The light blue represents the Medal of Honor, the dark blue the ocean, and the five stars are in formation of the constellation “Southern Cross” which comes from the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion crest signifying Private First Class Johnson’s service in the United States Marine Corps. The Trident is the traditional naval symbol, and the flame emission symbolizes the Integrated Air and Missile Defense system built into the ship.
The Vietnamese dragon is associated with water and is considered to have authority over life and death. Dragons are responsible for rain, without which life could not continue. The single star above the dragon signifies the lives Ralph Johnson saved; the action which resulted in him receiving the Medal of Honor.
Representing both officer and enlisted: on the left side of the crest you will find the United States Navy’s Officer’s sword and the Navy’s Chief Petty Officer cutlass. On the right side is the United States Marines Corps Officer’s Mamluke and the Non-Commissioned Officer’s sword.
The ship adopted the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion’s motto “CELER SILENS MORTALIS” which means Swift, Silent and Deadly.