WASHINGTON – Heads are shaking while others cheer after a failed publicity stunt led to the Navy's next Zumwalt-class destroyer being named the USS Tig Ol Bitties, sources confirmed today.
The Navy earlier this year had allowed active duty Sailors and Marines to vote on the name for its new $4-billion dollar stealth attack ship, all in an effort to boost force morale and social media presence.
"I thought there was no way in hell any of the finalist names would fly," said Marine Staff Sgt. Steve Kovacs, "But then I said, hell, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
Kovacs and many other Marines were hoping to clench the name USS Lord Mattis in honor of the Defense Secretary, but support for Tig Ol Bitties became overwhelming after the polling website was shared by service-members, civilians, and tweeted repeatedly by musician Kid Rock.
"At first, I was planning to scrap everything," said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson. "That's when I saw the tweet."
Shortly after the vote was finalized, President Donald Trump expressed his support for the popular ship name.
Meanwhile, Richardson ordered a deeper analysis into the voting metrics and discovered some unsettling statistics.
While junior service members made up a larger volume of total votes, the actual ratio of those who voted for Tig Ol' Bitties skewed significantly higher for those in the more seasoned pay grades to include none other than the Commander-in-chief himself.
"This entire vote was rigged against us," said Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller. "The Navy knows damn well a good portion of the Corps has learning disabilities that prevents them from being able to use a computer or vote online."
He added: "Lord Mattis could have won this thing if we had paper ballots, but for some reason, we've had an ongoing shortage of crayons."