However, according to experts, renaming a ship at this point in its lifespan is unheard of. The USS Chancellorsville entered service in 1989 and is due to be retired in 2026.
Bryan McGrath, a retired naval officer and the managing director of The Ferrybridge Group, asserted that he is unaware of any other U.S. Navy ship that would have undergone a renaming seven-eighths of its career.
When asked if the Navy had ever given a ship in active duty a new name, officials declined to respond.
The decisive Confederate victory by Gens. in 1863 earned the town of Chancellorsville its name. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee made the conditions favourable for the Army of Northern Virginia to invade Pennsylvania and win the Battle of Gettysburg. According to reports, the ship’s hull is covered in bullet and shell fragments from the conflict, and at least as of 2016, a portrait of Lee and Jackson hangs in the wardroom.
The Navy gave most Ticonderoga-class cruisers American battle names. According to the committee member and director of international and defence policy at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Kori Schake, the tradition itself does not appear to be contentious; instead, this particular conflict causes issues.
According to some, the war is known as “Lee’s perfect combat,” and it was “one of the Confederacy’s finest moments,” according to McGrath.
However, according to Jerry Hendrix, a retired Navy captain and head of Hendrix & Associates, altering a ship’s name is a negative omen for sailors. The renamed ship then turns into “a bad luck ship,” the speaker said.
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According to experts, some Navy personnel object to renaming a ship with such a long history and short remaining service life. A vessel has a shorter service life than an Army post, which may last hundreds of years.
Hendrix stated that there is “minimal precedent” for a ship that has been in active duty for decades to have its name changed. “For a ship that’s been in service for this long, it is a preeminent thing from a traditionalist position in dealing with the culture of the Navy,”
The decision also raises concerns about whether the Navy will have to rename the USS John C. Stennis and USS Carl Vinson, two aircraft carriers named after southern lawmakers who supported segregation. Neither of the ships was among the Defense Department property that the Naming Commission was required to examine.
The administrative process of renaming a ship is labour-intensive. For instance, the ship’s name would have to be altered on the stationery, the bell bearing its name would have to be taken down, and the name would have to be removed from the stern. This will cost money, time, and effort.
The Army should rename nine bases that honour Confederate commanders, according to the first section of the commission’s report. The U.S.’s assets were the main topic of the second instalment. U.S. Military Academy and Naval Academy urged West Point to remove a well-known Robert E. Lee image.
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The Confederate memorial at Arlington National Cemetery and the Air Force’s Fort Fisher Recreation Area in North Carolina are two more assets that the services were advised to rename in the third section of the study. All of the commission’s proposals are expected to cost $62.5 million.
The group is required by the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act to present its recommendations to Congress in a written report by October 1. The ideas require approval from lawmakers and Lloyd Austin, America’s first Black Pentagon commander.
Veterans have already begun to complain, even though the Navy is likely to approve the commission’s proposal, given the current political climate. The campaign to rename the Chancellorsville “goes too far,” retired Lt. Cmdr. S.O. Rasbury, a former naval aviator who is Black, wrote in an opinion piece for Military.com last year.
Even the most casual watchers can see that the military has fully embraced the cancel culture as the Navy considers renaming a few names its ships of the line, Rasbury noted.
Hendrix said such a point of view mirrors some Navy members’ complaints about “woke-ism and its impact on the service.”
But according to McGrath, individuals who built and worked on the ship will be most affected by the decision to rename the Chancellorsville.
I believe there would be a tremendous emotional response for those who served on that ship and had wonderful recollections of that ship, and I would call it merited, he said. That was all they had ever known about the boat.
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network