Thursday, March 04, 2010

Just a humble suggestion . . .

Something tells me that the quartermaster of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan was yelling something like "Ya-Hoo!" when this picture was taken.
This is the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) undergoing rudder tests in 2007.

Just a humble suggestion: let's stop naming major warships after politicians. Now, to be fair or even generous to my Republican colleagues, we've already got a U.S.S. Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), U.S.S. George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), and soon we'll have a U.S.S. Gerald Ford (CVN-78). Fine, no need to change the names of these ships or take anything away from these fine Americans. But can we all agree that, going forward, we revert to using traditional warship names and not the names of politicians for major warships?

Let's turn the focus back to honoring history and the fighting men and women of our nation's armed services. The next aircraft carrier in line for service (CVN-79) would likely replace the redoubtable U.S.S. Enterprise (CVN-65). Can anyone think of a more honorable name for CVN-79 than U.S.S. Enterprise? Or what about the tried and true names of "Constitution" and "Constellation"?

Battleships were once named for states. Now aircraft carriers are the Navy's largest surface combatants. Why shouldn't future aircraft carriers bear the names of U.S. States?

Let's turn our focus back to honoring history and tradition when naming Navy ships, and away from the practice of naming them after politicians.


virginiavirtucon said...

A retired politician is no long a politician. He's a stateman.

BVBL said...

There already is a U.S.S. Constitution on the rolls of the Navy. You deactivate that historic ship in an effort to bow to political considerations, and you're going to find a revolt on your hands. A big one.

I agree though that states aren't getting their fair share here. We don't have a decent gunnery platform in the inventory, so perhaps we can bring back a modern equivalent to battleships and pay homage to a few states.

James Young said...

Can't say I disagree with this at all. Particularly when they are named for politicians either still alive or in living memory.

Then again, I have a problem with the MLK holiday for the same reason.

J.C. Wilmore said...


You are correct about the USS Constitution; for some reason I thought there had been a Kittyhawk-class carrier named Constitution, but that was the Constellation. While the USS Constellation (1854) is still preserved, unlike the USS Constitution, she was not kept on the Navy rolls.

States get SSBN's, but these are low profile vessels, for obvious reasons. The new New York (LPD-21) is named for the state of New York, not the city, at the request of George Pataki in the wake of 9/11. But her eight sister ships are named for cities.

Our aircraft carriers are our primary means of power projection: their names should reflect what is best about our nation. I'm not suggesting we change the name of any existing ships. I know how strongly Republicans feel about Ronald Reagan. I'm just suggesting that going forward we reconsider this policy.

Cargosquid said...

Of course, you realize that the QM has just asked the Chief,"Where did the planes go?"

There won't be any more carriers named after Presidents. I don't think the Navy is going to name a ship after Clinton....

Besides, CVN-79 is the first of the Gerald Ford Class. Now that's going to confuse people. CVN78 USS Ford is a Nimitz class and 79 will be Ford class.....named something else.

James Young said...

Actually, "Cargosquid," the ship to be named after Clinton is going to be a "comfort ship," akin to the "comfort women" victimized by the Japanese in World War II.