Sept 19, 1997

American Schoolchildren
Gear Up to Find a Name
for Navy's Next Oceanographic Ship

    Last week, a large, colorful poster hit the desks of every school principal in the country. Sent by the U.S. Navy, this time it had nothing to do with recruitment. This poster invites American schoolchildren in grades kindergarten through 12th grade to suggest names for Navy's newest oceanographic survey ship.

    The ship is now under construction, and is scheduled for launch in 1998. Normal procedure for naming new Navy ships has professional Navy historians sending recommendations up to the Secretary of the Navy, who chooses among these for each new ship's name, but this time Navy wanted to do something different.

    The Navy is encouraging use of the Internet and the World Wide Web by asking students interested in naming the new ship to find out more about the contest on the Web. Specifics on Eligibility, Rules, Name Criteria, Deadlines, and other related information can be found on:

    Proposed names, and associated team projects, will first be judged on at the state level based on imagination and creativity, and evidence of educational value. State awards boards are being convened by the Navy League in each state. In early 1998, winning names from each state will be sent to the Navy in Washington for consideration.

    The Navy will announce the final winning name in May 1998. Representatives from the winning teams will receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, and the grand winner a trip to the new ship's christening and launch later in 1998. This contest and ship launch coincides with the United Nations General Assembly's Resolution, in its Forty-ninth session, to make 1998 the International Year of the Oceans.

    In an added feature, the National Geographic Society also created a ship-naming site on their WEB page, which allows students to "try out" their proposed name by painting it on the ship's hull. Check it out at the link on the above URL.


Note to Editors: A full version of the release annoucing the contest is available on the Web site. Photographs of the T-AGS 60 class oceanographic survey ship, and B-roll for Network Television is also available.


Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy:
Gail S. Cleere 202-762-1045
Patrick J. Dennis 202-762-0253

Office of the Navy Chief of Information:
Lieutenant Rick Haupt 703-697-5342