserving due to his lifelong service to the military.

Please, please do not name a future ship after Juan McVain. But you know Mittens would do so if he had the chance.

AH_C on March 13, 2012 at 2:11 PM

The USS George H. W. Bush should have never been named that – I blame Booooosh.

The USS RR was right, as was the Nimitz, after a war hero.

AH_C on March 13, 2012 at 2:11 PM

The USS George H. W. Bush is more appropriate the the USS Ronald Reagan. Read your history…and know it. Of all the Nimitz class carriers, the Nimitz and the Bush are the most appropriately named of the ships.

Ship Naming in the United States Navy

Roy Rogers on March 13, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Take that with a grain of salt. Except for the secretary of the Navy part.

cozmo on March 13, 2012 at 2:23 PM

What is more American than CVN Homer Simpson?

paulsur on March 13, 2012 at 2:31 PM

As I tweeted on February 12:

A Navy ship has been named in honor of …. former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords? Sorry, folks, gotta call BS on this one.

…and on February 13 following a public appearance with her and her husband:

When you notice that Obama is using Gabrielle Giffords like a costumed mascot during his campaign, remember you heard it here first.

L.N. Smithee on March 13, 2012 at 2:54 PM

The U.S.S. Barack O’Bama could be a bow line.

Roy Rogers on March 13, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Are there any training ships that never leave port? That would be appropriate for little Bammie’s name.

slickwillie2001 on March 13, 2012 at 3:11 PM

U.S.S. Apology!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on March 13, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Are there any training ships that never leave port? That would be appropriate for little Bammie’s name.

slickwillie2001 on March 13, 2012 at 3:11 PM

There is, but you’ll probably never guess its name.

cozmo on March 13, 2012 at 3:48 PM

USS Sandra Fluke

Free Indeed on March 13, 2012 at 9:18 AM

No way! It would be too easy to penetrate.Archivarix on March 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM

best comment ever

ArthurMachado on March 13, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Given the dismal state of the treasury, perhaps naming rights could be put out to bid. How about the USS Apple? Or.. USS Wal Mart?

joe btfsplk on March 13, 2012 at 4:11 PM

USS ZUCOTTI PARK

BobMbx on March 13, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Except for posthumous Medal of Honor recipients, it seems to me you should be dead for 50 years, preferably 100, before your name is even eligible to be considered for a naval ship.

The Crew of the USS The Sullivan’s respectfully disagree.

bigdicksplace on March 13, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Her name should be Lepanto.

JackOfClubs on March 13, 2012 at 4:55 PM

How about a carrier named in honor of Barack Obama?

It would be impossible to navigate: all bow and no stern; weaponless except for a bank of loudspeakers.

landlines on March 13, 2012 at 5:10 PM

It is a mistake to have ever named ships after people at all. The entire concept and existence of the United States of America is built on ideals – not on individual’s roles or connections within the system. Enterprise, Freedom, Victory, Discovery, Steadfast, Endeavor, Invincible, Constitution, Resolute…. These are the proper names of warships. Anything else simply wont do.

Resolute on March 13, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Her name should be Lepanto.

JackOfClubs on March 13, 2012 at 4:55 PM

Very good, but another reason for her to be called Enterprise:

Jefferson decided that a little “showing of the flage” in the Mediterranean was more appropriate than tribute. He ordered the frigates President, Essex, and Philadelphia and the sloop Enterprise to blockade Tripoli and convoy American shipping (Malone, 1970). This squadron, under Commodore Richard Dale, had to patrol and control a coastline over 1,200 miles in distance, which resulted in a “most desultory blockade.” The lone success of the force was the defeat of a larger Tripolitan ship by Enterprise. Since there had been no declaration of war by the United States, the Barbary cruiser could not be taken as a prize. However, the captain of the Enterprise did have all of the corsair’s guns thrown overboard before allowing the ship to continue on its way, with sixty casualties to his none (Channing, 1968).

from- “Terrorism In Early America
The U.S. Wages War Against The Barbary States
To End International Blackmail and Terrorism”

By Thomas Jewett

OkieDoc on March 13, 2012 at 5:23 PM

I am strongly in favor of bringing back the traditional ship names. Wasp , Hornet, and of above all, the pride of the fleet, Enterprise.

We need to stop naming ships after politicians, though. This shows a rotting sense of self-regard by the political class, one that shows a lack of restraint and regard for naval tradition.

Naming a ship for Gabby Giffords is fatuous, at best. One might name a ship for Richard Trumka after he retires. I guarantee you that’s coming.

victor82 on March 13, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Oh, and I forgot to mention that one of the VIRGINIA Class submarines currently under construction will be named (sigh) the USS JOHN WARNER.

