The Third National Security Cutter, Stratton

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It was a big day yesterday for the third National Security Cutter (NSC), Stratton. The Coast Guard and industry partners not only laid the keel, marking the beginning of the ship’s construction, but also announced the cutter would be sponsored by the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.

As the cutter’s sponsor, the First Lady’s initials were ceremoniously welded into the keel during yesterday’s events. Serving as Stratton’s sponsor is an extension of Mrs. Obama’s commitment to supporting America’s men and women in uniform and their families. The NSC Stratton is also the first white-hull patrol cutter to be named after a woman in 20 years and only one of about 10 Coast Guard cutters with a female namesake.

Captain Dorothy C. Stratton, working at her desk at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C. in 1944
Captain Dorothy C. Stratton, working at her desk at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C. in 1944

These honors truly memorialize the contributions and achievements of Captain Dorothy Stratton. Captain Stratton was the first woman accepted in to the Coast Guard Women’s Reserve in 1942, which she led during World War II. She coined the name SPARs for the members as a contraction of the service’s motto “Semper Paratus.” SPARs served in many vital roles during the war and helped pave the way for women to serve throughout our Armed Forces. During her four years as director, she recruited and led 10,000 enlisted women and 1,000 commissioned officers and ultimately earned the Legion of Merit medal for her contributions to women in the military.

Her official war-time biography noted:
“Through her qualities of leadership, Captain Stratton inspired the finest type of woman to volunteer her services to her country. Through her keen understanding of the abilities of women, her vision of the jobs which they could perform, and her consummate tact in fitting women into a military organization, she was able to direct the efforts of the women of the Reserve into channels of the greatest usefulness to the Coast Guard and to the country.”

Other cutters named after females include the CGC Maria Bray, Abbie Burgess, Ida Lewis, Barbara Mabrity, Katherine Walker, and Harriet Lane.

The NSCs are part of the Coast Guard’s Deepwater program to upgrade its cutter fleet. The 418-foot long cutters feature increased range and endurance (60–90 day patrol cycles); more powerful armament; larger flight decks; chemical, biological and radiological environmental hazard detection and defense; and improved Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) equipment, enhancing Coast Guard and U.S. Navy interoperability under the National Fleet plan.

Click here to watch a video of the ceremony

3 comments on “The Third National Security Cutter, Stratton”

  1. I’m in full support of the cutter’s name and sponsor but….how many cutters were named after people in the last 20 years, and how many active cutters are named after people. The Coast Guard chose Stratton’s name and sponsor for all the right reasons. The story’s journalistic comments detract from good news.

  2. Tom Wright,

    Over the years the Coast Guard has named various classes of cutter after people. Many are still in service including the 378-foot high endurance “Secretary Class” cutters named after past secretaries of the treasury, the 175-foot “Keeper Class” buoy tenders named after famous lighthouse keepers, several of the 270-foot “Famous Class” medium endurance cutters named after famous people and all of the 425-foot “Legend Class” national security cutters will be named after Coast Guard legends.

    You can read more about the namesakes of Coast Guard resources here.

    CBraesch

  3. So, looking at your information, none of the Secretary class could be named after women. The “Keepers” don’t count because they are black hulls and your point is about white hulls. What percentage of the total are the 10 cutters with a female namesake? How many white hulls were named after people who served in the Coast Guard in the past 20 years?
    And just what was the point of the statement “The NSC Stratton is also the first white-hull patrol cutter to be named after a woman in 20 years and only one of about 10 Coast Guard cutters with a female namesake.” I thought the Coast Guard named the ship to recognize a competent professional. What’s your point?

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