BANGOR, Washington — On Veterans Day, the USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) began honoring the Cornhusker State by naming all work and living spaces after Nebraska communities.
Vance Scott, commanding officer on the U.S. Navy’s nuclear powered, Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, came up with the idea while touring University of Nebraska Innovation Campus and the Scarlet Hotel during Lincoln Navy Week in August.
“They talked about the rooms named after a city or town in Nebraska,” Cmdr. Scott said. “And I thought, ‘I wonder if I can do that on my boat?’”
Shari Veil, dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, helped Scott answer that question.
When Veil learned about the naming project, she reached out to Nebraska alumni at Archrival, a Lincoln-based marketing company that worked with developer Goldenrod Companies on the brand and naming for the Scarlet Hotel.
“This project is a perfect example of what makes Nebraska so special,” Veil said. “We set up a meeting with folks from the Navy, College of Journalism, Archrival and Goldenrod, and a few weeks later the Navy had hundreds of community histories and thousands of photos of Nebraska towns and landmarks to pick from.”
Zach Wiegert, managing principal of Goldenrod Companies, said his team embraced the opportunity to collaborate with the military.
“We were excited to hear our Scarlet Hotel project inspired the U.S. Navy to name their staterooms in a similar manner,” Wiegert said. “We are proud supporters of our nation’s military.”
The most challenging part of the project was helping crew members identify with the various locations within Nebraska, especially for crew members who have not been to Nebraska.
“Goldenrod engaged the team at Archrival to write unique stories of nearly 150 Nebraska cities and towns. We shared these stories with the U.S. Navy, along with more than 2,000 photographs depicting each locale, which were captured by students from the University of Nebraska,” Wiegert said.
This gave the U.S. Navy team the opportunity to review and select the towns they wanted to represent onboard the submarine.
The commanding officer’s stateroom will be named after the capitol Lincoln; and the executive officer’s stateroom will be named after Bancroft, which is also the name of a dormitory at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.
Additional spaces such as officer staterooms, bunkrooms, chiefs’ quarters, the wardroom, study areas, and the crew’s lounge will be named Wahoo, Waterloo, Pawnee City, Broken Bow, Atlanta, West Point, Valentine, Offutt AFB, Schuyler, Eagle, Red Cloud, Tecumseh, Hastings, Central City, Tekamah, Weeping Water, Boys Town, Wood River, Waverly, Omaha, Cedar Rapids, Grand Island, Oakland, Imperial, and Rushville.
More than 50 sailors from various commands, including several USS Nebraska crew members and Scott, participated in education and community outreach events during Lincoln Navy Week, Aug. 21-27. Navy Band Great Lakes entertained residents at venues throughout the week while sailors met with students across several high schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, and after school programs and volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, Food Bank of Lincoln, YMCA, United Way, and Matt Talbot, among other organizations. Navy Public Affairs Officers toured the College of Journalism and Mass Communications and media facilities. The week culminated with the two-day Guardians of Freedom air show.
Scott, a Baltimore, Maryland, native and 2004 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, was impressed by the local hospitality.
“We definitely felt embraced and welcomed by everyone that we were in contact with, and [the city] rolled out the red carpet and really took great care of me and my team,” Scott said. “We wanted to try to find a way of kind of paying back the city and the state and really rebuild that connectivity that we have.”
Veil was proud to see the various groups come together to make the project happen.
“Nebraskans love and support our military, and it’s a great honor to have our communities represented on the USS Nebraska,” Veil said.
Watch a video about the project here.
Lincoln Navy Week is one of 13 Navy Weeks in 2023, which brings a variety of assets, equipment, and personnel to a single city for a weeklong series of engagements designed to bring America’s Navy closer to the people it protects. Each year, the program reaches more than 140 million people — about half the U.S. population.
Lincoln Navy Week also hosted the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), USS Constitution, Naval Talent Acquisition Group Northern Plains, Navy Reserve Center Omaha, Naval History & Heritage Command, Navy Band Great Lakes, Ceremonial Guard Drill Team, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, Office of Small Business Programs, Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 3 - Detachment Offutt, Strategic Command Navy Element, Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron (Blue Angels), U.S. Fleet Forces, and the Office of Civilian Human Resources.
USS Nebraska is one of eight ballistic-missile submarines stationed at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, providing the most survivable leg of the strategic deterrence triad for the United States.