Friday, October 06, 2006


The next class of American aircraft carriers will be the Gerald Ford class. To be honest I am none too keen on the habit of naming these ships after Presidents. For one, they get plenty of things named after them already. It looks another this just looks like another benefit of the job. For another, does it matter if you are a top tier President or do you have to just be President? We have a Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier fitting out. The last of the Nimitzs is the George H.W. Bush. Jimmy Carter has to make do with a submarine. A fancy special operations submarine, but still. We are still waiting on the USS William Clinton and USS George W Bush, but you can bet we will see them one day.

Seven of the ten Nimitz carriers are named after Presidents. Two of the others are named for Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. This is a wink-wink, nudge-nudge from the Navy to let House leaders know there might be a carrier in it for them, if the Navy gets something nice under the Christmas tree.

Back in the day, carriers were named after famous ships or battles. Names like USS Lexington and USS Saratoga are gone, as are USS Yorktown and soon, USS Enterprise. While tradition isn't everything, I think there is value in historical continity rather than just political payback, which is what the current naming scheme feels like.


Brack said...

The Brits have - by far - the most bad ass names for their naval vessels:

HMA Alacrity
HMS Brazen
HMS Dauntless
HMS Defiance
HMS Devastation
HMS Implacable
HMS Indefatigable
HMS Stone Cold Gangsta

Well, I made that last one up. But you get the point.

Tripp said...

Why do we stuck with president names when they get those?

We should go with Iain M Banks Culture names like

Shoot First Ask Questions Later


Lapsed Pacifist

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