From the Podium and Beyond

U.S. Navy Ship to Be Named for Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk

The U.S. Navy plans to name a ship for New York State College for Teachers graduate and gay-rights advocate Harvey Milk ’51.

Milk, whose parents were both Navy veterans, joined the service after graduation. During the Korean War, he was a diving officer aboard the USS Kittiwake in San Diego.

Milk completed his naval service in 1955 and returned to his native Long Island, N.Y., to teach. He later relocated to California, where he became the first openly gay candidate to be elected to political office in a major U.S. city. He served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for less than a year, until a former political adversary assassinated him in 1978.

The Navy ship that will carry Milk’s name will be the second of a six-vessel class of fleet-replenishment oilers. Construction of the ships is set to begin in 2018.