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USS Maryland (SSBN-738)
USS Maryland (SSBN-738)
USS Maryland (SSBN-738)
Career (US)
Namesake: The State of Maryland
Ordered: 14 March 1986
Builder: General Dynamics Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut
Laid down: 22 April 1986
Launched: 10 August 1991
Sponsored by: Sarah "Sally" Craig Larson
Commissioned: 13 June 1992
Homeport: Kings Bay, Georgia
Motto: Timete Deum Solum et Ignominiam
("Fear Only God and Dishonor")
Nickname: "Fighting Mary"[1]
Status: in active service, as of 2022
Badge: 738insig.png
General characteristics
Class & type: Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine
  • 16,764 metric tons (16,499 long tons) surfaced[2][3]
  • 18,750 metric tons (18,450 long tons) submerged[2]
Length: 560 ft (170 m)
Beam: 42 ft (13 m)[2]
Draft: 38 ft (12 m)
  • 1 × S8G PWR nuclear reactor[2]
  • 2 × geared turbines[2]
  • 1 × 325 hp (242 kW) auxiliary motor
  • 1 × shaft @ 60,000 shp (45,000 kW)[2]
Speed: Greater than 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)[4]
Test depth: Greater than 800 feet (240 m)[4]
  • MK-48 torpedoes
  • 24 × Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles
  • USS Maryland (SSBN-738) is a United States Navy Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine. Maryland is the 13th of 18 of the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, and has been in commission since 1992.

    Maryland is the fourth United States Navy vessel to be named after the U.S. state of Maryland. Her mission is to provide the United States of America with an undetectable and unattackable nuclear launch platform in support of the national strategy of strategic deterrence.[5]

    Construction and commissioning

    The contract for the construction of the Maryland was awarded on 14 March 1986. Her keel was laid down by the Electric Boat Division of the General Dynamics Corporation at Groton, Connecticut, on 22 April 1986.

    Christening ceremony and launching

    Maryland was christened and launched in a ceremony on 10 August 1991 at the Electric Boat shipyard. The program opened with the U.S. national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner", performed by the United States Navy Band, Northeast, led by Chief Musician Steven R. Rawson. Mr. Roger E. Tetrault, Vice President and General Manager of Electric Boat Division, then gave welcoming remarks. Mr. James E. Turner, Jr., Executive Vice President of Marine, Land Systems and Services, General Dynamics Corporation, also gave prepared remarks for the occasion. The director of the Maryland Veterans Commission, Clarence M. Bacon, greeted guests and crew, then turned over the podium to Vice Admiral Kenneth C. Malley, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command. Vice Admiral Henry G. Chiles, Jr., Commander Submarine Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet, introduced the principal speaker, The Honorable Helen Delich Bentley U.S. Representative for Maryland's Second Congressional District. Mr. James E. Turner Jr. then returned to the podium to introduce the sponsor, Sarah "Sally" Craig Larson. After a short blessing of the ship by Captain A. Byron Holderby, Ms. Larson, along with Matron of Honor Kirsten L. Datko and Maid of Honor Erica L. Larson, christened pre-commissioning unit Maryland, and Maryland was launched.


    On 13 June 1992, the PCU Maryland was formally commissioned into U.S. Naval service as the USS Maryland, with Captain John W. Francis in command of the Blue crew and Captain Harold E. Marshall in command of the Gold crew.[6] The principal speaker was Admiral Charles R. Larson, Commander-in-Chief U.S. Pacific Command.

    At this point the Blue crew retained the ship for shakedown operations, while the Gold crew departed to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Kings Bay, Georgia to start their offcrew training cycle.

    Service history

    Maryland departed Groton for Kings Bay on 15 June 1992 and immediately started preparation for strategic certification, with the Blue crew achieving a successful test launch on 29 Jul 1992, and starting Trident D-5 missile Demonstration and Shakedown Operations (DASO) on 7 July 1992.[6]

    The first exchange of command occurred on 4 September 1992, with the Gold crew taking charge of Maryland, and completing their phase of DASO on 22 October 1992. Various other inspections and training exercises were conducted throughout 1992.[6]

    The Blue crew relieved the Gold crew 26 January 1993 and continued with preparations for strategic certification. Maryland returned to Groton on 30 January 1993 for post-shakedown maintenance prior to assuming responsibility for strategic deterrent patrols. Maryland returned to Kings Bay, Georgia on 9 April 1993.[7]

    Maryland completed various weapons and tactical certifications and then returned to Kings Bay on 4 May 1993 to join Submarine Squadron 20 and commence preparations for the first strategic deterrent patrol. The initial loadout of Trident D-5 missiles was completed at this point.[7]

    The Gold crew relieved the Blue crew 7 May 1993 and continued the refit. On 19 June 1993 Maryland went underway on her first strategic deterrent patrol, which started her strategic patrol cycle.[7]


    On 24 September 1993, Maryland ran aground at Port Canaveral, Florida, after conducting a medical evacuation of an ill crew member, and returned to Kings Bay to inspect for damage. Damage to the submarine was minimal, and the investigation found that the crew was not responsible. Maryland then resumed her second deterrent patrol on 26 September 1993.[7]

    Crew member death

    On 5 May 2002, ETC (SS) LeRoy W. Young, USN, died of a heart attack while deployed on Maryland. His funeral was held while she was in port, 12 May 2002, and the ship resumed its patrol shortly afterwards.[8]

    Trident SLBM Missile Testing

    Maryland has been involved in several Follow-on Commander's Evaluation Tests (FCET) of its Trident D-5 SLBM missile system. The FCET launches a specially modified missile without a nuclear payload, and is used to test the performance of the Trident missile system.

