SHIELDPer fess indented Or and Azure on a pile per fess indented Gules and of the first a lion's head erased of the like.
On a wreath Or and Azure interlaced between the tines of a trident head Or the head of a spar torpedo Azure all below five mullets chevronwise of the first.
On a scroll Azure doubled Or, the motto, "NON SIBI SED PATRIAE" (Not for Himself but for His Country), inscribed in letters of the last.
Upon a white field, the complete coat of arms in full color as in the blazon, all within a white oblong border arched at top and bottom, the outer and inner edges formed of continuous gold rope and containing the inscription "USS CUSHING" at top and "DD~985" in base, letters and numerals all in blue.
SHIELDDark blue and gold are the colors traditionally used by the Navy and symbolize the sea and excellence. The indented division of the shield represents a log boom, and the pile, which resembles a ship's prow, crosses the boom to represent how Commander William Barker Cushing foiled Confederate defenses to accomplish the sinking of the Albemarle. The upper area of the pile is red, alluding to the danger and high risk of this famous action and the fact that Commander Cushing had been under fire more than any other officer in the Navy at that time. The lion's head is symbolic of courage and strength and represents the spirit and abilities of Commander Cushing.
The trident is a traditional maritime symbol, and its sharp points emphasize offensive action. The spar torpedo is dark blue, alluding to the dark of night and the covert nature of the sinking of the Albemarle. The dark blue also indicates that Commander Cushing, a Union officer, took the torpedo, at this time basically a Confederate weapon, and successfully sank an enemy vessel. The five stars refer to the fact that this Spruance Class destroyer is the fifth ship in the U.S. Navy to be named "Cushing."