For the first time ever, a bill that would change the name of the Department of the Navy will be voted on as a standalone measure on the House floor.

The legislation, which would rename the Department of the Navy to the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps, will be debated on the House floor in April, according to bill sponsor Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.). The measure, which has 368 co-sponsors, is expected to easily pass the lower chamber.

In previous years, Jones bill has been attached to larger measures that have passed the House and then subsequently stalled in the Senate.

Jones and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who introduced a companion bill in the upper chamber, held a press conference Thursday in the Longworth House Office Building. Gen. Anthony Zinni, actor R. Lee Ermey and Iraq war veterans and their families spoke on behalf of the legislation.

Families of Marines killed in action receive condolence letters from the secretary of the Navy, with no mention of the Marine Corps in the letterhead. Proponents of the bill want to change this.

"It isn't until you read down into the fine print that you see they do mention the Marine Corps down there somewhere," said Dick Linn, who received a condolence letter after his son Karl was killed in Iraq in 2005.

Ermey, a former Marine Corps drill instructor well known for reprising that role in the 1987 film "Full Metal Jacket," said he saw no logic in the opposition to the bill.

"The only thing we want is for future Marines to receive honorable mention in the department that they fall under," Ermey said.

Former Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner (R-Va.) opposed the Jones bill, but current Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) backs it.