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Sheryl Sandberg, leader of the “Lean In” movement, has been commissioned by the U.S. Navy as an unconventional choice to sponsor its newest submarine. According to Star & Stripes, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus chose Sandberg to sponsor the newest Virginia-class attack submarine, the USS Massachusetts. His spokesman, Capt. Patrick McNally, said Mabus looks for opportunities to connect the American public with their Navy.
“Expanding the variety of people who serve as sponsors is another avenue to strengthen that connection,” McNally said in an email.
While it is normal for the U.S. Navy to choose a woman, typically speaking the woman is the wife of a senior officer or politician who has close ties to the Navy. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut also shared his excitement of the Navy’s selection. He said, “She really has come to epitomize a successful empowered woman. Her selection is merited in her own right. She’s there because of what she has accomplished. She’s not there as a partner or spouse.”
As for the submarine, it will be named to honor the history of its namesake state has with the Navy. According to the Navy’s official site, “This history extends to 1775, before the official founding of the United States, to the time when George Washington founded the Continental Navy in an effort to protect the 13 colonies from British attack. By 1800, six years after the establishment of the Department of the Navy, one of its first 14 shipyards was incorporated in Boston. And in 1836, The Boston Naval Hospital, one of the first of three hospitals dedicated solely to the care of naval personnel, opened.”
The new vessel will provide U.S. officials t keep the country safe in the 21st century. The Virginia-class attack submarine has enhanced surveillance capabilities and special warfare. It is 7,800-tons and 377 feet in length, has a beam of 34 feet, and can operate at more than 25 knots submerged.
For more information regarding the vessel, click here.