Female admiral picked as next Navy head

The promotion of Franchetti, who has been vice chief of naval operations since last fall, will be the first time a woman has the spot of the Navy’s highest-ranking officer, and if confirmed she will also be the first female member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


Biden, in announcing his pick, noted that Franchetti has already made history as the second woman ever to achieve the rank of four-star admiral in the U.S. Navy. She would replace current Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, whose four-year term ends this fall.


Franchetti has commanded U.S. Naval Forces Korea as well as two strike groups in the Pacific — Carrier Strike Group 9 and Carrier Strike Group 15. She’s also served as commander of the U.S. 6th Fleet, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO in Europe and held various positions in the Pentagon. 


Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in June reportedly recommended that Adm. Samuel Paparo become the next chief of naval operations despite Franchetti being considered the front-runner for the top position as the Navy’s No. 2 officer. Biden on Friday nominated Paparo for head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.


The president also nominated Vice Adm. James Kilby for vice chief of naval operations and Vice Adm. Stephen “Web” Koehler for commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet.


Biden urged the Senate to quickly confirm the picks and the other pending military nominations that have been held up by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.). Tuberville is blocking the Senate from moving on military promotions in protest of the Pentagon’s abortion policy, which allows for paid leave and travel reimbursement for abortions. 


“It has long been an article of faith in this country that supporting our service members and their families, and providing for the strength of our national defense, transcends politics. What Senator Tuberville is doing is not only wrong — it is dangerous,” Biden said Friday.


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