US Navy’s First Female Chief Lisa Franchetti Takes The Helm

The first-ever woman recently took over as the chief of the US Navy in an acting capacity, despite the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin nominating another individual for the role.

Mike Gilday, the Chief of Naval Ops., retired and then handed over the torch to the Navy Admiral Lisa Franchetti, who will continue acting until officially confirmed by the Senate after her nomination by the current US President Joe Biden.

Lisa Franchetti
Credits: media.defense.gov

Once confirmed, Franchetti would be the first woman to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Biden had chosen Adm. Lisa Franchetti for leading the Navy, an unexpected choice that is against the recommendations of his Pentagon chief, who had suggested Adm. Samuel Paparo, the present commander of the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet.

Franchetti is one of more than 300 military officers whose nominations have been on hold in the Senate following several challenges from Tommy Tuberville, the Alabama Republican Senator.

Her stall in Congress comes after an eight-month block on military promotions placed by Tuberville, who has been fighting against a new Pentagon policy on reproductive services.

Franchetti, who has served as the vice chief since September last year, indicated if confirmed, she would be moving forward with Gilday’s push for modernizing the Navy.

While speaking at the Naval Academy based in Maryland, Franchetti said that his vision, besides his transformational leadership over the past four years, has laid the foundation on which the Navy has been building its readiness for today while designing the exclusive fleet of tomorrow.

She added that they’ll continue looking to the horizon and preparing for the challenges ahead of them; she will continue to act with a sense of urgency to ensure sailors have all they need to maintain the war-fighting edge.

When the confirmation will come is not clear yet.

The character of war has been evolving. But the Navy team has been adapting at speed. If they continue acting with both purpose and urgency along with their partners and allies, they can meet any challenges, Gilday mentioned in his speech at the ceremony.

He added that he is proud that she will be the CNO.

He went on to say that she has been a fleet sailor, a warfighter, and an operator. She has improved the Navy as the vice chief heading naval operations; the Navy is in safe hands with her at its helm.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mentioned that the confirmation on hold earmarks a painful milestone during his speech at the ceremony.
President Biden nominated Admiral Franchetti to serve as the chief of naval operations a month back.

The unforeseen choice would make her the first-ever woman to be a Pentagon service chief and the first female member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Joe Biden’s decision contradicts his Pentagon chief’s.

In June 2023, Austin had recommended the highest-ranking officer of the Navy go to a man over a woman who was believed widely to be the frontrunner.

Admiral Samuel Paparo currently serves as the commander of the Pacific Fleet and was tapped by Austin over Franchetti for Chief of Naval Operations.

Franchetti served as the vice chief of naval operations and was considered the top pick for this role since she had secured her position as the Navy’s No. 2 officer.

Franchetti has broad command and executive experience and has been considered by insiders as the best choice for this job, per the Associated Press in July 2023.

In a statement, Biden further emphasized the historical significance of the selection and said that throughout her career, Admiral Franchetti has been demonstrating extensive expertise in operational and policy arenas.

References: Naval News, navy.mil, Daily Mail

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