CVN_79_CGIt’s time to return some sanity to the way ships are named. Why? Because the silliness is upon us once again:

111th CONGRESS 1st Session H. CON. RES. 83 Expressing the sense of Congress that a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier of the Navy, either the aircraft carrier designated as CVN-79 or the aircraft carrier designated as CVN-80, should be named the U.S.S. Barry M. Goldwater.

Bill information and status here

Enough with the politicians – these ships are going to last to the middle of the century and outlive many of us reading these words.

It is time to reclaim our heritage and properly name our ships – and leave it to a Chief to put it succinctly:

“One man’s hero is another man’s goat. Carriers should be named for things we all have in common, not the party in power’s favorite politician. I vote we go back to the traditional carrier names as a reminder of the great ships and men who held the line when the chips were down and the odds were against us. Those names are a tribute to America’s greatness. Politicians? Not so much.”

So here’s your chance to make a difference, via petition:

Whereas the namesake ENTERPRISE has been proudly borne by two combat aircraft carriers of the United States Navy;
Whereas the first USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) (seventh ship to bear this name) and her embarked airwing and crew gallantly fought in every major battle in the Pacific during World War Two, including the signatory battle at Midway when vastly outnumbered by the ships and planes of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Combined Fleet, ENTERPRISE, with YORKTOWN and HORNET struck a mortal blow, sinking four enemy aircraft carriers and turning the tide of the war in the Pacific;
Whereas the same ENTERPRISE concluded that war as the most decorated warship in the United States Navy with 20 battle stars, a Presidential Unit Citation, a British Admiralty Pennant, Navy Unit Commendation, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, and Task Force 16 Citation among many other accolades;
Whereas the second United States Navy aircraft carrier to be named ENTERPRISE (CVAN/CVN-65) was the first such ship of her class in the world to be nuclear powered;
Whereas that ENTERPRISE, the eighth ship to bear that name in the United States Navy is concluding a half-century of service to this nation and has honorably served in every theater of operations from leading the naval quarantine off Cuba in 1962 to conducting the first strikes following the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11th, 2001;

Be It Resolved
That the next nuclear aircraft carrier to be constructed (CVN-79) should bear the name USS ENTERPRISE in recognition and honor of the fighting men and women of the United States Navy who have sailed in her namesakes through the centuries.

We The Undersigned:
Call upon the Congress of the United States to remand H. CON. RES. 83 and replace it with a resolution supporting the naming of CVN-79 or the next nuclear aircraft carrier to be constructed, the USS ENTERPRISE.
Call upon the Secretary of the Navy to support this petition of the tax-paying people of these United States and name the next nuclear aircraft carrier to be constructed the USS ENTERPRISE.

Again – here’s the link to the petition:

(This is a guest blogger driven initiative)

Posted by SteelJaw in Navy
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  • solomon

    how did the nonsense of naming ships after politicians start in the first place??

  • Fouled Anchor

    SJ, I saw your post on your home blog about USS JASON DUNHAM. Good deal. Forget the politicians and let’s get back to naming ships for heroes and battles and all the other great naming traditions we had.

    I strongly suggest the Navy commission a ship SOON as the USS JOHN FINN. John was a Chief Petty Officer who earned the first MOH of World War II, was later commissioned a LT, celebrated his 100th birthday last week, and is the oldest surviving MOH recipient. He is a true American hero and deserves a ship named in his honor. Politicians can’t hold the door for men like John Finn.

  • Perhaps here?
    “Of all the six frigates, Congress had the least notable career in comparison to her sister ships and was unceremoniously broken up in 1834.”
    – SJS

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Who was it that made the observation that “fish don’t vote”?

  • Rickover – when he made the call to name the next class of SSN’s after cities, picking the first 5 cities represented by key Congressmen in their support of the LA-class SSN.
    – SJS

  • Moose

    I dunno if that bill’s sponsors have noticed, but Barry isn’t the most popular person with the current check-signers. Fish might not vote, but Democrats sure as hell aren’t going to vote the USS Goldwater into existence.

  • Phil

    They could name CVN 80, USS Barry ________. Those on the right can call it Barry Goldwater. Those on the left can call it Barry Obama.

  • Phil:

    You mean “starboard” and “port” — right? 😉
    – SJS

  • RRP

    @Steeljaw — Congress may have had the “least notable” career, but that’s probably preferable to the two events for which Chesapeake is “notable”!

    Actually, I’d be all in favor of keeping names of the six original frigates (Constitution excepted, naturally) alive in the modern Navy. We’ve had a Constellation pretty recently, but President, Congress, United States, and Chesapeake are all due for renewal. (Well there’s an oiler Chesapeak, but the name should be put back on a warship). Add on an Eagle and a Saratoga, and we’re good on carriers for a while.

