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Eye Opener: Dept. of Navy Name Change Soon?

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Happy Wednesday! A proposal to rename the Department of the Navy to the Department of Navy and Marine Corps now has 300 cosponsors in the House, a feat rarely achieved by any piece of legislation.

Less than ten of the nearly 3,000 bills introduced in the House so far this session have garnered such support, according to the office of Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.), who has introduced similar versions of the bill during every Congress since 2001.

“This is an issue close to my heart,” Jones said in a statement. “The Marine Corps is not a subordinate arm under the Navy, but rather an equal member of a team that deserves equal recognition."

As The Eye has previously reported, Jones' district includes the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base. The lawmaker wants the change as a way to extend a courtesy to the families of Marines killed in action. They currently receive condolence letters printed on Department of the Navy letterhead that begin with the sentence, "On behalf of the Department of the Navy..." with no explicit mention of the Marine Corps anywhere in the letter.

The bill would also reclassify the Secretary of the Navy as the “Secretary of the Navy and Marine Corps." It's once again part of the fiscal year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, the massive bill that handles military spending. Its big test comes when it crosses over to the Senate, which has stripped the proposal from previous authorization acts. Jones thinks a new political environment and the retirement of some key Senate opponents could finally make it happen.

Rarely does a bureaucratic name change invoke any confidence or clear sense of a change in mission (see: the name changes associated with Homeland Security agencies). Still, despite the cost of changing logos, letterhead and signage (which could climb into the millions), this change will have great meaning and significance for Marine veterans and their families.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | June 24, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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I appreciate their efforts in attempting to bring a seperate entity to the US Marine Corps, but I have a better idea. Why not just totally seperate the Corps from the Navy. Kept the Department of Navy and create the Department of the Marine Corps. OOH RAH!! Former Marine and Current Treasury employee.

Posted by: fedemp | June 24, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Such a little thing, but it can have profound effects.

Since its inception, the Marine Corps has been the red-headed stepchild of the Navy. Without human feet on the beach, the Navy cannot be completely effective. That effectiveness has come through the Marines.

The marines have largely been underfunded, understaffed, and underappreciated for most of their history. They deserve to sit at the same table as the big people.

Posted by: capndad | June 24, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I agree with fedemp. Just make the Dept. of the Navey and make the Dept of the Marine Corps. They would like it and so would the Dept of the Navy. Sounds good to me and always has.

Posted by: quartercircle | June 24, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

If we (The United States Of America) is willing to spend the money (I can think of many more urgent needs than renaming the Department of the Navy)I believe that the US Marine Corps should be it's own seperate service. I disagree with one of the other commenters saying that the Navy cannot be effective without Human feet on the beach. The Marine Corps was founded to support and protect US Navy ships when ship to ship warfare was decided and finished with hand to hand combat. Those days are gone and the Marines have adapted better than any other branch of service to today's style of warfare. But does this mean that now we will have to by the Marine Corps their own seperate Naval vessels? The Marines second primary mission has been as an amphibious assault group. Without the Navy how are they going to arrive at the battlefield. The US Army has more aircraft than the US Air Force. Does this mean that now the Marines will have more ships than the Navy? I think we can spend our limited resources much more wisely. However, I do think that the Marines should be getting a much larger share of the DoD budget pie. let's stop changing traditions, save money, but give the United States Marine Corp the Respect and Equipment they deserve! Signed a former "Squid"

Posted by: efisdog | June 24, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

A New Dept of Marine Corps huh? Would that mean an end to us "green" sailors?
A grunt "doc" RVN 66-67

Posted by: dsscott | June 25, 2009 4:05 AM | Report abuse

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