The coat of arms in full color as in the blazon, upon a white background enclosed with a dark blue oval border edged on the outside with a gold rope and bearing the inscription "USS MAHAN" at top and "DDG 72" at bottom in gold.
SHIELD: Dark blue and gold are the colors traditionally used by the Navy and represent the sea and excellence. The trident, symbolizing sea power, denotes DDG 72’s warfare capabilities and underscores the importance of a strong Navy. The gauntlet and torch are adapted from the previous USS Mahan’s emblem and highlight the ship’s namesake, Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, as the father of all modern navies. The tines of the trident represent the three previous ships named MAHAN, as well as the Officer, Chief Petty Officer and Enlisted Corps of personnel which man the ship.
CREST: The central star commemorates the second USS Mahan’s World War II battle honors (five battle stars), earned before she was sunk by Kamikazes. The twelve small stars on the gauntlet denote the battle stars of the third USS MAHAN for service in the Vietnam War. The unfurled scroll underscores Mahan as the author of "The Influence of Sea Power Upon History (1660-1783)". The compass rose and gauntlet represent Mahan’s influence of sea power, its strategy and geopolitical importance worldwide. The wreath combines laurel and palm to symbolize honor and victory.
MOTTO: The motto was chosen in remembrance of Admiral Arleigh Burke in memory of his many contributions to the U.S. Navy. During the commissioning of the USS ARLEIGH BURKE, Admiral Burke issued the following challenge to those who man this class of ship: "This ship is built to fight; you’d better know how."
SUPPORTERS: The crossed swords express strength through teamwork and cooperation from the Enlisted and Officer Corps. Represented are the enlisted cutlass and the officer sword.