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Biden Appoints Female Admiral as Navy Chief; A Historic First for Joint Chiefs of Staff

by Ryan Lee
4 comments
Adm. Lisa Franchetti Nomination

President Joe Biden has selected Adm. Lisa Franchetti as the prospective leader of the Navy. This groundbreaking choice, pending confirmation, will mark her as the first woman to become a Pentagon service chief and the initial female member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The president’s choice defies the advice of his Pentagon chief. However, Franchetti, who currently serves as the vice chief of operations for the Navy, boasts extensive command and executive experience and was thought to be the frontrunner for the position by several insiders.

In a statement released on Friday, Biden emphasized the historic implications of her appointment and praised her comprehensive expertise in both operational and policy spheres throughout her career.

Last month, U.S. officials reported that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had suggested Biden choose Adm. Samuel Paparo, the current commander of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet. However, Biden has opted to nominate Paparo for the leadership of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command instead.

According to a senior administration official, Biden’s selection of Franchetti is based on her extensive experience both at sea and on land, including several top-level policy and administrative roles that have provided her with significant insight into budgeting and department management.

The official also recognized that Biden is aware of the historic nature of this nomination and believes that Franchetti will be a beacon of inspiration for all sailors, regardless of their gender. This official spoke on the condition of anonymity as the nomination had not yet been publicly announced.

Franchetti’s nomination is among many military actions currently stalled by Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, who is obstructing the confirmation of military officers to protest a Defense Department policy that reimburses travel expenses for service members seeking out-of-state abortions or other reproductive care.

In his statement, Biden criticized Tuberville for prioritizing his domestic political goals above military readiness, stating that Tuberville’s actions are not only misguided but dangerous as they jeopardize the U.S.’s capacity to maintain the most formidable military force globally.

Adm. Franchetti is expected to serve as the acting Navy chief from next month, following the planned retirement of the current leading naval officer, Adm. Michael Gilday.

While several women have served as military service secretaries as political appointees, none have served as their highest-ranking uniformed officer. Adm. Linda L. Fagan currently serves as the commandant of the Coast Guard, but she does not serve on the Joint Staff as the Coast Guard falls under the Department of Homeland Security, not the Pentagon.

The announcement last month that the defense chief had recommended Paparo rather than Franchetti surprised many in the Pentagon as it had been generally presumed that Franchetti was the prime candidate for the Navy’s top position.

In a statement released on Friday, Austin commended the nomination and expressed pride that Adm. Franchetti has been chosen to be the first female Chief of Naval Operations and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Franchetti, a surface warfare officer, has led at every level, commanding U.S. 6th Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Korea. She was the second woman to be promoted to a four-star admiral and has completed numerous deployments, including commanding a naval destroyer and leading two aircraft carrier strike groups.

In other news, Biden also plans to nominate Vice Adm. James Kilby as the vice chief of the Navy and Vice Adm. Stephen Koehler as the commander of the Pacific Fleet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Adm. Lisa Franchetti Nomination

Who has President Joe Biden nominated to lead the Navy?

President Biden has nominated Adm. Lisa Franchetti to serve as the leader of the Navy.

Would Adm. Lisa Franchetti be the first woman to lead a Pentagon service?

Yes, if confirmed, Adm. Lisa Franchetti would be the first woman to serve as a Pentagon service chief.

Who is Adm. Samuel Paparo, and what role has he been nominated for?

Adm. Samuel Paparo is the current commander of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet. President Biden has nominated him to lead the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

What’s the current stand of Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville on these nominations?

Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama is currently blocking these and other military nominations in protest of a Defense Department policy that covers travel costs for service members needing out-of-state abortions or other reproductive care.

Who is set to replace the current top naval officer, Adm. Michael Gilday?

Adm. Lisa Franchetti is expected to serve as the acting Navy chief from next month, following the planned retirement of Adm. Michael Gilday.

Who is the first woman to serve as a commandant of the Coast Guard?

Adm. Linda L. Fagan is currently serving as the commandant of the Coast Guard.

Who is Biden planning to nominate as the vice chief of the Navy and head of the Pacific Fleet?

Biden plans to nominate Vice Adm. James Kilby as the vice chief of the Navy and Vice Adm. Stephen Koehler as the commander of the Pacific Fleet.

More about Adm. Lisa Franchetti Nomination

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4 comments

John_Mil1987 July 21, 2023 - 11:28 pm

As a former serviceman, it’s great to see the navy gettin a capable leader like Franchetti. Just hope politics doesn’t get in the way.

Reply
LizMarineMom July 22, 2023 - 4:09 am

so proud of Admiral Franchetti! She’s an inspiration for my daughter who wants to join the Navy.

Reply
TimmyP76 July 22, 2023 - 11:39 am

Biden’s pick of Franchetti is interesting, but isn’t it odd that his Pentagon chief recommended someone else? Wonder what’s the real story behind that.

Reply
SamVet2002 July 22, 2023 - 6:41 pm

Didn’t know about that defense department policy. Soldiers traveling for reproductive care. seems like a good policy to me. Why protest it? Tuberville needs to get his priorities straight.

Reply

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