About Us

Vision Statement

Bring together the people of the great State of Idaho and the Officers and Crew of the USS IDAHO to celebrate in exemplary fashion the extraordinary honor of having a ship of the line named for the state. Create a bond between the people of Idaho and the sailors of the submarine that will last throughout the life of the ship and beyond. Recognize with great honor, the men and women that have served and will serve throughout the history of the land we now call Idaho.

Esto Perpetua

Mission Statements

Serve as the State’s agent for the planning, preparation, funding and conduct of traditional and celebratory lay down, christening and commissioning activities under the guidelines of the Secretary of the Navy.

Plan and conduct a statewide outreach of social, informative and educational activities to create the bond between the people of Idaho and those who serve in defense of our great state and nation on the USS IDAHO.

Identify and implement a sustainable program so that the crews of the USS IDAHO, from the first crew to all future crews, see tangible ongoing support from the people of Idaho to the crew and families.


We are responsible for any habitability improvements aboard the submarine to make the long and isolated missions more comfortable, better quality of life and to improve the aesthetics. All to reflect IDAHO's beauty, spirit and culture for the crew and all visitors that may tour the submarine over its life.

We also have specific roles and responsibilities related to the boat's christening and of course the commissioning into the fleet - the highlight of any Navy warship's life.  We expect to host several events during the week of commissioning ranging from 150 to 1,500 participants, depending on the event.

One of our priorities is to fund, through the existing Dolphin Scholarship Foundation, some educational assistance scholarships for the sailors or their dependents in order to demonstrate our gratitude and tangible support of their sacrifice.

With our small and widespread population, we may not have the fundraising advantage compared with commissioning committees in other states with large populations. But this is Idaho, where great things happen. We're being creative and preparing a broad campaign in each of Idaho’s regions. We have a budget and fundraising target of more than $500,000 by the time the USS IDAHO is commissioned.

Thank you again for your interest in the USS IDAHO Commissioning Foundation, the Commissioning Committee and our work. I hope you will feel free to share this website with others who may be interested in helping us ensure that crews of the USS IDAHO, now and in the future, know that we are with them as they represent Idaho’s courage, values, history and culture in defense of our nation. And please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.


Why does Idaho have a nuclear submarine named after it? Navy history goes way back.
February 27th, 2024

Other than the Port of Lewiston, which happens to be the most inland port on the West Coast, Idaho is otherwise a landlocked state. You might think, “Why in the heck would Idaho have a Naval vessel named after it?” “It’s because of the absolute DNA of the Navy in Idaho,” former Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne told me in an interview. Kempthorne is chairman of the commissioning advisory committee for the USS Idaho, the newest nuclear submarine that will be joining the U.S. Navy fleet.

USS Idaho To Be Christened
February 21st, 2024

The U.S. Navy's newest Virginia-class submarine, the future USS IDAHO, will be formally christened and named on March 16 at General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Conn.

Free Screening of "Idaho's Nuclear Navy" and Panel Discussion - Egyptian Theatre in Boise - March 11, 2024
February 20th, 2024

Join us at the Egyptian Theatre in Boise for a screening of "Idaho's Nuclear Navy" on March 11. Doors open at 5:30 PM. Presentation and Q&A begin at 6:15 PM.


Idaho’s Nuclear Navy
February 19th, 2024

In the early fifties, the U.S. Navy under the leadership of Admiral Hyman Rickover was hard at work developing a nuclear-powered engine to drive submarines and aircraft carriers.

USS IDAHO Christening Information
August 25th, 2023

Please complete short survey to let us know if you are considering attending the christening and what factors may affect your decision.

USS IDAHO Change of Command Ceremony
December 1st, 2022

USS IDAHO Will Welcome a New Commander to its Pre-Commissioning Unit Commander Randall Leslie to take the helm from Commander Nicholas Meyers

Advisory Board

Honorable Dirk Kempthorne
Advisory Board
David Lehman
Vice Chairman
Advisory Board
Dennis Johnson
Chairman - Corporate Fundraising "SUB" Committee
Tom Wilford
Chairman - Audit "SUB" Committee
Linda Oliver
Crew and Family Support "SUB" Committee
ADM Jay L Johnson
US Navy (ret)
VADM John Grossenbacher
US Navy (ret)
VADM Ron Eytchison
US Navy (ret)
RADM Gerald Gneckow
US Navy (ret)
RADM David Oliver
US Navy (ret)
RADM Michael T. Coyle
US Navy (ret)
RADM Art Clark
US Navy (ret)
Maj Gen Gary Sayler
US Air Force (ret)
Brig Gen Bill Shawver
US Air Force (ret)
CAPT Phil Reberger
US Navy (ret)
CAPT David Mericle
US Navy (ret)
David Miskimens
US Navy (ret)
CAPT Bill Previty
US Navy (ret)
FLTCM (SS, AW) Steve Hillis
Crew/Family Support SUB Committee
US Navy (ret)
MCPO (SS) Jack Burdick
Crew/Family Support SUB Committee
US Navy (ret)
Park Price
Corporate Fundraising "SUB" Committee
Mike Mooney
Corporate Fundraising "SUB" Committee
Doug Armstrong
Corporate Fundraising "SUB" Committee
Sue Thilo
Corporate Fundraising "SUB" Committee
Ray Stark
Corporate Fundraising "SUB" Committee
Candice Allphin
Corporate Fundraising "SUB" Committee
Barry McCahill
Public Relations Official
Don Mitchell
Corporate Fundraising "SUB" Committee
Scott Turlington
Corporate Fundraising "SUB" Committee
Mike Johnson
Gregory McDonald

