Readers here will recall the petition we launched last July when it came to light that there was a “sense” of Congress motion passed that the next ship following the Gerald Ford (CVN-78) should be named after Barry Goldwater.  You will recall we were, well, less than enthusiastic (to put it charitably) that yet another capitol ship was going to be named after a politician, when there was a prospect we’d be without an Enterprise in the fleet of carriers envisioned post-2013 (CVN-65’s presumed decom).

Evidently, many more of you feel the same way – emphatically so by the comments on the petition.  At almost 6 months to go, we are closing in on 2,000 signatures (1,986 as of 18 Jan 2010).  Outstanding as that is, I’d like to see if that can be doubled in the remaining six months.  My intention is to print out the petition for delivery to the Secretary of the Navy, CNO and Senator Webb (my senator and a former SECNAV), hopefully in person, as a direct and tangible “sense” of both our nation and friends abroad (check the countries of some of the signers).  But that’s not all – I want to do this before the 50th Anniversary of the christening and launch of the current USS Enterprise (24 Sept 1960).

Time is pressing – there are no namings for a carrier slated for this year, but that is no guarantee that something won’t be pulled behind closed doors.  Just take a look at this document and see what is in the wings: RS22478_20091223_Navy-Ship-Names_23Dec09 (downloads PDF)

So please, lend a hand, post an article or link, advocate, write your Senators and Representatives.


Let’s see if we can get 4,000 – 5,0000 or more signatures on this petition! (ed. BTW, we are one of the top 10 petitions at! – SJS)

Let our effort be the very definition of the word — and in the spirit of the ship we would see named “ENTERPRISE”!

Update (24 Jan 2010): 2100+ signatures and climbing!  Along with the support in the comments section, the following arrived this week as well:


My name is Austin.  I have been lurking on the Navy blogs for awhile.  I don’t usually comment, just read what people with a lot more experience than me have to say.  I came across the Petition for the Enterprise at the USNI board and then yours.  If you have noticed lately, it seems to be hijacked by a mysterious entity called Webb Institute.  I graduated in 2009 and am responsible for the influx of Webb students, alumni and family that have signed the petition in the past few days.  Webb is solely a naval architecture school.  I was the 113th graduating class and there are a little over 1000 living graduates.  Its small.  But I sent the petition to the current classes and my class and we have made an impact on the petition.  Many graduates work for the Navy as civilians (myself included), a couple active duty nuke officers, and lots of DoD contractors.  I have no doubt a Webbie or 10 has worked on the various Enterprise’s through the years and are currently working on the Gerald Ford.  We are proud of our founder’s and our own accomplishments and contributions to the US Navy and would like to see it continue in the proud traditions that it should hold dear.

Thanks to you and the Navy blog community in general.

Austin – thank you and all the good folks at the Webb Institute for your support. – SJS


  1. Pascal Stalder

    Don’t forget to write your Congressman and your two Senators about this too.

    CV-6 was let down by Congress after the war and ignominiously scrapped rather than transformed into a museum. CV-3 Saratoga was also humiliatingly ‘disposed’ of in the Bikini H-bomb tests.

    We must perpetuate the names of the ships and honor the crews that served to protect our liberty in World War II. This was done for both ships, but with the decom of CVN-65, none will be left. CVN-79 must be named ENTERPRISE to honor all the carriers and their crews that served.

  2. Andy (JADAA)

    Well, when you think of it, you could break the previous class into three categories: The “Warrior” class (Nimitz); the “Politician” or “Pork” class (Vinson & Stennis) and “Presidential” class (Ike, Lincoln, G.W., T.R., Truman, Reagan & Bush41). I’m not even sure where we can class Ford; “Improved Nimitz?” “Tron?” (given it’s electro-motive drive, EMALS and built-in networks)

    Heaven forbid we should actually give war-like or historic ship names to our capital vessels. That might offend someone, somewhere at some time.


  3. Caroline

    Where can I sign this petition??? I’m one of the designers working on the Ford and I’ll eventually transition to CVN 79…

  4. Caroline:

    Click on the CVN-65 image above – if for some reason that link is disabled, go here:


    w/r, SJS

  5. Manuel Alfonso Rodriguez III

    Yes, I agree CVN-79 should be named Enterprise. As for naming capital ships after politicians, it should be at least, 50 yrs. after their death. Not to diminish ships already named after Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush which are formidable in their own right. There also should be an aircraft carrier named after Thomas Jefferson. After all, he is the author of our constitution. Furthermore, all who were involved with our constitution should have these great capital ships bearing their names. Those who are trying to petition the naming of said hull number to Arizona are notwithstanding. In that, it was a tragedy and great trepidation that battleship during bombing of Pearl Harbor was sunk and now a standing monument for heroism during WWII.
    Having said that, we should have the next CGN or BBGN named after her. Name itself will not be for a state anymore, it will be for a ship and the men who served on her. With the thought of CVN-65 not being museum potential due to her defueling of her reactors. We should look into trying to use her as a nuclear powerplant for some small city by the bay. Not to mention, giving some of our men who actually work on reactors for the Navy an opportunity. I just wish I saw this petition when it first came out.

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