Michelle Obama Sponsors Submarine
By Donovan Slack
May 28, 2012
First Lady Michelle Obama agreed to serve as sponsor of the USS Illinois, a Virginia-class submarine being built in Groton, Conn., and Newport News, Va., and expected to deploy in 2015.
Obama met with 24 women on Monday who were accepted into the navy's nuclear submarine program and are serving on ballistic and guided missile submarines.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as sponsor of the USS ILLINOIS,” Obama said in a statement. “I’m always inspired by the service and sacrifice of the men and women of the Navy, as well as the families who support them. This submarine is a tribute to the strength, courage, and determination that our Navy families exhibit every day.”
From the White House announcement:
In sponsoring USS Illinois, the First Lady joins a tradition of First Lady sponsorship of U.S. Navy submarines. First Lady Laura Bush is USS Texas’ (SSN 775) sponsor and christened it in 2004; First Lady Hillary Clinton is USS Columbia’s (SSN 771) sponsor and christened it in 1994. As sponsor, the First Lady will establish a special link to Illinois, her Sailors, and their families that extends throughout the life of the submarine...
First Lady Michelle Obama also serves as the sponsor for the recently commissioned Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, based in Alameda, California. The Coast Guard ship is named after Captain Dorothy Stratton, the director of the Coast Guard Women’s Reserve during World War II where she oversaw 10,000 enlisted women and 1,000 commissioned officers.