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Fair Winds and Following Seas to Navy Admiral Michael Gilday

Today, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday formally stepped aside in a relinquishment of office ceremony to make way for Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Lisa Franchetti to become the “Acting Chief of Naval Operations,” in an event in Annapolis, Maryland. Admiral Gilday has served as the 32nd Chief of Naval Operations since August 22, 2019.

A man in naval dress blacks posing infront of an American flag
Admiral Michael Gilday, Photo Credit: US Navy

Admiral Mike Gilday was born in Lowell, Massachusetts to a Navy family. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, and later earned master’s degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and National War College.

Gilday’s sea duties included commanding destroyers USS Higgins (DDG 76) and USS Benfold (DDG 65), and as sea combat commander for the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group. As a flag officer, he commanded Carrier Strike Group 8 aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN69) and U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and U.S. 10th Fleet. Gilday’s staff assignments included the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations and Vice Chief of Naval Operations and joint assignments included executive assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and naval aide to the President.

A naval officer in a kakai uniform shakes hands with sailors
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday boards the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins, July 26, 2023. Photo Credit: Navy Seaman Alexandria Esteban

Admiral Gilday has been recognized for numerous awards over the years, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and more.

Admiral Lisa Franchetti (discussed a previous blog post here), will serve in an acting role while awaiting confirmation by the Senate. The last time the Navy lacked a Senate-confirmed leader was in May 1996 after the death of Admiral Michael Boorda, however his successor, Admiral Jay Johnson, was confirmed in August of that year. Admiral Franchetti will join the Army and Marine Corps in waiting for Senate confirmation to remove their acting status.



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