Forging a Relationship
The Baltimore Ravens and USS Maryland
Deep within the belly of the ocean, USS Maryland (SSBN 738), an Ohio-class ballistic submarine, lurks, hidden from the world above. Its 154 Sailors go about their mission protecting the United States, but they might as well be ghosts to the civilian population.
A few people with the Baltimore Ravens, Maryland's official NFL team, wanted to show their ongoing support for their state's namesake vessel and its Sailors. Brandon Etheridge, the team's general counsel, heard about Maryland from a few close Navy friends. He pitched the idea of developing a relationship with the submarine to his colleagues.
“They talked to me about the relationship that the Green Bay Packers have with the USS Green Bay,” said Etheridge. “I honestly had no idea that there was a USS Maryland, and I think that not many people know about a lot of our submarines. So I looked up USS Maryland and saw that it was stationed down in Georgia and thought, 'Hey that would be a really cool thing to have a relationship with the namesake ship of our state.'”
Etheridge contacted Cmdr. Jesse Pruett, commanding officer of Maryland, in hopes that the crew would be able to visit the stadium and training facility during Maryland Fleet Week. Pruett was enthusiastic about the opportunity to raise the crew's pride and morale.
“The crew is extremely proud of the name of our ship,” said Pruett. “The ship is the third one in the United States Navy named for the state of Maryland, and the state has a very rich and long maritime tradition supporting the United States Navy all the way back to the Revolutionary War.”