Earlier this month, the Secretary of the Navy’s office announced that the Navy would name a planned Military Sealift Command fleet oiler USNS Harvey Milk, after the late San Francisco politician and gay rights activist, according to USNI News.
Milk joined the United States Navy during the Korean War. He served on a submarine rescue ship as a diving officer and later transferred to Naval Station, San Diego serving as a diving instructor. He was discharged in 1955 from the Navy at the rank of lieutenant, junior grade.
He was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California. Milk won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 and served for 11 months before being assassinated on Nov. 27, 1978 by Dan White, a city supervisor.
During his short time as a politician, he fought for sexual equality and justice for gays and lesbians and passed several ordinances to advance the LGBTQ movement. Because of his campaign and efforts, Milk helped to defeat Proposition 6 in 1978 which would have barred gays from teaching in public schools,
The USNS Harvey Milk would be among the six other John Lewis-class oilers, a class named after Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis. All of the ships will be named for human and civil rights leaders. More information will be given out after the US Navy makes the official naming announcement.