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United States Navy Names Next Aircraft Carrier
USS Gerald R. Ford

January 16, 2007

The Secretary of the Navy today announced the selection of “USS Gerald R. Ford” as the name of CVN 78, the first Aircraft Carrier in what will be the “Gerald R. Ford” class of carriers.

This selection honors the 38th President of the United States and pays tribute to his lifetime of service in Navy, in the U.S. government and to the nation.

“President Gerald R. Ford provided the United States great leadership at a time of constitutional crisis,” said Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter. “I am honored to have the opportunity to name the first ship in the new class of Aircraft Carriers after this great sailor, this great leader, this great man.”

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1913, he grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He starred on the University of Michigan football team, then went to Yale, where he served as assistant coach while earning his law degree.

During World War II he attainted the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, and served on the light carrier USS Monterey.  After the war he returned to Grand Rapids, where he began the practice of law, and entered political life.

Ford was the first Vice President chosen under the terms of the Twenty-fifth Amendment and, in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, succeeded the first President ever to resign; serving as the 37th Vice President (1973-1974) and the 38th President of the United States (1974-1977). Prior to becoming Vice President, he served for over eight years as the Republican Minority Leader of the House of Representatives as a representative from Michigan’s 5th congressional district.

USS Gerald R. Ford will be the premier forward asset for crisis response and early decisive striking power in a major combat operation.  The Carrier and the Carrier Strike Group will provide forward presence, rapid response, endurance on station, and multi-mission capability.

USS Gerald R. Ford and subsequent Ford Class Carriers will provide improved war fighting capability, quality of life improvements for Sailors and reduced acquisition and life cycle costs.

Artist conception of CVN 78, the USS Gerald R. Ford

USS Gerald R. Ford