USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10)

New LCS named for Gabrielle Giffords

In yet another break with tradition, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced Friday that a new Littoral Combat Ship would be named for Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona congresswoman who survived a January 2011 assassination attempt.

“The selection of Gabrielle Giffords, designated LCS 10, honors the former Congresswoman from Tucson, Arizona, who is known for supporting the military and veterans, advocating for renewable energy and championing border security,” the Navy said in a statement accompanying the announcement.

No disrespect intended, but what sense does that make?

Naming of Navy ships has gone way downhill, and the fact that there are so darn few of them coupled with the fact that a lot of them seem to be getting substandard names means that a lot of good traditional names are going to go unused in order to suck up to someone politically.

LCS 10 is one of the General Dynamics trimaran designs.


  1. My favorite ship-naming convention was from the Sci-fi TV show Babylon5. Ancient Dead Heros real and legendary are far superior to mere politicians.

  2. Given how screwed-up the LCS program is, I actually think this was a GOOD idea.

    After all, Giffords is a fickle, whiny, ineffectual polichicken, whose only claim to fame was surviving an assassination attempt by sheer luck.

    The name-ship should have been named after her!

  3. I am kind of disgusted that there is no longer a USS Ernest E Evens or USS Johnston, but we make an effort to name a warship after an unlucky politician. The naming of warships isn’t handed out as a consolation prize.

    Like they said over at Blackfive I think, name a school after her, or a library or something. It would be far more fitting for a person of her background. Warships should be for warriors.

    1. What you said. Library, school, park, the possibilities are many and far more appropriate.

      So the LCS naming convention will be….? Politicians who survive assassination attempts? Women? Congressfolk? Spouses of astronauts?

      Warships for warriors- now there’s a novel idea.

      1. What you said. Library, school, park, the possibilities are many and far more appropriate.

        So the LCS naming convention will be….? Politicians who survive assassination attempts? Women? Congressfolk? Spouses of astronauts?

        Warships for warriors- now there’s a novel idea.

        The USS Lisa Nowak?…..

        1. I am on your side on general principles, but not this specific case.

          It is a bad habit to name anything after a living politician, let alone a Navy ship; exceptions should be rare. If you’re going to do it, as a rule it should be someone who’s been gone a long time; a U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt or even Franklin Roosevelt is perfectly fine by me, but, a U.S.S. Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, or George H.W. Bush is not (and we have all of those right now). I think it should rarely be done until the politician has been gone a long time, unless they’ve been a truly transformative figure for the Navy (like the guy who invented the submarine).

          That said, throughout its entire 220+ year history, the US Navy HAS broken from this tradition and named ships after living persons, including non-military persons, all along; the Lady Washington (named for Martha) was commissioned in 1776; the USS Harriet Lane was named for James Buchanan’s neice (and titular First Lady–since he was a bachelor she served the First Lady function) while she was alive, and there are other examples. Thus it is not a -complete- break with tradition to do this sort of thing -on occasion-. I just think it’s gotten out of control since roughly 1990 or so.

          So I think we should stop doing this so often. HOWEVER, in the case of Giffords: I think we should stop and remind ourselves that, regardless our political affiliation or point of view, it truly is a noble thing to seek public office, and often a self-sacrificing one; while we often think of those career politicians who’ve made themselves wealthy by so doing (the Senate is filled with them), a member of Congress with only a few terms served is not going to be one of those persons. And, seeking public office is a noble calling in general, and the Giffords case serves to remind us that it is a potentially -dangerous- thing to do; while members of Congress being attacked and killed are rare, it does happen.

          Congreswoman Giffords showed exemplary comportment and courage in attempting to come back from her injury, struggled valiently to recover and continue in her duties, and resigned honorably after the State of the Union when it became clear that she was unlikely to be able to continue her duty. She showed courage and honor and the very qualities we want in a warrior. She was also a friend to veterans and those serving in the military.

          If we are to make exceptions for living persons and politicians, THIS is the type of exception we should be making. Love or hate Jimmy Carter or George H.W. Bush, it isn’t fair to attempt to evaluate their legacy until they’re gone. But Giffords literally made a huge sacrifice for her country–maybe not intentionally but a huge one nonetheless, and showed courage and honor in so doing. She deserves the honor.

  4. Assination attempt aside.

    She’s a Liberal, Democrat POTUS ass-licker and that’s why the ship will bear her name.

    If it were a Republican like Newt Gingrigh or Rick Santorum they wouldn’t name the goat-locker after them.

  5. I have been complaining about this for a while especially when it comes to naming big carriers after Bush, Ford and JFK. The Gifford’s thing is a joke.

    I think they should stick to naming major capital ships after states and battles. Lesser ships should use the names of MOH winners and cities. But enough of giving living, celebrity-type people a named ship.

    1. Yeah, this has been a common gripe here on MO for years.

      I’m from Ford’s Congressional district and am a fan of the guy in general, but he did not deserve a major warship let alone a carrier. I’m not even necessarily a fan carriers like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and as much as I loved Reagan I think that it would be better to have a Lexington or a Saratoga or a Ranger.

      It’s all a stupid political game though, and probably won’t change.

  6. I thought Murtha and then Chavez were bad enough, but now Giffords? Ray Mabus sucks pond scum. Guess we better get ready for the USS Whitney Houston!

  7. I don’t know if this makes Secretary Mabus an idiot or a genius.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures….

  8. I’d have a ton of respect for Giffords if she did a Washington-like act of selflessness, you know like when he ensured that civilians remained in control after Yorktown, and asked the Navy to name her ship after someone else more deserving of that honor.

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