Galtian on March 13, 2012 at 6:02 PM

All,

If you haven’t signed the petition to name CVN-80 the ENTERPRISE yet, please do so.

We need ship names in the Navy we can be proud of, and there is none prouder than that of the Big E.

fiatboomer on March 13, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Can we please name the next ship “death to communist pigs”?
Or…”immolation of progressive socialists”? Something fun like that.

Damnit. I want to be president just to be able to name ships and piss people off.

Wolfmoon on March 13, 2012 at 6:24 PM

We’re the US Navy, brought to you by Carl’s Junior.

Free Indeed on March 13, 2012 at 6:38 PM

It couldn’t be the ROOSEVELT, (CVN 71) because FDR was president during the war.

CVN 71 is named for TR not FDR, the only ship named for FDR currently is DDG80 which is named for both FDR and his wife.

TinCanNav on March 13, 2012 at 8:41 PM

I believe there was a carrier named the Franklin D Roosevelt. Possibly CVA (or maybe CVS) – 42.

TimBuk3 on March 13, 2012 at 9:35 PM

I believe there was a carrier named the Franklin D Roosevelt. Possibly CVA (or maybe CVS) – 42.

TimBuk3 on March 13, 2012 at 9:35 PM

There was, it was decommed in the 70′s

TinCanNav on March 13, 2012 at 9:53 PM

There was a time when the protacall for naming Navy ships was structured so that you could tell what kind of ship it was from just the name. Battleships were named for Statesman. Cruisers were named for Cities. Destroyers were named for sailors killed in battle. Submarines for fish. Aircraft Carriers were ALWAYS named for either famos battles or other famos ships. Naming the new CVN 80 for both the previous carriers named Enterprise would be fitting and in this tradition.

LCT688 on March 13, 2012 at 9:55 PM

USS Micheal Monsoor, Medal of Honor Recipient, Navy SeAL, KIA Iraq. Threw himself on a grenade to save his buddies.

Tony737 on March 13, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Battleships were named for Statesman.
LCT688 on March 13, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Battleships were always named for states.

Aircraft Carriers were ALWAYS named for either famos battles or other famos ships.

LCT688 on March 13, 2012 at 9:55 PM

?

USS Langley?

Saratoga and Lexington were laid down as battlecruisers. They kept the names when they were converted to carriers on the ways.

Naming them after other ships didn’t start until after those three. And those rules were broken right away with the Shangri La.

cozmo on March 13, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Serenity.

BDavis on March 13, 2012 at 10:13 PM

USS Kiss My Ass.

OkieDoc on March 13, 2012 at 11:01 PM

USS Micheal Monsoor, Medal of Honor Recipient, Navy SeAL, KIA Iraq. Threw himself on a grenade to save his buddies.

Tony737 on March 13, 2012 at 9:57 PM

The Googles are your friend. Dont get your knickers in a wad about any current GWOT MOH recipient not having a ship, they will all get a destroyer in good time and soon, as is appropriate for those heroes who distinguished themselves in battle (used to be the mostly a function for the naming of the old FFG’s but that has shifted to the DDG’s now).

As for some of the other comments
Yeah Cesar Chavez got a ship before Dakota Meyer, because they decided to start naming the Lewis and Clark cargo haulers after civil rights leaders, you wanna name a cargo ship after a hero? No, we do it proper, as we have with only a few exceptions for about 30 years. Our heros get the tip of the spear, they get the gunboats, the Presidents get the carriers, the Cruisers are named after battles, the subs are states and cities, big deck gators are named in honor of the WW II carriers and the battles the Marines distinguished themselves in.

TinCanNav on March 14, 2012 at 12:12 AM

LCT688 on March 13, 2012 at 9:55 PM

They still are for the most part. With the exception of the Jimmy Carter (which is a Seawolf Class Sub) and the Roosevelt (which is named for both Franklin and Elanor and a Destroyer) anything named after a President is a Carrier. Most of the ships which sound like the old carriers (Wasp, Bonhomme Richard, Kearsarge) is a large deck amphib. If it is named after a battle (Saratoga, Yorktown, Gettysburg, Leyte Gulf) it is a cruiser, unless that battle is one that the Marines hold dear, then it is another amphib (Tarawa, Belleau Wood, Battan). Cities and States are normally subs (save for the few cities which are San Antonio Class LPDs but there are only 4-5 of them right now). For the most part if it is named for a military man of distinction or a war hero, it is a DDG or one of the few remaining FFG’s.

TinCanNav on March 14, 2012 at 12:25 AM

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