News Brief

Biden Nominates Admiral Lisa Franchetti As First Woman To Lead US Navy

Yathansh Joshi

Jul 22, 2023, 12:38 PM | Updated 12:38 PM IST

Admiral Lisa Franchetti (Pic: AP)
Admiral Lisa Franchetti (Pic: AP)

United States President Joe Biden announced on Friday (July 21) his nomination of Admiral Lisa Franchetti to lead the US Navy.

If confirmed, she would become the first woman to hold this position and serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

However, there is uncertainty surrounding the timing of her confirmation, as a Republican lawmaker is currently stalling more than 200 senior military nominations. This delay is in protest of the Pentagon's decision to assist troops who need to travel for abortions.

In a statement, President Biden highlighted Admiral Franchetti's impressive career spanning 38 years of dedicated service to the nation as a commissioned officer.

Currently serving as the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, she has achieved the rank of four-star admiral, making her the second woman to attain this distinction in the United States Navy.

Once confirmed, Admiral Franchetti will further make history as the first woman to serve as the Chief of Naval Operations and on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Franchetti has an extensive background serving in various roles within the Navy. She has commanded a guided missile destroyer, a destroyer squadron, and two carrier strike groups.

In addition to her command experience, Franchetti has held important leadership positions. She served as deputy commander of US naval forces in Europe and Africa, as well as deputy chief of naval operations for warfighting development.

In September 2022, she was appointed as vice chief of naval operations.

Admiral Mike Gilday is nearing the end of his four-year term as head of the Navy. However, Franchetti's confirmation may face delays due to Senator Tommy Tuberville, who has been holding up the approval of military nominees for several months.

Senator Tommy Tuberville's actions have been described as "dangerous" as they prevent the Navy from having a fully appointed leader at a critical time.

The senator is against the Pentagon's decision to allow service members to take administrative absences for "non-covered reproductive health care" and provide travel allowances to cover the costs. These policies were implemented after the Supreme Court's ruling on the nationwide right to abortion last year.

Although the Senate still has the power to individually vote on nominations of military officers, Tuberville's "hold" prevents them from being quickly approved in groups through unanimous consent.

Biden criticized Tuberville's actions, stating that delaying the approval of the nominees is not only wrong but also dangerous.

The president emphasized that Tuberville's actions put the United States' ability to maintain the greatest fighting force in the world at risk, especially in a time of rapidly evolving security environments and intense competition. He also called out Tuberville's Republican colleagues in the Senate for being aware of this risk.

In the event that Gilday is not confirmed when he leaves office, she will hand over to Franchetti, who is currently serving as his deputy.

Notably, this mirrors the current situation in the US Marine Corps.

Since July 10, General Eric Smith, the assistant commandant, has been serving in an acting capacity to head the service. However, his nomination has yet to be confirmed.

In the coming months, other top military officers such as Chief of Staff of the Army General James McConville and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley are also expected to leave office.

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