Editor's note: This article first posted at 6:08 p.m. on July 28 and has been updated.
Mabus' office declined to comment on the issue until an official ship-naming release is sent out, spokesman Lt. Eric Durie told Navy Times.
Milk, the son of two Navy veterans, served as a diving officer aboard the submarine rescue ship Kittiwake during World War II, then served as a diving instructor at Naval Base San Diego before his honorable discharge as a lieutenant junior grade in 1955.
The campaign to get a ship named after him was spearheaded by a San Diego-area congressman, Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., who sent a letter to Mabus and then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urging them to name a submarine, aircraft carrier or other vessel after Milk.
In January, Mabus announced the next-generation class of fleet replenishment oilers would be named for civil rights leaders. The first ship in the class was named for John Lewis, a Georgia Democratic congressman who was a civil rights organizer alongside Martin Luther King Jr. The Milk would be the second ship in the class.
Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.