Commissioning Committee

Foundation Board of Directors

Richard Colburn
Chairman of the Board
CAPT US Navy (ret)
Ray Fortin
CDR, US Navy Veteran
Andy Krivy
Fire Control Technician Ballistic Second Class (FTB2), US Navy Veteran
Henry Netzer
North Idaho Regional Chair
Captain US Navy (ret)
Tom Dale
Southwest Idaho Regional Chair
Musician Second Class (MU2) US Navy Veteran MU2
Russel Johnson
Southeast Idaho Regional Chair
Andrew Johnson esq.
General Counsel
SSGT US Marine Corps Veteran
Richard Fife
Chairman Emeritus
LCDR US Navy (ret)

Vice Chairman


Southcentral Idaho Regional Chair


Executive Committees

Marketing & Public Affairs Committee
Laura Barton
Marketing & Public Affairs Committee Chair
Tim Marsano
Public Affairs Officer
Col USAF (ret)
Gayle Alvarez
Dr. Barry Oglesbee DC
Merchandise Manager
Electricians Mate Nuclear First Class (EM1) US Navy Veteran

Rick Gilchrist
Newsletter Contributor
CAPT US Navy (ret)

Planning Committee

Don Curry
Chairman Planning Committee
EMC US US Navy (ret)

Jim McMahon
Vice Chair Planning Committee
CDR US Navy (ret)

Membership Committee
Chair Membership Committee
Brett Blethen
Vice Chair Membership Committee
Maj US Air Force (ret)
Fundraising Committee
Chair Fundraising Committee
Finance Committee
Robert Earle
Chairman Finance Committee
LCDR US Navy Veteran

Regional Committees

North Idaho
Henry Netzer
North Idaho Regional Chair
Captain US Navy (ret)
South Central Idaho

Tony Kevan
Vice Chair Southcentral Idaho Region

South West Idaho
Tom Dale
Southwest Idaho Regional Chair
Musician Second Class (MU2) US Navy Veteran MU2

Bob Brady
Vice Chair Southwest Idaho Region
Lieutenant US Navy veteran

Ron Dale
Treasurer Southwest Idaho Region

South East Idaho
Russel Johnson
Southeast Idaho Regional Chair
Robert Skinner
Vice Chair SE Region
Captain US Navy (ret)
Marty Sattison
Vice Chair Central Area SE Region
Captain US Navy (ret)
Don Hulse
Vice Chair Southern Area SE Region
EMC (ss) US Navy (ret)

Proclamations & Endorsements

Idaho Legislature
Proclamation from Idaho Governor, Brad Little
Pocatello Proclamation
Daughters of the American Revolution Resolution

Committee Crest

The Crest of the USS IDAHO Commissioning Committee contains icons of the State of Idaho and the US Navy submarine force.

USS IDAHO SSN 799 is the official name and hull number of the future submarine names for Idaho.

The five gold stars represent that this submarine will be the fifth ship to be named USS IDAHO in the history of the navy.

The red, white and blue represent the iconic license plates of the state.

The submarine is depicted sailing on Lake Pend Oreille with the mountains in the background. Lake Pend Oreille is home to Acoustic Research Detachment Bayview, which is the Navy’s Premier Acoustic Laboratory and where the acoustic stealth technology of USS IDAHO was developed.

The outlines of the State and State Seal can be seen on the left and right. The moniker "Gem of the Fleet" comes for the namesake being known as the Gem State for its rich mineral resources and 72 different kinds of precious and semi precious stones that can be found throughout the state.

About the Artist

Nicole Hulse is a sophomore at Idaho State University. She plans to get her Bachelor's in Business Administration at ISU and currently double majors in marketing and management. As a marketing intern at ISU's College of Business, she also designs promotional material as well as run the college's blog. In between full-time school and work, Nicole enjoys creating art as a hobby and gets commissions from those who would like to buy her paintings. Her grandfather, Electricians Mate Chief Donald Hulse, served on six submarines during his 20-year navy career.

Contact Us

USS IDAHO Commissioning Foundation Inc.
PO Box 6077
Boise ID 83708

Are you interested in volunteering to assist the Comissioning Committee?
Do you have any connections to the Navy or other branches of our armed forces?