I think that with one exception, we agree that naming a ship after Chavez was out of line, and that the Murtha decision was political in a way that was calculated to insult the USMC. Clearly, the process requires more guidelines and oversight. My suggestions:

Naming of United States Naval Vessels shall be limited to the following:

Living Persons:
  • Former presidents (SECNAV)
  • Former First Ladies (SECNAV)
  • Recipients of the Medal of Honor (SECNAV)
  • Retired flag officers (subject to approval by a majority in both houses of the congress)
  • Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (subject to approval by a majority in both houses of the congress)
  • Retired Secretaries of the armed services (subject to approval by a majority in both houses of the congress)
  • Civilians who have engaged enemy forces under circumstances which would justify combat awards for valor (Bronze Star, minimum) (subject to approval by a majority in both houses of the congress)
  • Civilians whose contributions to the armed services are so great as to command the respect of the services (Bob Hope is the most obvious example) (subject to approval by a majority in both houses of the congress)
Deceased Persons:
  • Civilians killed by armed enemies of the United States, to include victims of terrorism (subject to approval by a majority in both houses of the congress)
  • Military personnel killed in combat operations (SECNAV)
  • Elected officials whose service included extensive support for the armed services (subject to approval by a majority in both houses of the congress)
Foreign Nationals:
  • Heads of State of allied nations (subject to approval by a majority in both houses of the congress)
  • Historical figures of such stature as to inspire confidence and martial spirit (subject to approval by a majority in both houses of the congress)
  • Enemies of our enemies (subject to approval by a majority in both houses of the congress)

The following categories of persons are not eligible for having ships named for them:

Military:
  • Persons discharged under other than honorable conditions.
  • Persons convicted of felonies following discharge
  • Persons whose activities have brought discredit to their service
Civilian:
  • Persons convicted of felonies
  • Persons who have sought to undermine the conduct of United States military operations or foreign policy.