History of “Ya Gotta Have Hart”

As a bit of ship’s lore and history, the genesis of our phrase “Ya Gotta Have Hart” goes way back to 1981.  Captain Whalen relieved RADM John Pearson as CO of the Hart in 1981.  During that time the mess decks was adorned with an elegant (by shipboard standards), wrought iron grid near the chow line that once read “Home is where the Hart Is”.  As things go, over time, some of the letters had disappeared, leaving the phrase to read “Home … …. … a.. ..Har”. CAPT Whalen ordered a quick rehab of the grid and the phrase “Ya Gotta Have Hart” was birthed!  “YA GOTTA HAVE HART” began popping up all over the ship, including bulkheads, stationery and, most visibly, on the helo hanger.    SK1(AW) Pry Perkins added:  “Yes, I must comment on the “YA GOTTA HAVE HART” story.  I was still in Deck division when we painted the name above the helo hanger, and yes there were letters missing from the board on the mess deck, but I do recall there was a raffle from a pool of slogans including what became “YA GOTTA HAVE HART” on the mess deck board.  You know there were a few old salts that wanted to keep the name “BIG ROUGH RIDERS”, and when the voting was done, “YA GOTTA HAVE HART” was painted atop the helo hanger prior to the 1982 Med Cruise.  I am glad to see that the phrase has stayed with the ship to the end.”