First lady Michelle Obama says she is "beyond proud" to be part of the commissioning ceremony for the U.S. Navy attack submarine named for her home state of Illinois.
The submarine officially became the USS Illinois and began active service at a ceremony Saturday in Groton, Connecticut.
The first lady gave the order to "man our ship and bring her to life" before the crew ran across the brow, onto the vessel.
The first lady has made supporting military families a priority. As the ship sponsor, she will be involved in the lives of its sailors and families.
It took thousands of shipyard employees in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Virginia to build the $2.7 billion submarine.
The USS Illinois is the 13th member of the Virginia class.