NaFFAA Applauds Naming of the Future Arleigh Burke-class Destroyer Telesforo Trinidad By U.S. Secretary of the Navy

May 19, 2022
Kelly Coldiron, Executive Director
Tel. 202-262-0772
Washington D.C.,- The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is proud to announce the Administration’s commitment to name the first US Navy Warship after a sailor of Filipino descent, Fireman Second Class Telesforo Trinidad. On May 19, 2022, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro made the announcement. The future USS Telesforo Trinidad (DDG 139) is an honor to Fireman 2nd Class Telesforo De La Cruz Trinidad, the first and only Asian American (and only Filipino) in the U.S. Navy to receive a Medal of Honor, in accordance with General Order Number 142 signed by Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels on April 1, 1915.
Since December 2020, NaFFAA has made advocating for this effort a main priority, in partnership with the USS Telesforo Trinidad Campaign, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Throughout the country, NaFFAA leadership worked tirelessly to hold letter writing events to ask their Congressional leaders to support these efforts. In particular, NaFFAA San Diego and NaFFAA Capital Region led in the advocacy early on. 
Utilizing NaFFAA’s broad reach and collaborative efforts with other organizations, a bipartisan group of over 90 members of Congress, including key members of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, had officially supported the Campaign. We thank Representative Sara Jacobs, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee Jack Reed and Senator Mazie Hirono for their leadership. Additionally, in a letter to President Biden, NaFFAA President and Chair Brendan Flores said, “The naming of a United States Navy combatant ship after Trinidad will resonate strongly not only to several generations of Filipino Americans who have served in the U.S. Navy since 1901, but also to more than four million Filipino Americans who are looking for validation of the seminal contributions of Filipinos to U.S. history.  It will recognize as well the shared history and values of two allies, forged in war and peace”. 
“Having a top-of-the-line Arleigh Burke class destroyer named after a Filipino hero makes us all proud to be Americans of Filipino descent”, said NaFFAA New England Region Chair and USTTC Board of Director. “Thanks to the hard work of all hands, and to fellow U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Secretary Del Toro, for this honor.”
Today's announcement made by the Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro naming a future Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Telesforo Trinidad (DDG-139) is a historic win for all Filipinos. Telesforo's last living son Profirio, daughter in-law Dory and the entire Trinidad family are pleased to receive the great news.
"We are excited my grandfather's heroic actions earned him the highest military award; the Medal of Honor,” said Pope Trinidad. “Now the military tradition to name a ship for this honor is being fulfilled. This shall serve as a catalyst for all Filipinos to be proud of their contributions serving in the United States military. This is also a great example of what is possible when we come together as a community, working with our elected officials and allies as a united voice to advocate for what we deserve. From the day of the ship’s commissioning and beyond these are just the first steps of many to build an awareness of the greatness within the Filipino community."
We applaud the Administration’s announcement and thank the members of the community for the collective advocacy to honor the legacy of Fireman Second Class Telesforo Trinidad.
See original letter sent to President Biden here:
See the USN press release here:
Since 1997, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) has been the standard-bearer for promoting the welfare and well-being of the four million Filipinos and Filipino Americans throughout the United States. NaFFAA is the largest non-partisan, non-profit organization and national affiliation of Filipino American institutions, umbrella organizations, and individuals. Its fourteen-member regions cover the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands.
US Navy announcement