Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg to sponsor new Navy submarine

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, is known for advocating women's empowerment through her "Lean In" book and campaign. And now she's been chosen to sponsor a Navy submarine.

It's an unconventional choice for a sponsor, who christens the ship.

Sponsors are always women and have often been the wives of senior officers or politicians with close ties to the Navy. According to Navy lore, sponsors are said to imbue a ship with their personalities.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus (MAY'-bus) chose Sandberg to sponsor the newest Virginia-class attack submarine, the USS Massachusetts.

The first time Sandberg used the phrase "lean in" was during a lecture at the U.S. Naval Academy in 2011.

Sandberg has publicly praised Mabus for empowering women.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut says the selection is an exciting statement about the Navy's future.