Navy Names CVN 81 Ship’s Sponsors

Published March 1, 2022

Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro announced Feb. 25 that Charlene Austin and Taya Miller will serve as ship’s sponsors for Doris Miller (CVN 81), which is currently under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding.

Austin, wife of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, has an extensive history of supporting initiatives for military families. Miller is the great-niece of World War II hero Doris Miller and was selected by the family to represent them. As ship’s sponsors, Austin and Miller will share a lifelong relationship with the ship and crew.

Other members of the Miller family – Lakisha Bledsoe-Stansberry, Carra Miller Boykins, Tina Shedd and Selena James – are matrons of honor for CVN 81.

Miller – the fourth Ford-class ship – is the first aircraft carrier ever named for an African American and the first named in honor of a sailor for actions while serving in the enlisted ranks. The keel is scheduled to be laid in 2026, and delivery to the Navy is expected in 2032.