On 3 March 1819 an act of Congress formally placed the responsibility for assigning names to the Navy's ships in the hands of the Secretary of the Navy, a prerogative which he still exercises. This act stated that "all of the ships, of the Navy of the United States, now building, or hereafter to be built, shall be named by the Secretary of the Navy.
On June 22, 2012 Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus held a ceremony in front of the War Memorial in Downtown Indianapolis. During this ceremony he named the 16th Virginia-class fast attack submarine Indiana. The fourth ship to be named Indiana, SSN 789 will be the first ship to bear the name in over 70 years.