Jul. 18–WASHINGTON — Vice Adm. Michael Gilday has been nominated by President Donald Trump to be the next chief of naval operations, according to a senate announcement Wednesday on the nomination.
Gilday, a three-star admiral, is now the director of the Joint Staff, a position he has held since March. If confirmed, he would be promoted to a four-star admiral.
“The entire Navy should be very excited by today’s announcement,” Adm. John Richardson, the current chief of naval operations, said Thursday in a statement posted to his official Facebook page. “Adm. Mike Gilday is a true cutting edge warfighter, a surface warrior who, by virtue of his leadership at 10th Fleet, fully appreciates the challenges we face in the cyber warfare arena and the increasing pace of competition in new domains.”
Gilday’s nomination comes after Trump’s first selection for CNO, Adm. William Moran, retired abruptly after reports that he had continued a professional relationship with Chris Servello, a former colleague who was removed from his position as a public affairs adviser to Richardson in 2017 following accusations of sexual misconduct, according to The Associated Press. Servello had also worked for Moran as a public affairs officer.
Gilday, a native of Lowell, Mass., is the son of a career sailor and has served as a surface warfare officer in the Navy since graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985, according to his Navy biography.
He has served on destroyers, including as commander of the USS Higgins and USS Benfold. Gilday also commanded Destroyer Squadron 7 while serving as sea combat commander for the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, according to the Navy.
Gilday has served in Navy and joint senior leadership positions, including as the director of operations for NATO’s Joint Force Command Lisbon and U.S. Cyber Command.
He earned a master’s degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1993 and a second master’s degree in 2006 from the National War College, located at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.
His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, four Defense Superior Service Medals, three Legions of Merit, a Bronze Star, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V” device.
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