USS George Washington

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

On September 14, 2022, a select number of sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington, along with the ship’s commanding officer Capt. Brent Gaut, participated in a customized tour of Mount Vernon. The sailors, which included several Spirit of Freedom award winners as well as Sailors of the Quarter and Sailors of the Year, explored various points of interest across the estate and even had the chance to view centuries-old documents in the Washington Library.

Capt. Brent C. Gaut, commanding officer of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), reads from George Washington’s personal letters, which were transcribed and displayed in the Washington Library. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Stamer.

Reflecting on the legacy of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, Capt. Gaut remarked, “It’s an extraordinary story, their bravery in purchasing the land to save it, and the work they’ve done to maintain and preserve the president’s home and part of his legacy.”

Gaut presented a flag flown aboard the USS George Washington to Mount Vernon President and CEO Douglas Bradburn, who acknowledged the profound connection between Washington and the ethos of the modern United States military.

Capt. Brent C. Gaut gifts a flag that was flown on the ship in honor of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association to President and CEO Doug Bradburn. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Stamer.

“Washington is the father of the American military … the idea that civilians control the military, that the [United States] military is the highest-educated military in the world, that all comes from George Washington’s vision itself.”

“He was ‘first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen.’”

The sailors’ visit comes as the USS George Washington undergoes a refueling and complex overhaul (known as RCOH) at Newport News Shipyard. RCOH is a multi-year project performed only once during a carrier’s 50-year service life that includes refueling the ship’s two nuclear reactors, as well as significant repairs, upgrades, and modernization.

The USS George Washington motto is: “First in war, first in peace.”

Jim Marshall of Mount Vernon leads sailors on a tour of George Washington's Mansion. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Stamer.

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