President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt, the second of four children, was born on October
27, 1858 in New York City. As a child, he struggled against frailty,
nearsightedness and asthma. His love for reading helped foster a love
for nature and the outdoors. He also exercised vigorously and developed
a lifelong interest in what he called "the strenuous life".
He entered Harvard at 18 intent of becoming a naturalist. As a senior
he began work on a book, "The Naval War of 1812." TR graduated 21st in
a class of 177 in 1880 and married Alice Hathaway Lee. After
graduation, at the age of 22, Mr. Roosevelt joined New York City's 21
District Republican Club and was elected to the New York Assembly.
TR's mother died of typhoid in February 1884, and his wife died later
the same day of Bright's disease (a kidney ailment) while giving birth
to their daughter, Alice. TR left New York to regain his strength and
confidence at the Elkhorn Ranch in the North Dakota Badlands. Returning
to NYC in 1886, TR ran unsuccessfully for Mayor. That year, he married
Edith Kermit Carow, who would bear him five children. Political service
to Benjamin Harrison won TR a seat on the Civil Service Commission in
1889. He gained national attention by staging a fight against
favoritism. TR's position: Jobs should go to the most qualified
In 1895, Roosevelt took the post of NYC Police Commissioner and fought
Democrats and Republicans to establish a merit system for appointments
and promotions. TR was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy in
1897. He immediately began building the strength of the Navy.
Concerning an experimental steampowered naval aircraft, TR wrote, " It
seems to me worthwhile for this government to try whether it will work
on a large enough scale to be of use in event of war." The war he was
referring to was brewing with Spain over control of Cuba.
During the 1898 Spanish-American War, TR resigned to go to battle. He
organized the First U.S. Cavalry Regiment "The Rough Riders" and saw
action at San Juan Hill. Returning from Cuba a hero, Roosevelt was
elected Governor of New York in 1899 and resumed his work for reform.
He tightened control of sweatshops and pushed for government
supervision of utilities and insurance companies.
TR angered the Republican bosses who were now torn between a desire to
get him out of their hair and a wish to exploit his votegetting vigor.
Their solution: Bury him in the Vice Presidency. TR became the running
mate of President McKinley in the 1900 election. His popularity
increased McKinley's margin of victory. Mr. McKinley was mortally
wounded by an assassin on Sept. 6, 1901. A week later, TR was sworn in
as this nation's 26th President.
In his first year as President, TR took action on his calls for reform
by suing the Northern Securities Company, then trusts in the beef, coal
and sugar industries. TR was also active in conservation. He set aside
150 million acres for national use, doubled the number of national
parks and created 16 national monuments.
In 1902, TR moved to create the Panama Canal. He mediated a peace which
brought an end to the RussoJapanese War in 1905, and won the Nobel
Peace Prize. In 1907, TR sent 16 American battleships around the world.
The Great White Fleet was, as TR remarked, "the most important service
I ever rendered to peace." In 1909, TR left the White House but
continued to live the "strenuous life." He began a Smithsoniansponsored
African safari, bagging more than 500 animals and birds.
He was back in politics for the 1912 election though TR's "Bull Moose"
party never gained the support needed to bring him to the Presidency
again. TR stumped hard for the Liberty Bond drive after the outbreak of
war in Europe. However, with the death of his son, Quentin, in 1918,
TR's spirit began to wane. In the early morning of January 6, 1919, Mr.
"Death had to take him sleeping," said Vice President Thomas R.
Marshall. "For if Roosevelt had been awake, there would have been a
fight." Mr. Roosevelt was the first president to fly and the first to
submerge in a submarine. As Assistant Secretary of the Navy, he
supported research and development in carrier aviation.
In naming CVN 71, former Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman said,
"(TR) was one of the architects of our modern Navy. His complete faith
in the necessity for a strong Navy has been fully justified by most
USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71) is the fourth NIMITZ-class carrier. Her
history began on Sept. 30, 1980, when a contract was awarded to Newport
Construction began on Oct. 31, 1981, when Secretary of Defense Casper
Weinberger authenticated the keel laying of TR by initiating the first
weld. Capt. Paul W. Parcells was named Prospective Commanding Officer
in Feb. 1984 and, that October, the ship was officially christened. On
Oct. 25, 1986, TR was placed in active service.
Capt. Dayton W. Ritt became TR's second Commanding Officer on Oct. 3,
1987, and on Dec. 30, 1988, TR started her maiden deployment, which was
also the maiden deployment of the first 10-squadron air wing, Carrier
Air Wing EIGHT. USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT was awarded the Battle "E" from
Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, on Mar. 20, 1990.
On Jun. 9, 1990, Capt. Charles S. Abbot became the ship's third
Commanding Officer and on Dec. 28, TR and CVW-8 deployed for Operations
DESERT SHIELD. TR entered the war on Jan. 9, 1991, eventually flying
over 4,200 sorties, more than any other carrier, and dropping over
4,800,000 pounds of ordnance before the cease-fire on Feb. 28.
When Iraqi forces turned on the Kurds, TR and CVW-8 were among the
first coalition forces in Operation PROVIDE COMFORT, flying patrols
over northern Iraq. After a 189-day deployment, with 169 days at sea,
TR returned to Norfolk on Jun. 28, 1991. On Feb. 14, 1992, the ship won
its second Battle "E." This was followed by the award of the Battenburg
Cup for 1991 as the Atlantic Fleet's premier ship.
Capt. Stanley W. Bryant became TR's fourth Commanding Officer on Aug.
