When she hits the water, the USS Montana will be the most advanced active nuclear submarine in the world. Today, March 22, the command crew was announced. According to USS Montana Committee Chairman Bill Whitsitt, the ship will include a lot of Montana touches: for starters, the official logo includes a gold and silver dolphin in reflection of the state motto. The logo also bears the numbers 3-7-77… It’s a number with roots deep in Montana history and served as the calling card of the ‘Committees of Vigilance’ from the territorial days, and an ominous warning to outlaws. Whitsitt says its inclusion is fitting.

"When you think about this boat that will be, as I say, on-scene unseen in dangerous parts of the world, ready to defend the United States and the values that we hold true in Montana, what better representation of a calling card for the crew to recognize as a warning to those who would do the U.S. and Montana harm?"

The U.S Navy also chose to put a grizzly bear prominently on the logo… but no bobcat, Whitsitt says the committee is trying to address what might seem like favoritism in the state’s fiercest rivalry.

"There is a growling grizzly in the bow wake and it was the idea of the designers and the crew that that would be a representation of Montana," Whitsitt said. "We on the committee are thinking that we are going to have to offer to the crew, a way of displaying, maybe a full-size bobcat in one of the mess areas or something."

At least six of the crew members announced today hail from the state of Montana. The submarine hasn’t been fully built yet and the crew will need to run drills before full operation. The USS Montana should be on patrol in the year 2020.

To find out more about the USS Montana and its route to the ocean, check out the USS Montana Committee web page.