An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118)

USS DANIEL INOUYE is the 69th Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer commissioned to the Navy and the first ship to bear her name. Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are the backbone of the U.S. Navy's surface fleet and critical to the future Navy. The ship is nearly 510 feet long and has a navigational draft of 33 feet. As a Flight IIA destroyer, DANIEL INOUYE is equipped with Aegis Baseline 9, which provides improved Integrated Air and Missile Defense capabilities, increased computing power, and radar capable of quickly detecting and reacting to modern air warfare and Ballistic Missile Defense threats. They are highly capable, multi-mission ships and can conduct various operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection – all supporting the United States military strategy.

The United States Navy awarded the contract for DANIEL INOUYE to Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, on June 3 2013, and the company began fabricating the ship on October 31 2014. DANIEL INOUYE’s keel was laid down May 14 2018 and she was christened June 22, 2019 by the Senator’s wife and the ship’s sponsor, Irene Hirano Inouye with the ceremonial breaking of a bottle of champagne on the bow in a christening ceremony bestowing the name on the ship. During a "mast stepping" ceremony, she placed items special to Sen. Inouye in the ship's mast. Mrs. Inouye appointed two Matrons of Honor to assist with sponsorship duties: Jessica Inouye, the wife of Senator Inouye’s only son Ken, and Jennifer Sabas, Senator Inouye’s former chief of staff and current executive director of the Daniel K Inouye Institute. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Jennifer and Jessica, along with the Maid of Honor, Maggie Inouye, Sen. Inouye’s granddaughter, gave the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life,” in Mrs. Inouye’s stead during the commissioning ceremony which took place in Pearl Harbor, HI on December 8, 2021.

The commissioning ceremony coincided with the 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Commemoration events. On December 7, 1941, Daniel Inouye was a 17-year-old senior at Honolulu’s McKinley High School and rushed to a Red Cross aid station to help civilians and Sailors wounded in the attack.

In 1943, when the U.S. Army dropped its enlistment ban on Japanese Americans, Inouye curtailed his pre-medical studies at the University of Hawaii and enlisted in the Army. He volunteered to be part of the all-Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team. This army infantry unit was comprised primarily of second-generation Japanese-Americans during a time when anti-Japanese racism was prevalent and internment was a matter of national policy. The motto of the unit was “Go For Broke”, a phrase that meant putting everything on the line in an effort to win big. Japanese Americans such as Inouye faced two wars during World War II—war against the Axis powers and war against racism back home—making “Go For Broke” an appropriate motto.

On April 21, 1945, while serving with the 442nd Infantry Regiment Combat Team in Italy, an exploding grenade shattered his right arm during an assault. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation. He remained at the head of his platoon despite his other gunshot wounds until they broke the enemy resistance and his troops deployed in defensive positions, continuing to fight until the regiment's position was secured. When Inouye awoke to see the concerned men of his platoon hovering around him, his only order before being carried away was for his men to return to their positions since "nobody called off the war". The remainder of Inouye's right arm was later amputated at a field hospital without proper anesthesia.

While recovering from war wounds and the amputation of his right arm at Percy Jones Army Hospital, Inouye met future Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, then a fellow patient. While at the same hospital, Inouye also met future fellow Democrat and Senator Philip Hart, who had been injured on D-Day. Dole mentioned to Inouye that after the war he planned to go to Congress, which inspired Inouye to step into the political field later as well. The two remained lifelong friends. In 2003, the hospital was renamed the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center in honor of the three World War II veterans.

Although Inouye had lost his right arm, he remained in the military until 1947 and was honorably discharged with the rank of captain. At the time of his leaving the Army, he was a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart. Inouye was initially awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery and extraordinary heroism in action, with the award later being upgraded to the Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton (alongside 19 other Nisei servicemen who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and were believed to have been denied proper recognition of their bravery due to their race).

His youthful dreams of becoming a surgeon dashed by the amputation of his right arm, Inouye went on to earn a law degree and serve as a prosecutor in Honolulu before Hawai’i earned its statehood in 1959, opening the doors for Inouye to become the first Japanese-American to serve as a state representative in Congress that year and, just three years later, do the same as a Senator. Senator Inouye was re-elected nine times and on June 28, 2010, Inouye was elected President pro tempore, the officer third in the presidential line of succession. Inouye held this position until his death on December 17, 2012, which at the time made him the highest-ranking Asian-American politician in U.S. history.



USS Daniel Inouye

Shield.  Blue and gold are traditional colors associated with the U.S. Navy.  The dark blue pile reversed is a stylized characterization of Diamond Head, Hawaii’s most recognized monument and former home to the first United States military reservation in Hawaii, Fort Ruger.  The landmark is located in Honolulu, the birthplace of Daniel Inouye as well as where he conducted much of his life’s work.  Diamond Head sits on the coast of the island of Oahu, the ocean represented here by the waves.  Present on the Honolulu flag and Hawaii state seal, the sun is emblematic of a new day and, therefore, the birth of a new state.  Forming the sun, the green triangles are the Hawaiian symbol for `Aina or land. They reflect Senator Inouye’s commitment to indigenous peoples, specifically his service as Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and his work which led to the inauguration of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.  The green coloring of the triangles is a reference to Inouye’s service in the U.S. Army.  The two sugar cane plants at base highlight the fact that Senator Inouye’s father and grandparents came to the United States as laborers in the sugar cane fields.  This further reflects the gratitude Inouye often expressed for living in a democracy with boundless opportunities. The red border suggests Inouye’s Japanese ancestry.

Crest.  The wreath adopts the first named metal and color from the shield and blazon. The eagle is adapted from the U.S. Senate seal and is indicative of Inouye’s tenure as a Senator where he rose to become President Pro Tem and third in succession to the presidency.  He was elected to the Senate in 1962 where he served for 49 accomplished years until his death in 2012. The lightning bolts are expressive of the speed and sophistication of our warship.  Their arched position is an allusion to the flanking maneuver Inouye, while a Second Lieutenant, led his platoon in during the Assault on Colle Musatello in Italy in 1945.  Inouye’s exceptional leadership, valor, and devotion to duty during this assault resulted in his being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.  In 2000, his award was upgraded to the Medal of Honor after an official review found that many Japanese-American servicemen had been denied proper recognition of their bravery due to their race.  The neck pad in chief represents the Medal of Honor awarded to Senator Inouye.  It is placed higher than everything else within the coat of arms, denoting it as the nation’s highest honor for valor in combat.

Supporters.  The torches represent guidance and leadership through strength and are derived from the 442nd Infantry Regiment insignia.  At the base of each torch, a silver coin is attached, referencing the two silver dollars Inouye kept as good luck charms in his breast pocket during his service with the Regiment.  During an attack in a battle to relieve the Lost Battalion in 1944, the silver dollars deflected a bullet from hitting his heart, thereby saving his life.

Seal.  The coat of arms as blazoned in full color on a white oblong disc within a dark blue designation band, edged with a gold roped border and bearing the name “USS DANIEL INOUYE” at the top and “DDG 118” at the base.


USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118)

Unit 100115 Box 1
FPO AP 96691-1500


This is an official U.S. Navy website

Guidance-Card-Icon Dept-Exclusive-Card-Icon