WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced April 16 the next Zumwalt-class destroyer will be named the USS Lyndon B. Johnson.
The selection of Lyndon B. Johnson, designated DDG 1002, continues the Navy tradition of naming ships after presidents and honors the nation's 36th president.
USS Lyndon B. Johnson is the 34th ship named by the Navy after a U.S. president.
"I am pleased to honor President Johnson with the naming of this ship," Mabus said. "His dedication to a life of public service included bravely stepping forward to fight for his country during our entry into World War II."
A Texas congressman, Johnson was the first member of Congress to enlist in the military following the start of World War II. After his naval service, Johnson was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1948, where he served as both minority and majority leader before being elected vice president Nov. 8, 1960.
Following President John F. Kennedy's assassination Nov. 22 1963, Johnson succeeded to the presidency, finished the remaining term, and was reelected for a full term as president, by the greatest percentage of total popular vote (61 percent) ever attained by a presidential candidate.
Johnson's time as president was marked by the passage of programs that greatly influenced and impacted education, healthcare and civil rights for generations to come. He signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, enacting comprehensive provisions protecting the right to vote and guarding against racial discrimination. His work on civil rights continued with the passage of the Voting Rights Act, which guaranteed voting rights for all people, regardless of race.
Johnson signed legislation establishing Medicare, which allowed millions of elderly Americans access to cheaper medical services. He also launched the Head Start Program, which provided preschool children from low-income families with classes, medical care, and other services.
As a naval officer, Johnson requested a combat assignment after the attack on Pearl Harbor and served in the Pacific theater during World War II. After returning from active duty service, Johnson reported back to Navy leaders and Congress on what he believed were deplorable conditions for the warfighters, and continued to fight for better standards for all military members.
USS Lyndon B. Johnson will be the third Zumwalt-class (DDG 1000) destroyer. Construction began on the ship at General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works April 4 and is expected to deliver to the Navy in fiscal 2018. The multimission DDG 1000 class destroyers are designed for sustained operations in the littorals and land attack and will provide independent forward presence and deterrence, support special operations forces, and operate as an integral part of joint and combined expeditionary forces. This warship integrates numerous critical technologies, systems, and principles into a complete warfighting system. Zumwalt ships will be 600 feet in length, have a beam of 80.7 feet, displace approximately 15,000 tons, and capable of making 30 knots speed. Each ship will have a crew size of 148 officers and Sailors.
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