What’s in a name? Navy comes out with new ship naming guidelines

What’s in a name? Navy comes out with new ship naming guidelines What’s in a name? Navy comes out with new ship naming guidelines

FeaturedWIB sea October 18, 2019 0

A new series of ship-naming conventions has come down the pipe for the U.S. Navy, setting a list of guidelines for what kind of... What’s in a name? Navy comes out with new ship naming guidelines


A new series of ship-naming conventions has come down the pipe for the U.S. Navy, setting a list of guidelines for what kind of vessels get their namesake from.

The memorandum put out by the Navy and obtained by the U.S. Naval Institute, lists several naming convention rules, as well as some pre-chosen names for certain classes.

In the submarine world, the first Ohio replacement ballistic missile submarine (SSBN-826) has been named Columbia in honor of the District of Columbia, though the actual class-naming conventions have yet to be released. In regards to the Virginia-class attack subs, the names will continue to be chosen from the list of 50 American states.

While U.S. aircraft carriers are usually named after presidents, there have been two exceptions and both were named after members of Congress.

Destroyers are still being named after deceased military personnel assigned to the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps, though some may be named after Secretaries of the Navy.

As the Navy prepares to bring back the frigates, the new FFG(X) vessels’ names are still up in the air. Traditionally, they have been named after Navy leadership and battlefield legends.


Other ships, including the Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs) are being named for regionally important American cities and communities.

In the past, there were many curious naming conventions, some more ironic than others- for example, the Navy used to name submarines after types of marine wildlife, and the USS Gabrielle Giffords -an armed LCS- was named after a politician best known for her gun control advocacy platform.

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