USS Gerald R Ford Namesake
- Born in 1913, Gerald R. Ford grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the Boy Scout’s highest rank. He attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he became a star football player for the Wolverines, with opportunities to pursue professional football. Instead, he chose the legal profession and went to Yale Law School, earning a Bachelor’s of Law degree in 1941.
- Naval Service: Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Ford joined the U.S. Naval Reserve and was assigned to USS Monterey (CVL 26). In 1943, he was sent to the South Pacific and took part in the battles for Truk, Guam, Formosa, Marianas and the Philippines. He was honorably released from active duty in 1946, having reached the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
- House of Representatives: After World War II, Ford returned to Grand Rapids and he returned to the law firm he started with Pat Buchanan. In 1948 he ran for congressional office and began the first of 13 terms in the House of Representatives. As a congressman, Ford developed a reputation for integrity and the ability to work with both Republicans and Democrats.
- President Gerald R. Ford became Vice President of the United States in 1973 following the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew. On Aug. 9, 1974, Ford became President following the resignation of President Nixon during the Watergate scandal. As President, Ford strove to bring unity to a nation disillusioned by the Watergate scandal, Vietnam War and an economic recession. Ford’s legacy is one of a man who placed service above self, and who served the nation with the highest level of personal integrity.