Aircraft carriers are named by the Secretary of the Navy. Since the early 20th century, the Navy has attempted to keep naming consistent by using different sources of names for each type of vessel.
During World War II, aircraft carriers were typically named for presidents, famous Navy ships, famous battles and sounds or bays. Currently they are named for presidents, admirals, places associated with aviation history, famous Navy ships and politicians. In turn, some amphibious assault vehicles are named for famous aircraft carriers. Other classes of ships are named for states, cities, marine creatures, birds and Surgeons General of the United States.