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Ship Donation Program

Criteria for Ships to be categorized in a Donation Hold Status

The organization responsible for assigning a vessel’s disposition status is the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Integration of Capabilities and Resources (OPNAV N8). Vessels will not be typically retained in a Donation Hold status beyond two (2) years unless authorized by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) with concurrence from OPNAV N8F. The designation of ships on donation hold may be extended on an annual basis at the Ship Disposition Review Conference based on the existence of viable donation interest and demonstration by the prospective donee to NAVSEA that measurable progress is being made toward submitting a donation application that meets the minimum NAVSEA requirements. Donation Hold is an administrative action that makes the ship ineligible for disposal during the time it is on donation hold. Once vessels are identified as being available for donation, the Navy places notices in the Federal Register to advertise their availability.

When a Navy ship is decommissioned, a determination of whether it will become available for donation is based on an assessment of whether the vessel possesses any of the characteristics that are of exceptional importance and meet the listing eligibility criteria established by the National Park Service. The Navy will recommend vessels be placed on Donation Hold if the vessel meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • Vessels that have been awarded an individual Presidential Unit Citation (granted to military units which have performed an extremely meritorious or heroic act, usually in the face of an armed enemy);
  • Vessels aboard which an individual act of heroism took place such that the individual was subsequently awarded the Medal of Honor (for valor in action against an enemy force) or the Navy Cross (for extraordinary heroism in action not justifying an award of the Medal of Honor);
  • Vessels to which a President of the United States was assigned during his or her naval service;
  • Vessels that were the first to incorporate engineering, weapons systems, or other upgrades that represent a revolutionary change or advancement in naval design or warfighting capabilities, or other special and unique considerations; or
  • Vessels upon which some other historic or socially significant event occurred

7 May 2009 document version.
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