TR and CVW-8 began their third deployment on Mar. 11, 1993, teamed with
the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) to test the
concept of embarking a multi-purpose Marine force in a carrier. TR
hosted President Bill Clinton's first visit to a U.S. Navy ship, then
sailed to the Adriatic as CVW-8 planes enforced Operation DENY FLIGHT
in the U.S. no-fly zone over Bosnia. In June, on the way to only her
second port visit, TR was ordered to turn around and transit the Suez
Canal enroute to the Red Sea to participate in Operation SOUTHERN
WATCH, enforcing the no-fly zone over Iraq.
Deployed for 184 days, TR spent 169 days underway. Her flight deck
logged over 16,000 hours, and CVW-8 flew more sorties than during the
Persian Gulf War. For its accomplishments, the ship received its second
Meritorious Unit Commendation.
In Nov. 1993, TR entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) for a Selected
Restricted Availability (SRA). Heading back to sea on Apr. 14, 1994, TR
became the first nuclear carrier to complete an SRA ahead of schedule
Awards for 1993 continued. TR received the CINCLANTFLT Golden Anchor
Award for the best retention in an Atlantic Fleet carrier. On Mar. 10,
1994, TR received its third Battle "E." Then on June 3, TR was awarded
its second Battenburg Cup as the best ship in the Atlantic Fleet.
On Jul. 8, 1994, Capt. Ronald L. Christenson became TR's fifth
TR and CVW-8 began their fourth deployment on Mar. 1995, operating in
the Red Sea in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. TR also provided a
"Forward...from the Sea" presence, conducting flight operations in
support of Operations DENY FLIGHT and SHARP GUARD over the skies of
Bosnia and in the Adriatic operating areas. DENY FLIGHT evolved into
Operation DELIBERATE FORCE, as CVW-8 aircraft led NATO strikes against
strategic Bosnian Serb targets in Sarajevo-Herzegovina. During TR's
transit home, Secretary of the Navy John Dalton came aboard and awarded
the Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group the Navy Unit Commendation for its
In 1996, TR received its third consecutive Golden Anchor Award and
Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet's first Security
Excellence Award. CVW-3 joined TR in May 1996 prior to her port visit
to Halifax, Nova Scotia. On Nov. 1, 1996, Capt. David Architzel became
TR's sixth Commanding Officer. TR deployed for her fifth deployment on
Nov. 25, 1996, conducting operations in the Mediterranean and Arabian
Gulf in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.
On Jul. 8, 1997, TR entered the Newport News Shipbuilding yard for a
one-year Extended Drydock and Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA),
her first major overhaul since commissioning. In Feb. 1998, TR received
her fifth Golden Anchor Award while in the shipyard. One year later, TR
returned to her homeport at the Norfolk Naval Station.
Capt. David R. Bryant became TR's seventh Commanding Officer on Sep.
TR began her sixth deployment on Mar. 26, 1999 with CVW-8. They were
immediately called to duty in the Ionian Sea to support NATO's
Operation ALLIED FORCE. TR and CVW-8 aircraft conducted air strikes for
two months over the skies of Kosovo against the Serbians. TR and CVW-8
were then dispatched to support Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the
"no-fly" zone over Southern Iraq. TR returned to her homeport of
Norfolk, Virginia on Sept 24, 1999.
On January 7, 2000 TR entered a Planned Incremental Availability at the
Norfolk Naval Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia. This six month
maintenance period ended on June 30, 2000 when the ship departed on sea
TR is currently in her Inter-Deployment Training Cycle.
of Coat of Arms:
The conceptual design of USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT's seal was created by
Wesley Berryman of Newport News, Va., the city where the ship was
constructed. Modifications to the basic design were made by members of
the ship's crew. Salient aspects of the Seal are as follows:
The profile of Theodore Roosevelt was taken from a photograph of him
addressing the citizens of Asheville, NC, during his presidency. It was
selected for his tenacious and determined look; a look that indicates a
willingness to use force if required.
Newport News Shipbuilding designed the TR "bow script" specifically to
adorn hull number 624D during the launching ceremony, a tradition in
the shipyard. The seal was officially approved by E.J. Campbell,
President and Chief Executive Officer, Newport News Shipbuilding. PCU
THEODORE ROOSEVELT later requested to use the script in the ship's
official logo and was granted permission by Newport News Shipbuilding.
"Qui Plantavit Curabit" is the Theodore Roosevelt family motto, which
translates to, "He who has planted will preserve." Simply stated, the
mission of the ship is to be prepared to preserve the peace of our
great country, no matter what the cost.
A light gray blue ("Alice Blue") fills the Seal's background. The color
honors Mrs. Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth, who was Theodore Roosevelt's
eldest daughter. When she was young, Mrs. Longworth was particularly
fond of light blue gowns and dresses. She and her flair for this color
were the inspiration for the song, "My Sweet Alice Blue Gown" which was
featured in the popular 1919 musical production, "Irene".
In Dutch, the name Roosevelt means "field of roses." The two roses in
the name ring of the Seal were taken from a field of roses represented
on the Roosevelt family coat of arms.
The mooring line, or rope, in the outer ring has 58 strands, which
reflects the year Theodore Roosevelt was born--1858.
The Seal, after selection by the ship's crew, was submitted to Mrs.
John F. Lehman, Jr., the Ship's Sponsor, and to Mrs. William McMillian,
the Matron of Honor and first grandchild of Theodore Roosevelt, for
their approval. In Feb. 1985, they graciously approved the design.