The future Navy destroyer Rafael Peralta, named for a San Diego Marine killed in Iraq, will be commissioned in San Diego Bay next summer.
A spokesman for the Navy secretary confirmed the timeline of summer 2017. The ship’s Facebook page said the commissioning will happen soon after the destroyer arrives in San Diego, which will be its home port.
The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, hull number 115, is named for a Marine sergeant who grew up in San Diego before enlisting. Peralta, 25, was clearing houses in Fallujah, Iraq, when he was killed in November 2004.
Marines with him credited him with smothering a grenade with his body to save others at the scene. The nominated Peralta for a Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest combat decoration.
In a still-controversial move, the Pentagon downgraded the award to a Navy Cross after questions about whether Peralta, already wounded in the head, was conscious when he smothered the grenade.
Peralta’s mother, Rosa, will be the ship’s sponsor.
The family only recently accepted the Navy Cross after a long campaign in Congress to upgrade the medal.
The ship’s motto is “fortis ad finem,” which translates to “courageous to the end.”
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