    • FCET 10, performed 3 January 1994. 4 missiles launched.[9][10]
    • FCET 14, performed 21 April 1996. 2 missiles launched.[9][11]
    • FCET 21, performed 26 April 1999. 2 missiles launched.[9][12]
    • FCET 30, performed 5 November 2003. 2 missiles launched.[9]
    • FCET 36, performed 21 November 2006. 2 missiles launched.[9]
    • FCET 42, performed 8 June 2010. 2 missiles launched.[13]
    • FCET 43, performed 9 June 2010. 2 missiles launched.[13]

    Live Fire Exercise

    On 16 October 2001, Maryland joined the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) Battle Group in an exercise that resulted in the sinking of ex-USS Guam (LPH-9). Maryland fired one Mark 48 torpedo during the exercise, which finally sank ex-Guam.[14][15]


    A sailor holds up a trophy in front of a formation of sailors

    2008 Omaha Trophy presented to the USS Maryland Blue and Gold crews.

    Maryland has been the recipient of many awards, including the following:

    • 1995 Submarine Squadron 20 Battle "E" award (both crews).[11]
    • 1997 Submarine Squadron 20 Battle "E" award (both crews).[11]
    • 2001 Submarine Squadron 20 Battle "E" award (Blue crew).[14][16]
    • 2002 Submarine Squadron 20 Battle "E" award (both crews).[8][17]
    • 2003 Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial award (for outstanding food service) (Gold crew).[18]
    • 2004 Submarine Squadron 16 Battle "E" award (both crews).[19]
    • 2005 Chief of Naval Operations Afloat Safety award (Blue crew).[20]
    • 2008 Submarine Squadron 20 Battle "E" award (both crews).[21]
    • 2008 Omaha Trophy winner (both crews). This prestigious award is given to the strategic command with the highest performance standards.[1]
    • 2009 Submarine Squadron 20 Battle "E" award (both crews).[22]

    Current status

    Maryland is currently part of both United States Fleet Forces Command Submarine Squadron 20 and the United States Strategic Command Her home port is Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia.

    On September 21, 2012 Maryland combined crews in preparation for mid-life refueling and overhaul at Norfolk Naval Ship Yard.[23]

    Symbolism of the USS Maryland insignia

    Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally associated with the United States Navy. The arms of Maryland hail the state's historical roots, while the submarine indicates the present-day USS Maryland is an Ohio-class submarine. The trident represents U.S. Navy weaponry and sea prowess; its bottom spike points to the ocean depths, the area of Maryland's operations. The heraldic dolphins symbolize speed, intelligence, and the ability to penetrate the deep. The laurel wreath is emblematic of excellence and accomplishment; its seven stars commemorate both the seven battle stars that battleship USS Maryland (BB-46) earned in World War II and that the state of Maryland was the seventh state to be admitted to the Union.


    Maryland's coat of arms is emblazoned upon a white oval enclosed by a blue collar edged on the outside with gold rope and is inscribed in gold letters with the words "USS Maryland" above, and "SSBN-738" below.


    The shield features the arms of the state of Maryland, which historically derives from the quartered arms of the Calvert and Crossland families. Its main color is blue, highlighted with silver. Beneath the shield is a scroll in blue, displaying the motto Timete Deum Solum et Ignominiam ("Fear Only God and Dishonor") inscribed in gold letters. This is all superimposed upon a trident wreathed in laurel decorated with seven stars. The trident's bottom spike is flanked by two dolphins.

    In popular culture

    • In the 1994 Tom Clancy novel, Debt of Honor, Maryland is one of several submarines sent to deal with a Japanese invasion of the Northern Mariana Islands.
    • In the 1998 television film Ice, Maryland is sent to evacuate VIPs from the frozen West Coast of the United States after the coastline has become ice-bound, preventing surface vessels from approaching the shore.


    1. 1.0 1.1 "Fighting Mary Receives Omaha Submarine Ballistic Missile Trophy". US Navy. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
    2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 "Ohio-class SSGN-726". Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
    3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Frost, Peter. "Newport News contract awarded".,0,5810806.story. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
    4. 4.0 4.1 "Submarine Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
    5. "The US Navy – Fact File: Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarines – SSBN". US Navy. Retrieved 2011 September 29. 
    6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "USS Maryland Command History: 1992" (pdf). Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
    7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "USS Maryland Command History: 1993" (pdf). Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
    8. 8.0 8.1 "USS Maryland Command History: 2002" (pdf). Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
    9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 "Jonathan McDowell's Launch Vehicle Database – Trident II". Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
    10. "USS Maryland Command History: 1994" (pdf). Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
    11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "USS Maryland Command History: 1996 - 1997" (pdf). Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
    12. "USS Maryland Command History: 1999" (pdf). Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
    13. 13.0 13.1 "SSBN Successfully Launches Multiple Ballistic Missiles". US Navy. 2010 June 14. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
    14. 14.0 14.1 "USS Maryland Command History: 2001" (pdf). Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
    15. "SINKEX of USS Guam (LPH-9)". 2007 August 09. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
    16. "SUBLANT: Anytime, Anywhere". US Navy. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
    17. "Battle Efficiency Winners". US Navy. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
    18. "Title unknown". [dead link]
    19. "Title unknown". [dead link]
    20. "Title unknown". [dead link]
    21. "Title unknown". [dead link]
    22. "Fightin' Mary Awarded Battle "E"". US Navy. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
    • USS Maryland SSBN-738 Commissioning Booklet (1991)

    External links

    • This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain. The entry can be found here.
    • Photo gallery of Maryland at NavSource Naval History

    This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).