SHIELD: The gold and dark blue on the shield represent the Navy. The demi-trident symbolizes Paul Nitze's post as Secretary of the Navy, his support of Navy and Marine personnel and his actions towards improving their quality of service. The three billets, traditionally associated with resources, represent his various duties on the Board of Economic Warfare, the Foreign Economic Administration and Office of International Trade Policy. The white mullet represents the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to Nitze in 1985; the scarlet mullet refers to his long participation in U. S. policy planning regarding relations with the Soviet Union. The chain symbolizes his concern about Soviet rearmament, his opposition to arms limitation by the U. S. and his efforts to contain a Soviet threat. Together, scarlet, white and blue represent the United States. Gold denotes excellence.
The anchor on the crest represents the Navy. The eagle with shield, laurel and arrows alludes to Paul Nitze's distinguished career in the United States government and his significant influence on national and international affairs. The eagle itself denotes vigilance and American strength and refers also to the new ship's helicopter detachment capability.