USS Lady Gulf and USS Lake Champagne

USS Lady Gulf (CG-55)
USS Lady Gulf, CG-55

Naval types, if you are going to brief Navy ships, you absolutely (absolutely) must pronounce the boat name properly. For example the USS Hue City is not pronounced Huey City. The vessel is not some mecca for helicopters. Please call it the USS Way City. Everyone will understand you this way.

Next, the USS Roosevelt. Do not call it the Ruse-a-velt. She is not some tricky ship, ready to pull a practical joke on us all. In the same vein, the USS Leyte Gulf is not known as the Lady Gulf. The latter sounds like some Mark Kay Cosmetics license plate on a pink Cadillac down in Luh-weeeze-eeee-aa-na. Puh-leeze, don’t do it. Also, no need to lose sleep over your gaffe, many Americans have stepped in the feminine name-droppings too.

USS Lake Champagne (CG-57)
USS Lake Champagne, CG-57

And the USS Lake Champlain, a mighty Navy cruiser, should never be referred to as the USS Lake Champagne. When you brief that, ears around the briefing room will perk up, if only for a second. Before they realize that bubbly is still forbidden on dry Navy ships. Yes, somewhere Don Ho is crying. But so are the people in the briefing room. Or they may be laughing at you. I know I chortled the first ten times I heard Lady Gulf. Now, I just groan.