One of the hazards of nearly everything being BREAKING news anymore is things will slip by us which should not. I’m going to put my time where my mouth tends to go, complaining about the symptom, into what I am calling Nearly Missed News. It will have a broad range of subject matter with the only common thread being it was important enough that it should have been seen as wheat rather than chaff. The first in the series is from The Virginian-Pilot:
“Fear the Blackfish.” USS Washington creates new traditions as it joins attack submarine fleet
When Cmdr. Gabriel Cavazos took command of the new Navy submarine Washington during a ceremony in April, he improvised the conclusion of his remarks with a message for adversaries: “Fear the Blackfish.”
“Blackfish” is what Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest call orcas, commonly known as killer whales. “Blackfish” also is the crew’s unofficial nickname for the Washington, which will formally join the fleet and add USS to its name during a commissioning ceremony today at Naval Station Norfolk.
The Navy is a service steeped in tradition, but the crew of each new vessel has the rare opportunity to forge its own. Many of the Washington’s still-forming traditions revolve around the use of the term and visual representation of “Blackfish.”
When the Washington is under way, sailors who have earned their submarine warfare pins, known as “dolphins,” wear a version that is all black instead of the typical gold or silver.
“It’s a point of pride amongst the crew,” Cavazos said.
The phrase “Fear the Blackfish” quickly embraced by the Washington’s crew is now a rallying cry aboard the Navy’s newest nuclear-powered attack submarine.
Whenever a member of the Washington’s leadership triad addresses the crew over the public address system, they end the message with “Fear the Blackfish.” The crew responds in unison: “Prepared for war.”
That phrase – “Prepared for war” – comes from the Washington’s motto: “Preserving Peace, Prepared for War.” That motto was derived from a quote by President George Washington, Washington state’s namesake, who said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.”