On behalf of the Obama White House and the U.S. Department of Defense, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced Wednesday the selection of a Naval vessel named after an avowed follower of Marxist activist and author Saul Alinsky.
The USNS Cesar Chavez was selected as latest addition to the 14th Lewis and Clark class of dry cargo/ammunition ships.
Continuing the Lewis and Clark-class tradition of honoring legendary pioneers and explorers, the Navy’s newest underway replenishment ship honors the memory of Mexican-American civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.
Chavez served in the Navy from 1944-1946, but described his experience in the military as “the two worst years of my life.” After leaving the service he became a leader in the American Labor Movement and a civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers, according to the Navy Secretary.
Chavez’s mentor was activist Fred Ross. Ross began organizing and obtained the interest of Saul Alinsky, a well known organizer and head of the Industrial Areas Foundation. Alinsky is credited with influencing Americans such as Barack Obama with his teachings and writings such as his book Rules for Radicals.