The U.S. Navy's leadership has again demonstrated its penchant for ignoring customs, traditions, and even Navy instructions when it comes to naming ships. The latest example is the decision to name the attack submarine SSN-785 for Senator John Warner (R-VA).
John Warner is an outstanding American. After enlisting in the Navy at age 17 in January 1945, he later transferred to the Marine Corps Reserve and served as a Marine officer in the Korean War. From 1969 to 1972 he was Under Secretary of the Navy and then succeeded to the position of Secretary, which he held until 1974. Subsequently he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served with distinction from January 1979 to January 2009. During those three decades he was a key member of the Armed Services Committee, having a major role in Secretary of the Navy John Lehman's fleet buildup, and he was a principal in the historic incidents-at-sea negotiations with the Soviet Navy.
Mr. Warner certainly deserves a Navy ship to be named after him—but not a submarine.