Military /

President Biden Selects Female Nominee to Lead Navy

Lisa Franchetti's nomination reportedly goes against a recommendation from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin

President Joe Biden announced his nomination for Chief of Naval Operations.

Biden selected Admiral Lisa Franchetti, the current Vice Chief of Naval Operations, against the advice of the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. 

The president described Franchetti as a “surface warfare officer with extensive operational and policy experience” in his July 20 announcement

“If confirmed, Admiral Franchetti will be the first woman to serve as Chief of Naval Operations and on the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” noted the Biden Administration. 

Austin reportedly recommended Admiral Samuel Paparo. Biden has nominated Paparo – who had led the Pacific Fleet since May of 2021 – to lead the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, reports Forbes

Paparo “has spent the past two years focused on confronting Chinese aggression in the Asia-Pacific,” per The Hill. His experience with China was believed to have been a major component of Austin’s recommendation.

Franchetti was commissioned in 1985 after completing the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Program at Northwestern University. Originally from Rochester, New York, she has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Northwestern and a Master’s Degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix. 

Franchetti has taken part in a number of operational tours including as an auxiliaries officer and first division officer on USS Shenandoah, a navigator and jumboization coordinator onboard USS Monongahela, an operations officer on USS Moosbrugger, combat systems officer and chief staff officer for Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2, an executive officer of USS Stout, and an assistant surface operations officer on USS George Washington Strike Group. Additionally, she commanded USS Ross and DESRON-21, embarked on USS John C. Stennis and was the commander of Pacific Partnership 2010.

According to the Navy, Franchetti has been awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal,  the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Current Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday’s term ends in the fall. 

All military nominations are currently on pause because of a one-man roadblock in the U.S. Senate. More than 270 military nominations have not been able to be confirmed by the chamber without Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville, who refused to continue the confirmation process until Austin revises the Department of Defense’s abortion travel policy.

Austin authorized the DOD to cover the expenses incurred by women serving in the military who have to travel out of their state of residence for an abortion. Tuberville has argued this is an illegal expansion of the department’s authority and objects to the use of tax-payer-generated funding for abortion-related costs.

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