As expected, President Trump on Thursday officially nominated Vice Adm. Michael Gilday to be the next Chief of Naval Operations (CNO).
Gilday currently serves as director of the Joint Staff. If confirmed, he will succeed CNO Adm. John Richardson, who by law must step down by Sept. 17.
A Senate Armed Services Committee staff member told Defense Daily that Gilday’s confirmation hearing is tentatively scheduled for July 30.
Gilday was chosen only after Adm. Bill Moran, who had already been confirmed by the Senate to succeed Richardson, decided to retire this month after Secretary of the Navy Spencer questioned his judgment over an ongoing professional relationship with a former public affairs officer (Defense Daily, June 8).
Moran previously served as Vice Chief of Naval Operations, a position since succeeded by Adm. Robert Burke in June. Burke previously served as Chief of Naval Personnel (Defense Daily, June 14).
Gilday previously led the U.S. 10th Fleet/Fleet Cyber Command; director of operations, J3, for the Joint Staff; and as commander of Carrier Strike Group 8 aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69).
In recommending Gilday to the White House, Spencer passed six non-retiring four-star admirals beyond Burke. This group includes Adm. John Aquillino, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet; Adm. James Caldwell, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program; Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; Adm. Craig Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command; Adm. James Foggo, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, Naval Forces, and Africa Allied Joint Force Command Naples; and Adm. Christopher Grady, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
The only other times a non-four-star admiral was chosen to be CNO was when President Richard Nixon selected Vice Adm. Elmo Zumwalt in 1970 and President Dwight Eisenhower picked Rear Adm. Arleigh Burke in 1955.