  • Desert Sailor

    Steel Jaw, Love the quote about CONGRESS! Have to include the CHESAPEAKE in the “pass on it” list too!

    Over at Sailor Bob there is an outstanding idea around the next ‘phib being named after MAJ Doug Zemiec, the Lion of Fallujah!

  • godanov

    If you wish to know who started and has primarily maintained the stupidity of naming ship after politicians. Just look to the party almost all were/are associated with.

  • Byron

    Godanov, actually, that would be Hyman Rickover. Check the names out on the Polaris subs, and the cities of the LA class and the senators/representives. Rickover was very apolitical; he just wanted to make sure he had enough of them in his pocket at appropriations time.

  • Master Mike

    When we going to name a carrier USS AMERICA again? Wow imagine that, naming a ship after something we all defend rather than a politician that most Sailors are not even old enough to know who he even was.

  • Craig

    So, now that we have six carriers named after Republican Presidents, and one named after a Democratic President, it’s time to “return to sanity.” Because the Herbert Hoover and the Richard Nixon don’t seem like good possibilities? I find this sudden outburst of principle somewhat unconvincing. And completely untimely. Let’s have, say, another FDR, another JFK, and maybe a Thomas Jefferson, and then we can all sign a grand bargain never to name another carrier after a politician, and especially not a living one.

  • Craig:

    For the record and because you seem focused on party ID – though not a President, John C. Stennis is/was a Democrat. Carl Vinson was a Democrat.

    I don’t give a fig about party — and this conversation (and I suppose, by extension the comment that follows your post, though the XXX-software blocks access) is exactly why we need to move past political gamesmanship in naming our vessels.

    I’m talking about returning to the roots of naming our carriers and by extension, our other vessels in a traditional vein. Which, in case you missed it, had aircraft carriers named after famous battles and ships which previously distinguished themselves (e.g., Enterprise and Ranger).
    – SJS

  • P.S. And if you’d read the full post you would have seen what brought the objection out was the House bill calling for naming the next CVN after a Republican senator.

  • Byron

    I was very fond of Ronald Reagan…but I didn’t like the idea of naming a carrier after him, when there were so many names still available, like Essex, Wasp, Yorktown….

  • Craig


    Thanks for the response. I would just want to point out that there is no chance at all that a Democratic House, Senate and White House would care to name a carrier after Goldwater, so that particular question is a dead letter. And I count myself among the sliver of Americans who know who Stennis and Vinson were. It saddens me greatly to see the United States military, which has been for decades in the forefront of equality and integration, saddled with the names of two particularly loathsome segregationists on its carrier fleet.

    My concern is that this call for a return to “tradition” comes at precisely the moment that the pendulum has been pushed so far to one side by one party, that it frankly rings hollow. After naming two carriers in a row after famously mediocre Republican presidents, the game is pretty much up–it would obviously be the “turn” of a Democrat or three, if we’re going to go by the principle that presiding over the evacuation of the embassy in Saigon is no disqualification for having a supercarrier named after you.

    So I would offer a Grand Bargain again–let’s do every 20th Century post-war president who didn’t resign the office in disgrace, and then we’ll pick all future carrier names from an approved list of the glorious ships of the past: Lexington, Saratoga, Yorktown, Chesapeake, Kearsarge, Constellation, and so on.

  • Byron

    Nope. Dont’ want ANY vote buyin’ scalawags and carpetbaggers. I want proud names again.

  • Fouled Anchor

    “Famously mediocre Republican presidents?” You mean the one who is widely credited with ending the Cold War and the one who was the youngest naval aviator in history? These two presidents?

  • UltimaRatioReg


    Perhaps he means CV-78, named after, as Archie Bunker reminded us, “Gerald A. Ford. Who did a hell of a job for a guy nobody voted for!”

  • Craig

    Fouled Anchor,

    I fail to see what bearing being “the youngest naval aviator in history” has on the man’s performance as President of the United States. He had a distinguished and courageous record in the Second World War. The same can be said of many thousands of men who do not have their names on aircraft carriers.

    And, as another commenter noted, the other President in question was Gerald Ford–and I’ll stand by that rating. Ford’s signal achievement in office was enshrining the principle that Presidents must not be accountable for lawbreaking. And a whole class of carriers must honor his name.

  • Fouled Anchor

    Youngest naval aviator, Director of the CIA, VP, POTUS…sounds like a pretty accomplished career by any standard.

    Ford? Point taken. I had forgotten about that class of carriers. Ranks up there with the USS Jimmy Carter.

    I’ll stand by my earlier comment…USS JOHN FINN…long overdue.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “Ford’s signal achievement in office was enshrining the principle that Presidents must not be accountable for lawbreaking. And a whole class of carriers must honor his name.”

    There would seem to be varying opinions on that. In fact, the fodder for political debate, which is likely best done elsewhere.

