Naval History of Washington State

Naval History of Washington State


At least 40 ships have been named after the state, its cities, places and people. While only two ships have been named after the state itself, starting with USS Washington (Armored Cruiser No. 11), which was commissioned in 1906, ten ships have been named after the man the state is named for. The newest ship to honor Washington will be the Virginia-class submarine Washington (SSN 787), which is conducting sea trials before its commissioning.

Commander Gabriel B. Cavazos Commanding Officer

Commander Cavazos, a native of San Antonio, Texas, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. After completing nuclear power school and initial submarine training, Commander Cavazos reported to the USS Newport News (SSN 750) where he qualified submarines and served as the Electrical Officer, Reactor Control Division Officer, Damage Control Assistant, Communicator, and Assistant Operations Officer.

Following his initial sea tour, Commander Cavazos served as a tactics instructor at the Submarine Learning Facility in Norfolk, VA. He then served onboard USS Philadelphia (SSN 690) as the Navigator/Operations Officer through June 2008, earning the Battle “E” and completing one CENTCOM deployment.

After his Department Head tour, he served as a Flag Aide and then earned his master’s degree at the USMC Command and Staff College. Subsequently, he served as the Executive Officer on USS Ohio (SSGN 726)(G) and completed two mission periods in the Western Pacific. In November 2012, Commander Cavazos reported to the OPNAV Staff, Programming Division (N80) and served as the Submarine, Aircraft Carrier, and Strategic Systems Programs Analyst. He also served in the Military Personnel Plans and Policy Division (N13) where he assisted with Sailor 2025 and Force of the Future implementation.

Commander Cavazos wears the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), the Navy Achievement Medal (three awards), and various unit and campaign awards.