When he first got a call six years ago from then Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, Cody Mayor Matt Hall was initially baffled and taken aback by the secretary’s suggestion to name a new Navy vessel after the town.
A small landlocked Wyoming town 1,000 miles from the nearest ocean isn’t necessarily the first place someone thinks of when naming a naval vessel, Hall told attendees at the USNS Cody christening ceremony Feb. 25 in Mobile, Ala.
But the more Hall talked with Spencer, the more he saw the connection between his hometown and the Navy’s newest expeditionary fast transport.
“Honestly, I was a little skeptical,” Hall said. “But as Secretary Spencer and I waxed about politics and our Wyoming culture, why my town was being chosen surfaced. The Cody community embodies the same virtues and values embodied by our friends at (USNS Cody builder) Austal USA … as well as the values of our protectors and saviors who put themselves in harm’s way.”
Hall was one of the guests of honor who gathered to celebrate the completion and christening of the Navy’s newest vessel and its indelible connection with the city of Cody.
“The city of Cody, Wyoming, and the Gulf Coast builders of the city’s namesake ship now have an indelible bond in this new great ship,” Vice Admiral Francis Morley said. “I am confident it will represent the great history, rich cultural identity and support to the military by the people of Cody, and it will serve as a representative of our Navy as it sails around the world for decades to come.”
Cody joins Casper, Cheyenne, Laramie and a few other communities as Wyoming cities chosen as U.S. Navy ship namesakes. The USNS Cody will be one of nearly 100 U.S. Navy ships operating globally each day, according to a U.S. Navy press release.
As an expeditionary fast transport, the USNS Cody will be able to transport personnel, equipment and supplies, and will also have enhanced medical capabilities.
“This is a platform that truly represents a quantum leap forward for Navy medicine’s ability to care for our shipmates,” said Rear Admiral Bruce Gillingham, Surgeon General of the United States Navy.
Gillingham acknowledged that, while Cody may not seem like a Navy town, the community does have some history that ties it to the Navy. He told the story of Edward Judson, a former Navy midshipman, who — under the pseudonym Ned Buntline — coined and popularized William Cody’s nickname “Buffalo Bill Cody” in a series of dime novels.
Gillingham also told the story of Cody-born Navy Hospitalman Robert Martens who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005.
“Maybe Cody really is a Navy town at its core,” Gillingham said.
Similarly, in a press release, current Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said that Cody was “a city that proudly embodies America’s independence and fighting spirit.”
Hall told audience members that the honor was something he and the community of Cody would be forever proud of.
“On behalf of my citizens, it is an honor for our town to be selected as the namesake of this amazing vessel,” the Cody mayor said “And as I look on at the USNS Cody and think of its mission, I feel blessed — like I hope all of you do — to live in America.”
I am glad to see the USNS Cody is a hospital ship, not a destroyer , cruiser, or attack submarine. All the barstool patriots and military moguls around here make enough noise as it is...
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.