The Senate confirmed Adm. Lisa Franchetti as the 33rd Chief of Naval Operations, the Navy’s high ranking position, on Thursday.
This historic appointment makes her the first woman to hold the Navy’s top military leadership position, as well as the first woman member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
President Biden nominated Adm. Franchetti for the role in July, but her confirmation remained on hold due to Senator Tommy Tuberville’s ongoing blockade of military nominations. Nevertheless she assumed the responsibilities of CNO in August, while serving as Vice Chief of Naval Operations. Adm. Mike Gilday, the previous CNO, concluded his four-year tenure and handed over the position in a ceremony at the United States Naval Academy on August 14, 2021. Gilday became the 32nd CNO in August 2019.
During the ceremony, Gilday expressed his confidence in Adm. Franchetti’s qualifications and leadership abilities.
“I am proud that she will be my CNO,” said Gilday. “She is a Fleet Sailor, an operator, a warfighter. She has already made the Navy better as our Vice Chief of Naval Operations, the Navy is in good hands with her at the helm.”
As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CNO serves as an advisor to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense. The CNO is responsible for the command, resource utilization, and operational efficiency of naval forces and shore activities, under the direction of the Secretary of the Navy.
The Senate confirmed Adm. Franchetti with a vote of 95-1, with Senator Doc Marshall of Arkansas casting the only dissenting vote. Four other Republican Senators, Lee (R-UT), Scott (R-FL), Scott (R-SC), and Tillis (R-NC), did not vote.
Adm. Franchetti, a native of Rochester, New York, received her commission in 1985 through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Program at Northwestern University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University, attended the Naval War College, and has a master’s degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix. She has served in various operational roles on different naval vessels, including as an officer on USS Shenandoah and USS Monongahela, operations officer on USS Moosbrugger, and executive officer of USS Stout. She has also commanded USS Ross and DESRON-21, and served as commander of Pacific Partnership 2010.
Franchetti has held various assignments throughout her career, including commander of Naval Reserve Center Central Point, aide to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, and deputy director of International Engagement. She has also served in flag assignments such as commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea, chief of staff of Strategy, Plans and Policy (J-5) Joint Staff, and director for Strategy, Plans and Policy (J-5) Joint Staff. Franchetti assumed the role of Vice Chief of Naval Operations on September 2, 2022.
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