In a historic and groundbreaking move, US President Joe Biden has chosen Admiral Lisa Franchetti to assume the prestigious role of Chief of Naval Operations, marking a significant milestone for gender representation in the US Navy’s history. If confirmed, Admiral Franchetti will become the first woman to hold this esteemed position, a momentous achievement that also places her as the first woman in the joint chiefs of staff.
Admiral Franchetti’s career trajectory boasts an impressive record of accomplishments. Commissioned in 1985, she has held various significant roles, including commanding US Naval Forces Korea, serving as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Development, and excelling as the director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy of the Joint Staff, as noted in her official biography. Notably, she has also commanded two carrier strike groups and assumed the role of Vice CNO in September 2022.
President Biden expressed his utmost confidence in Admiral Lisa Franchetti’s appointment, praising her remarkable 38-year tenure as a commissioned officer, which includes her current position as Vice Chief of Naval Operations. Her dedication to serving the nation and her expertise in both operational and policy matters have been lauded by the President.
A testament to Admiral Franchetti’s extraordinary achievements is her prestigious rank of four-star admiral, making her only the second woman in the history of the United States Navy to attain this position, as emphasized by President Biden.
Should her appointment be confirmed, Admiral Franchetti will etch her name in history once again by becoming the first woman to hold the distinguished role of Chief of Naval Operations and joining the esteemed Joint Chiefs of Staff. This represents a momentous and transformative milestone for gender representation within the military, as underscored by the US president.
On July 21, President Biden made further significant announcements regarding nominations for key military positions. Vice Adm. James Kilby, presently the deputy commander of US Fleet Forces Command, has been nominated as the next Vice Chief of Naval Operations. Adm. Samuel Paparo, who currently commands US Pacific Fleet, has been nominated to lead US forces in the Pacific as the commander of Indo-Pacific Command. Additionally, Vice Adm. Stephen “Web” Koehler has been nominated to succeed Adm. Paparo as commander of the US Pacific Fleet.
In response to these nominations, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin commended the admirals, stating that each of them would play a crucial role in ensuring the US Navy and the joint force in the Indo-Pacific maintain their status as the finest military force globally. Their contributions will be pivotal in projecting power worldwide, safeguarding freedom of the seas, and upholding the rules-based international order.
It is worth noting that Admiral Franchetti’s nomination adds to a series of noteworthy firsts within the Biden administration’s Defence Department, including the first Black secretary of defence and the first female Army secretary, Christine Wormuth. Moreover, upon Brown’s confirmation, it will mark the first time the Pentagon’s two most senior leaders are Black men.
Admiral Lisa Franchetti’s potential appointment as Chief of Naval Operations not only signifies a milestone in the US Navy’s history but also reflects a broader commitment to diversity and progress in the highest echelons of the armed forces. Her nomination stands as a testament to the evolving landscape of the US military, where barriers are being broken, and the path to leadership is increasingly inclusive.