Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Just_A_Mom, May 19, 2011.
"Chavez served in the navy like anybody."
I think the services are watering down the naming of ships (my service included). No doubt politics plays a part in the naming. No doubt at all.
Doesn't politics play into the naming of every ship?
Specifically, why would you say the Navy is watering down the names of ships?
What I didn't know is that classifications of ships have specific guidelines for naming.
I certainly think that if they can name ships for Medgar Evars and Amelia Earhart - Cesar Chavez would fit into this category. Don't you??
In promoting equal justice for all - he certainly was a visionary who changed the country and the world for the better.
Or you can look at it as "Does 2 wrongs make a right?" I personally don't care what they call a ship or a boat. Was Medgar Evars worthy enough to have a ship named after him? Probably not. But if a person can argue and justify that he does justify having a ship named after him; then Chavez would fall into the same category. Amelia Earhart I consider to be "different or unique". When you're dealing with "THE FIRST" to have done something, that is the true definition of a pioneer and visionary. You're imagining doing something that hasn't been done before. Being the 2nd, 3rd, ....1000th to do something is neither visionary or pioneering. But if they can rationalize Evars, then they can rationalize Chavez.
I served as the secretary for the Coast Guard naming board. The naming board is for both vessels and full, permanent buildings (annexes, temp. buildings, outdoor structures like streets, BBQ pits etc are at command discretion).
Each class of ship has guidelines for naming. I can speak specifically to the members of the naming board for a Navy ship, but in general the Coast Guard naming board is made up of people like the Coast Guard Chief of Public Affairs, Coast Guard Historian, the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard....and a number of others, mostly flag officers.
Politics plays into decisions. "Do we have enough blacks, hispanics, or females represented" in naming ships? Each service feels the pressure of showing how diverse it is.
In the case of the Coast Guard, I would maintain that more deserving white males were overlooked to name a cutter after a couple of female lighthouse keepers. Longevity doesn't make someone "historically significant". We just did it with our first 13 cutters of a new class. Based on the naming scheme, I don't see how they aren't going to have to water it down even more.
What would have been easier, and in my opinion, "cooler", give them the old British names, kind of like the "Reliance class" cutters. The "Sentinal Class" started like that until it received resistance within the Coast Guard. Wonder why.
What did Chavez do for the Navy specifically? Was he the "hispanic" check in the box? Was Earhart the "female" check in the box?
We've had the "first argument".
Hopley Yeaton was the first commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard (then, the Revenue Cutter Service). Did he do anything significant? No. He was the first. Some within the Historians Office would maintain that Yeaton appears as the "first" because of the order the names were listed on the document, not because he was actually the first.
Then we say "first black commissioned officer".
"First black pilot."
"First black female pilot."
"First black female MH-65 pilot."
Firsts can be watered down quite a bit. Being the first often means nothing more than "first in line". Did the first female graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy do anymore more than the second, besides having a name earlier in the alphabet? No. What if the "First black" graduate serves five years and gets out while the "Second black" graduate serves 30 years, saves a million people and changes the world? We get in the mind set that a "first" was somehow a trail blazer.
The general thought process within the board I worked with "Firsts" are not historically significant, they are just historically necessary.
I'm not saying Chavez can't be justified after looking at others ship's have been named after in that class, I'm saying it's watered down. I'm saying there are some who deserve it far more, but have the unfortunate fortune of being born a white male and serving in a military dominated by white males.
Many of the submarines in WWII were named after fish.
Is this really that big of a deal?
You're right. I want one named after me. No big deal!
I'm not happy about the Coast Guard naming of its new class of cutters. Navy sold out awhile ago.... "fish don't vote, cities and states do".
USS LITS gets my vote
At least for Coast Guard cutters, the individual must be dead. I'd rather be a USCGC than a USS any day though.
Separate names with a comma.