An Inclusive Litany

6/1/98

From an open letter by the crew of the HMS Brave that appeared in the British Navy News, April 1998:
As members of the ship's company of the only frigate in the fleet to have a remotely hard-as-nails name, we would like to protest the current ship-naming policy. At present, all escorts in the fleet, with the exception of Brave, Boxer, and Iron Duke, are named after fluffy animals (Beaver) or picked at random from the road atlas of Britain. In this age of political correctness, are we to continue the trend toward inoffensive, soft and cuddly, and occasionally downright dull ship naming?

This has got to stop. It is bad for morale and presents a poor impression on overseas visits. You cannot maintain the credibility of the service by turning up in a foreign country in a ship that sounds like it's named after a shopping center (HMS St. Albans).

The introduction of the Type 42 replacement is an ideal opportunity to reverse this damaging trend. Apparently, this will be the Daring class, which is a good start. It will go downhill if this is followed by Delight, Dainty, and Duchess, which are traditional but completely soft. We recommend Dreadnaught, Dauntless, Dominant, Devastation, Defender, and Dragon, to be followed by the second batch of E class: Excalibur, Enforcer, Emperor, Endeavor, Exultant, and Extreme, as opposed to the suggested Empress, and Emerald.

While many would like to avoid the fact that the Navy actually has anything to do with fighting, we feel that if we are required to go to war, the least we can expect is that we head off sounding "well hard."

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