The Senate confirmed Vice Adm. Michael Gilday by voice vote to become the next Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) on Thursday, a day after his confirmation hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee.
On Wednesday he was facing questions from the SASC on how he would improve upon Navy issues, particularly new technology delaying the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) and how similar issues could affect future vessels (Defense Daily, July 31).
Moving at a quick pace before the August recess, earlier in the day SASC staff announced Gilday was reported to the Senate floor on a voice vote with no opposition. Hours later the Senate floor again approved him without opposition. He was also confirmed to receive his fourth star with the new job.
Gilday previously served as director of the Joint Staff and is the first three-star admiral to be chosen as CNO since President Richard Nixon chose Vice Adm. Elmo Zumwalt in 1970. He was picked over six non-retiring four-star admirals beyond the already-confirmed new Vice CNO Adm. Robert Burke, who assumed his duties in June (Defense Daily, June 14).
He earlier led the U.S. 10th Fleet/Fleet Cyber Command; served as director of operations, J3, for the Joint Staff; and was commander of Carrier Strike Group 8 aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69).
Gilday was selected in the wake of Adm. Bill Moran stepping down after his own confirmation as CNO. Moran decided to retire earlier in July after Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer questioned his judgment over a professional relationship with a former public affairs officer who had been under scrutiny for bad behavior (Defense Daily, June 8).