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Command Seal


CrestShield:  Gules, three pales Argent between two square flaunches Azure (Dark Blue) bearing six six-pointed mullets, three and three Argent (Silver Gray).
Crest:  From a wreath Argent and Azure a bald eagle crouched wings inverted Proper, clutching in dexter claw a Senate gavel Proper and in sinister claw a sword fesswise Proper; in chief radiant light Or surmounted by a Phrygian cap Gules, banded of the second and inscribed “LIBERTY” of the first.
Supporters:  Saltirewise a United States Navy Officer’s sword and Chief Petty Officer’s cutlass saltirewise, points downward.
Motto:  A tri-parted scroll Gules doubled Argent inscribed “TENACIOUS IN THE FIGHT” of the last.

Seal Symbolism                

Shield:  The hourglass shaped division of the field resembles the shape of the historic Senate gavel, implying Mr. Levin’s service as a United States Senator.  The six six-pointed stars honor Mr. Levin’s 36 years in the Senate.  The seven vertical stripes over a blue field denote the USS CARL M. LEVIN (DDG 120) as the 70th ship in its class.  The national colors of the United States are Red, White and Blue.
Crest:  The bald eagle, embodying the spirit of the United States, emphasizes the nation’s virtues of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The sword and Senate gavel allude to Mr. Levin’s service as a Senator and position of Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.  The Phrygian (Liberty) cap amongst the radiant light conveys Mr. Levin’s work to protect the Great Lakes and their many lighthouses along Michigan’s coastline. The Liberty cap, adapted from the United States Senate Seal, conveys the paramount nature of America’s ethics and values, emphasized by the golden radiant light. Additionally, the eagle is featured on the coat of arms of the State of Michigan, in tribute to Mr. Levin’s home state.
Supporters:  The Navy Officer sword and enlisted cutlass pay tribute to the command and crew, representing authority, professionalism and unity in the accomplishment of their mission.
Motto: The motto, “TENACIOUS IN THE FIGHT,” expresses the steadfast and determined motivation of the command and crew to triumph over adversity.
Seal:  The coat of arms as blazoned in full color on a white oval, enclosed by a dark blue border edged on the outside with a gold rope and inscribed “USS CARL M. LEVIN” above and “DDG 120” below in gold.


Carl-M-Levin.png Senator Carl M. Levin (June 28, 1934 – July 29, 2021) dedicated his life to public office and serving those he represented earning himself bipartisan respect from both sides of the political aisle. As Michigan’s longest-serving Senator, his career in the Senate lasted for 36-years, from 1979 until his retirement in 2015.  He was one of the nation’s most respected leaders on national security, a powerful voice for equality and justice, and a fighter for economic fairness.

“We could not aspire to better service than what he has given our country,” the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, said of his Armed Services Committee colleague just before Levin’s retirement. “A model of serious purpose, firm principle and personal decency.”

Mr. Levin’s political career started in 1970 when he was elected to the Detroit City Council; where he went on to serve two terms until 1977.  Most notably during his time on the city council, Mr. Levin took action into his own hands when he became frustrated with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developments’ lack of action with Detroit’s urban decay.  Along with his other council members, he went out with a bulldozer “to help raze some of the houses.”  He also served as the first general counsel of Michigan’s Civil Rights Commission, after which he was special assistant attorney general for the state of Michigan and chief appellate defender for the Legal Aid and Defenders Association of Detroit.  At that time, the association was the largest provider of legal services to low- and moderate-income people in Michigan and one of the largest in the nation.

In the Senate, his top priority was the economic well-being of Michigan families. He was a consistent voice for support of American manufacturing and was one of the Senate’s strongest advocates for policies that would help American manufacturers compete globally.  He was also co-chair of the Senate Auto Caucus.


“As a former local official, I understood the importance of responding to people in need, listening to even the smallest voice, and working hard on behalf of the people with honesty, integrity, and civility.” – Levin wrote in his 2021 biography, “Getting to the Heart of the Matter”


As chair of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, he held public and private institutions to high standards of accountability, rooting out fraud, waste, and abuse.  He was known for carrying out bipartisan, fact-based, and fair inquiries that led to meaningful reforms.

As chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Levin focused on taking care of the men and women of the military and their families, supporting pay raises and improvements in treatment and other policies for wounded warriors.  He led oversight efforts to improve efficiency and reduce cost overruns of expensive weapons programs.  He opposed the resolution giving Congressional authorization to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, offering an alternative resolution that would have given time for U.N. inspectors to complete their search for weapons of mass destruction and require the administration to seek international support before taking mCarl-M-Levin-McCainilitary action.  He supported military action to eliminate the al-Qaida threat in Afghanistan.  He also investigated questionable Pentagon spending practices and played a key role in overturning the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rule that prohibited gay service members from openly acknowledging their sexual orientation before 2011.

"It is of the utmost importance that our service members are adequately compensated for their duties, and that we offer them a quality of life that will enable them to continue to serve and to live comfortably" – Senator Carl Levin

As early as 2006, Levin was already honored as one of Time Magazine’s 10 best senators.  His many awards and honorary degrees include: 
2003 Secretary of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award,
2004 National Guard Association of the U.S. Harry S. Truman Award,
2005 National Marine Sanctuary Stewardship Award,
2007 Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Foundation’s Four Freedoms Medal,
2007 Global Service Award, World Affairs Council,
2014 Anti-Defamation League of Michigan Torch of Liberty Award,
2014 Detroit Branch NAACP James Weldon Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award,
2014 Detroit Free Press/Metropolitan Affairs Coalition Neal Shine Award for Exemplary Regional Leadership,
2014 Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation LBJ Liberty & Justice for All Award,
2014 Michigan Association of Broadcasters Distinguished Lifetime of Public Service Award, and the
2014 Michigan League of Conservation Voters Lifetime Achievement Award.
Carl-M-Levin-Bottom1 Carl-M-Levin-Bottom2

"We have a hope of succeeding if we learn from our past mistakes and pull together to make the hard choices." – Senator Carl Levin

This is an official U.S. Navy website

USS Carl M. Levin (DDG 120)

Pearl Harbor, HI

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