  • There would seem to be varying opinions on that. In fact, the fodder for political debate, which is likely best done elsewhere.
    … and Exhibit A for a push to move away from naming ships after politicians…
    – SJS

  • CWO3/7441/USN(RETIRED)

    I find the arguments interesting and went back to review aircraft carrier names to see the kind of people we have named our carriers for.
    Let’s go from earliest to the latest. The first carrier of course is the USS Langley, named after an aviator. We have the USS Randolph, named after Peyton Randolph, first President of the first Continental Congress. USS Cabot (CVL-28) named after John Cabot a Venetian navigator credited with discovering N. America. We of course have the USS FDR (CVB-42), and we also have the USS Wright (CVL-49) named after Orville Wright. USS Forrestal (CVA-59) former Secretary of the Navy, the USS JFK (CV-67) President and former Naval Officer. The USS Nimitz (CVN-68) former Naval Officer. USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) member of the Senate and advocate for the Navy. The USS T. Roosevelt (CVN-71) President and in the Department of the Navy and acting Secretary of the Navy. The USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-71) President; USS George Washington (CVN-73) the First President; USS John Stennis, member of Congress, known as the father of the U.S. modern Navy. USS Harry Truman (CVN-75) President, former Army Officer, and supporter of single armed service. USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) Presidentm, actor and I believe star in, “Hellcats of the Pacific” a submarine movie; the USS George HW Bush, President and former Naval Officer, and I think he was the youngest Naval Aviator commisioned in US Naval history. Of the list the only name I really had problems with was Harry Truman who took the Department of the Navy and reduced it down under the Secretary of Defense; this of course was part of the Army initiative to unify the armed forces into a single organization. I think I left out the Benjamin Franklin, Postmaster General and inventor.
    I really don’t recall Goldwater as a friend to the Navy, but I do see where Vinson and Stennis were. As the arguments go I’m thinking the names of the Randolph, Cabot, Wright, Truman, and Franklin have very little to do with the US Navy. I would see Goldwater in that group, because the only thing I can see is the Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act of 87, and I don’t think that helped the Navy stay strong and ready to meet future and projected threats.
    So, although I don’t think I really need to see another Enterprise, I’m not against it. At least 6 carriers should be named after the first 6 ships of the Navy. I think I would even rather see a carrier named after President John Adams, who as the second President fought hard to secure a Navy, some might even argue that he is really the father of the United States Navy. It seems a lot better than naming a ship the Goldwater.

  • Byron

    Chief Warrant, based on that argument, I could live with a USS John Adams 🙂

    And I think the US Navy was really born in 1793…the child of John Adams and Joshua Humphries…

  • Paul Berg

    Enterprise has become one of the most well known and sacred names for a US warship. Any ship given this name carries on a tradition of excellence and service to the nation. This becomes part of the consciousness of the crew and enters the soul of the ship. As a former Enterprise sailer, I have experienced this. It is my fervent hope that this name will be given to a forthcoming carrier upon the retirement of CVN65.

  • Barbara

    What about the last military governor of Guam who became a prisoner of war of the Japanese in WWII as a Captain? He later was known as Admiral George J. McMillin.

  • Larry

    I believe that carries should be named after famous battles or people that helped the US Navy. I would agree that Adams has been overlooked. I would like to see names like the Hornet, Saratoga, Wasp or Midway. All have a good history with the navy. I think we need to honor the navy with things that permote the Navy and bring a since of pride to the sailors and USA

  • We have started a new petition to try and get out in front of the naming and get CVN-80, the third Ford Class carrier to be named the USS Enterprise.

    Please pass it around.

    At 10K, 50K, 100K signatures, and then every 100K after that we want to send it to the Secretary of the Navy and to Congress.

    Please sign and pass it around. It really needs to go viral for there to be a chance to influence their opinions.



  • It is time to name another aircraft carrier the USS Enterprise. Join the push to name CVN 80, the third of the Ford Class, the Enterprise.

    A petition by the citizens of the United States of America, and particularly by US Navy veterans and their familes, to the Secretary of the Navy and to the US Congress has been started to name the next nuclear powered aircraft carrier, CVN-80, the USS Enterprise.

    The current aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise, CVN-65, will be replaced by CVN-78, the USS Gerald R. Ford after more than fifty years of service. The name, USS Enterprise, has been utilized on ten occassions in service to our nation since 1775 when a vessel was first named USS Enterprise in the Continental Navy during the revolutionary war.

    The 8th vessel, the Yorktown class carrier USS Enterprise, CV-6, was the most highly decorated military vessel of World War II and the most highly decorated combat vessel in the history of the United States Navy.

    This name has served with distinction and honor throughout our nation’s history and with the upcoming decomissioning of the current USS Enterprise, CVN-65, which was the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier in the world, we will be left without this honorable and distinguished name serving on the high seas in the interests of our nation.

