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Will Department of Navy get a name change?

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Updated 9:59 a.m. ET
Happy Tuesday! The House is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a bill that has more cosponsors than any other in Congressional history -- but will likely die once again in the Senate.

For years Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) has pushed Congress to change the name of the Department of the Navy to the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps, arguing Marines deserve equal recognition after serving besides sailors for two decades. The bill has at least 426, according to his office.

“Receiving so many cosponsors is definitely an accomplishment,” said Jones, “but this fight will not be over until those three words are added to the Department of the Navy. Hopefully the Senate will support this cause as much as the House has and we can finally give the Marines the acknowledgment and respect that they deserve.”

If it passes the House, it has at least five sponsors in the Senate: Sens. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.). But it has key three opponents: Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) (a former sailor) Jim Webb (D-Va.) (a former Marine) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

McCain tells The Hill that he doesn't support the bill and Webb said, "I did not have any problem being a Marine serving in the Department of the Navy.” Levin said he didn't think his committee “will have time to look at that issue again.” Others have raised concerns about the potential costs of changing military letterhead, but Jones says those costs would be minimal.

So is it time for a name change or should Congress leave things as they are?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

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By Ed O'Keefe  | May 4, 2010; 6:10 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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This sure seems to be pretty unimportant. Walter Jones is never there to help with passage of significant legislation so why should members of Congress let this insignificant legislation pass so Walter can go home and tell his Marine Corp constituents that he did something. Jones lives in a district that has some of the poorest health care in the nation and high percentages of people unemployed yet he voted against health care reform. His district's economy is chronically depressed yet he voted against the Recovery Act (and still went before TV cameras to take credit for several local projects funded by the money). He is all theatre, no substance.

Posted by: Viewpoint2 | May 4, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

No reason to change. USMC's original job on USN ships was to protect the Captain and other officers from the crew and to man the tops and provide sniper fire.

USMC should never be equal to USN. They are part of the USN and shall never be an equal part.

I can't remember if the Roayal marines are equal to the Royal Navy.

The few, the proud and the not equal. If you wanted to be equal you should have joined the USN.

Posted by: sheepherder | May 4, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

As a U.S. Navy veteran, I would fully endorse the addition of the Marine Corps to the Dept. of Navy title. I don't care about the record of the person introducing the legislation. It is a way to recognize a very important miltary force which is absolutely essential to the United States of America.

Posted by: FreedomFirst | May 4, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Without their naval mission, the Marines are just another light infantry unit and could transfer their resources to the Army. The more they separate themselves from the Navy, the less reason for maintaining them as a separate armed force.

Posted by: ben18 | May 4, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

McCain is on the wrong track as usual (that is why his former second banana is now upstaging him).
The issue here is to acknowledge the past performance and present day importance of the USMC and give it due and proper recognition.

Posted by: arcoveus | May 4, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

It's been the "Department of the Navy" for about 220 years, now. The Marines have been a part of the Department of the Navy for all of that time.

Changing the name because some dimwit of a politician has too much time on his hands seems foolish, to me.

It's not broken. Don't "fix" it.

Posted by: rphsyxw02 | May 4, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Mc Cain is on the wrong track as usual (that is why his former second banana is now upstaging him).
The issue here is to give the USMC due and proper recognition based on its past performance and present day importance.

Posted by: arcoveus | May 4, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Former USMC'er here. The name change is senseless.

Posted by: ShovelPlease | May 4, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Nothing more than a distraction from more significant, and complicated, issues.

Posted by: theoldmajor | May 4, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Rep Walter Jones sez, "after serving besides sailors for...".

I be sayin' mebbee Walter Jones be a little illitterate and stoopid too.

Posted by: joeblotnik49 | May 4, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

THis is absurd political jockeying for no gain. The more the Marines try to separate themselves from the Dept of the Navy, the more they just make the argument for transferring themselves to the Army. Marines are naval infantry...get away from that, and you're in the Army.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | May 4, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Department of Naval Sea, Air and Land Forces.

Posted by: whocares666 | May 4, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

This is not a knock on the Marines but they already get more than their fair share of "respect.". They are technically a component of the Navy yet they get equal billing on the Joint Chiefs. Neither the Air Force nor the Army gets a second senior voice on the JS yet the Navy essentially gets a second voice because the Marines get an artificial seat.

Posted by: wildfyre99 | May 4, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

On second thought this renaming might not be a bad idea. It could force the DOD to eliminate the Marine's separate seat on the Joint Chiefs... Afterall if it's the Dept of Navy/Marines then they only get one seat.... HMMMMMMM

Posted by: wildfyre99 | May 4, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm former Navy, have worked with Marines as a Corpsman. I don't see any reason to make the change. It's been like this from the start. Must we change all traditions? The Marines original mission definitely fell under the cover of the Navy. Don't tinker. The Marine Corps already recieves the recognition and respect it derserves. This seems very petty.

Posted by: jckdoors | May 4, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, medical personnel from all service branches will be trained at Ft. Sam Houston. The Army Medical Department Center and School will be commanded by a Navy Admiral, while the Army colonel who oversees the garrison will report to an Air Force general officer. No matter what Congress does with this current proposal, we're a long ways from Starfleet.

Posted by: roywhaas | May 4, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm a former Marine. The Marine Corps is unique. I love its history. Don't change our billing -- we don't need it to be The Few, The Proud....and if the Marine Corps was only "light infantry", we'd already be in the Army. Because clearly, the Army needs a good light infantry unit! Anway, it's only a distractor thrown out there by another useless Repub so that more serious issues are not addressed.

Posted by: crewmom | May 4, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Of course this "name change" will cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

It might be cheaper to create a standalone Department of The Marine Corps, or somesuch.

But the gom'ent will take the most expensive [wasteful] route, you can bet.

Posted by: kinkysr | May 4, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The Department of the Navy is comprised of several Corps. There is a Medical Corps, a Nursing Corps, and a Marine Corps. It is a component. A great component with a rich and valued history, but a component.

MARINE stands for:

Love the Marines, hate the name change. Don't mess with what doesn't need fixing. Balance the budget!

Posted by: fnulnu2 | May 4, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Why, it works fine right now. I'm a retired Marine and have no problem with it not changing. If you want to sponsor legislation, try for something more substantive that will actually help the Nation.

Posted by: IraqVet1 | May 4, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Improving federal workers images: Show how small my apartment is, how little I earn as a federal attorney, and how much of that little goes to paying back the feds for outrageous student loans at a state law school.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | May 4, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

i just love how u SEAMEN run down the marines when u are not even fit to polish our shoes. actually maybe they should keep it the way it is because it is fitting that the marines r a part of the dept of the navy. its called the MENS DEPARTMENT. WE WEAR A REAL UNIFORM DRESS BLUES

Posted by: usmc68gene | May 8, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Way to go usmc68gene, you tell it like it is. I have to agree with all you said and must add that we really don't need a name change unless the Navy would be willing to compensate us for all of the BULL we put up with. GOD BLESS THE CORPMEN, who put it on the line every day to keep us fighting. The NAVY have HOSPITALMEN, THE MARINES have CORPSMEN. Sounds like we will continue to defeat and conquer as usual. Semper-Fi brothers!!

Posted by: MarineSniper | May 11, 2010 1:52 AM | Report abuse

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