    The petition asks the Secretary of the Navy and the US Congress to establish that name again with CVN-80, the 3rd nuclear powered Ford Class super carrier so the tradition of honor and service may continue.

    Please join this noble cause.

  • mark

    As the naming convention for aircraft-carriers in the US Navy at the time was to name them for historic US Naval vessels and battles the United States had engaged in, the fact that a person may have been the original source of the name is _irrelevant_ to that current choice for its name — it is only by derivation!

    The Randolph (CV-15) was named for a previous US Navy ship: The first USS Randolph was a 32-gun frigate in the Continental Navy named for Peyton Randolph. (So you are 1/4… err… 1/32 correct…. That is… incorrect!)

    The Cabot (CVL-28) was named for a previous US Navy ship: Three ships of the United States Navy have been named Cabot, after the explorer John Cabot.
    The first: The USS Cabot (1775), was a 14-gun brig purchased in 1775 and captured by the British in 1777. (The 2nd Cabot (CV-16) was renamed for the lost CV-2, U.S.S. Lexington before completion.)
    (So you are 1/4… err… 1/32 correct…. That is… incorrect!)

    Franklin (CV-13) was named for a line of four (4) previous US Naval vessels. The first was apparently named for Benjamin Franklin.
    The first: USS Franklin (1775) was a 6-gun schooner, fitted out in 1775 and returned to the owner in 1776
    The second: USS Franklin (1795) was an 8-gun brig built in 1795, captured by corsairs from Tripoli in 1802, bought back by the Navy in 1805, and sold in 1807
    The third: USS Franklin (1815) was a 74-gun ship of the line launched in 1815 and broken up in 1852
    The fourth: USS Franklin (1864) was a screw frigate launched in 1864 and in active service until 1877, thereafter used as a receiving ship until 1915.
    (So you are 1/4… err… 1/32 correct…. That is… incorrect!)

    Oh…. You are correct about the The U.S.S. Langley. But she is a non-example — an out-lier; named before there was a convention for the naming of carriers. Given the example of the next forty (40) aircraft-carriers we can clearly dis-regard this “example”.

    The ship that FUBARed the tradition, and put the foot in the door for politicians, was the U.S.S. Franklin D. Roosevelt (followed by the U.S.S. Forrestal).
    And I believe _that_ should not have been done!

    Oh: An oddity… which I just re-called… [so make that thirty-nine (39), above] CV-38 The U.S.S. Shangri-La:
    The naming of the ship was a radical departure from the general practice of the time, which was to name aircraft carriers after battles or previous US Navy ships. After the Doolittle Raid, launched from the Hornet, President Roosevelt answered a reporter’s question by saying that the raid had been launched from “Shangri-La”, the fictional faraway land of the James Hilton novel Lost Horizon.
    And I believe _that_ was not a good idea either — A US Navy ship named as _A JOKE_!!!?

    And naming _anything_ after a Living Person (even if brain-dead; e.g. Ronnie Ray-gun) is in the MOST POOR of Taste!!!!! Dreadful!!!! If nothing else: It suggests that the namesake _should_ be dead!

    Further… naming United States’ Ships after Presidents is _highly_ un-democratic/un-replulican (whichever term you wish to use). It is full of suggestions of Monarchy: Think HMS King Geroge V, HMS Prince of Wales, etc. Shameful for a country with a “Government of the People…” [Just as our presidents acting as if they were monarchs, as they have been doing of late, is shameful. And shameful it is that “We the People” let them get away with it!!]

    Let us return to naming our carriers (representatives of our nation) for Great Past Ships.

    And let us _not_ return, while we’re at it, to naming them for battles: Can you see a U.S.S. Baghdad, or U.S.S. My Lai, or U.S.S. Cold War… or U.S.S. Operation Enduring Bull-shit? {_Some_ idiot would think something such-like was a a good idea.)

  • Geoffrey Van der Hoff

    …this may seem a bit out of place, yet would be well a legacy of this world to proudly boast, a 500yr tradition of USS vessels named ‘Enterprise’, so honorably in service of the greatest nation so deemed necessary by God, The United States of America, well into the vastness of space. Let us irrevocably voice this want, and without any debate, name the CVN80, ‘Enterprise’, and may she sail proudly as those so named before, carrying freedom to every shore. God bless The United States.’…for if one loyal American lives, so does the United States stand.

  • HHG of Antioch

    I agree with those advocating naming a major ship or class after John Adams. Even a cursory study of the Revolution plainly places Adams as the political “father” of the USN. As the Navy’s patron saint, one would think the Navy would place him in higher esteem.

  • HHG of Antioch

    Barry Goldwater?? What’s next the USS Dukakis?

  • Ron Jones

    They should name the next CVN 80 USS Thomas Jefferson