Chief of Naval Operations
Seal of the Chief of Naval Operations
Flag of the Chief of Naval Operations
Admiral Lisa Franchetti
since 2 November 2023
United States Navy
Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Member ofJoint Chiefs of Staff
Reports toSecretary of the Navy
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length4 years
Renewable one time, only during war or national emergency
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 8033
PrecursorAide for Naval Operations
Formation11 May 1915
First holderADM William S. Benson
DeputyVice Chief of Naval Operations

The chief of naval operations (CNO) is the highest-ranking officer of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office (10 U.S.C. § 8033) held by an admiral who is a military adviser and deputy to the secretary of the Navy. The CNO is also a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (10 U.S.C. § 151) and in this capacity, a military adviser to the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, the secretary of defense, and the president.

Despite the title, the CNO does not have operational command authority over naval forces. The CNO is an administrative position based in the Pentagon, and exercises supervision of Navy organizations as the designee of the secretary of the Navy. Operational command of naval forces falls within the purview of the combatant commanders who report to the secretary of defense.

The current chief of naval operations is Lisa Franchetti, who was sworn in on November 2, 2023.[1]

Appointment, rank, and responsibilities

Michael Mullen, CNO in December 2006, with some of his predecessors: Vern Clark, James D. Watkins, Thomas B. Hayward, and Jay L. Johnson

The chief of naval operations (CNO) is typically the highest-ranking officer on active duty in the U.S. Navy unless the chairman and/or the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are naval officers.[2] The CNO is nominated for appointment by the president, for a four-year term of office,[3] and must be confirmed by the Senate.[3] A requirement for being Chief of Naval Operations is having significant experience in joint duty assignments, which includes at least one full tour of duty in a joint duty assignment as a flag officer.[3] However, the president may waive those requirements if he determines that appointing the officer is necessary for the national interest.[3] The chief can be reappointed to serve one additional term, but only during times of war or national emergency declared by Congress.[3] By statute, the CNO is appointed as a four-star admiral.[3]

As per 10 U.S.C. § 8035, whenever there is a vacancy for the chief of naval operations or during the absence or disability of the chief of naval operations, and unless the president directs otherwise, the vice chief of naval operations performs the duties of the chief of naval operations until a successor is appointed or the absence or disability ceases.[4]

Department of the Navy

The CNO also performs all other functions prescribed under 10 U.S.C. § 8033, such as presiding over the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV), exercising supervision of Navy organizations, and other duties assigned by the secretary or higher lawful authority, or the CNO delegates those duties and responsibilities to other officers in OPNAV or in organizations below.[2][5]

Acting for the secretary of the Navy, the CNO also designates naval personnel and naval forces available to the commanders of unified combatant commands, subject to the approval of the secretary of defense.[5][6]

Joint Chiefs of Staff

The CNO is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as prescribed by 10 U.S.C. § 151 and 10 U.S.C. § 8033. Like the other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CNO is an administrative position, with no operational command authority over the United States Navy forces.

Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, individually or collectively, in their capacity as military advisers, shall provide advice to the president, the National Security Council (NSC), or the secretary of defense (SECDEF) on a particular matter when the president, the NSC, or SECDEF requests such advice. Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (other than the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) may submit to the chairman advice or an opinion in disagreement with, or advice or an opinion in addition to, the advice presented by the chairman to the president, NSC, or SECDEF.

When performing her JCS duties, the CNO is responsible directly to the SECDEF, but keeps SECNAV fully informed of significant military operations affecting the duties and responsibilities of the SECNAV, unless SECDEF orders otherwise.[7]


Early attempts and the Aide for Naval Operations (1900–1915)

William Sims
Rear Admiral Charles Johnston Badger with Rear Admiral Bradley A. Fiske, c. 1914

In 1900, administrative and operational authority over the Navy was concentrated in the secretary of the Navy and bureau chiefs, with the General Board holding only advisory powers.[8][9] Critics of the lack of military command authority included Charles J. Bonaparte, Navy secretary from 1905 to 1906,[10] then-Captain Reginald R. Belknap[11] and future admiral William Sims.[12]

Rear Admiral George A. Converse, commander of the Bureau of Navigation (BuNav) from 1905 to 1906, reported:

[W]ith each year that passes the need is painfully apparent for a military administrative authority under the secretary, whose purpose would be to initiate and direct the steps necessary to carry out the Department’s policy, and to coordinate the work of the bureaus and direct their energies toward the effective preparation of the fleet for war.[13]

However, reorganization attempts were opposed by Congress due to fears of a Prussian-style general staff and inadvertently increasing the powers of the Navy secretary, which risked infringing on legislative authority.[14] Senator Eugene Hale, chairman of the Senate Committee on Naval Affairs, disliked reformers like Sims[15] and persistently blocked attempts to bring such ideas to debate.[8]

To circumvent the opposition, George von Lengerke Meyer, Secretary of the Navy under William Howard Taft implemented a system of "aides" on 18 November 1909.[14][16] These aides lacked command authority and instead served as principal advisors to the Navy secretary.[14] The aide for operations was deemed by Meyer to be the most important one, responsible for devoting "his entire attention and study to the operations of the fleet,"[17] and drafting orders for the movement of ships on the advice of the General Board and approval of the secretary in times of war or emergency.[17]

The successes of Meyer's first operations aide, Rear Admiral Richard Wainwright,[18] factored into Meyer's decision to make his third operations aide, Rear Admiral Bradley A. Fiske his de facto principal advisor on 10 February 1913.[19] Fiske retained his post under Meyer's successor, Josephus Daniels, becoming the most prominent advocate for what would become the office of CNO.[20]

Creating the position of Chief of Naval Operations (1915)

Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

In 1914, Fiske, frustrated at Daniels' ambivalence towards his opinion that the Navy was unprepared for the possibility of entry into World War I, bypassed the secretary to collaborate with Representative Richmond P. Hobson, a retired Navy admiral, to draft legislation providing for the office of "a chief of naval operations".[21] The preliminary proposal (passed off as Hobson's own to mask Fiske's involvement), in spite of Daniels' opposition, passed Hobson's subcommittee unanimously on 4 January 1915,[21] and passed the full House Committee on Naval Affairs on 6 January.[22]

Fiske's younger supporters expected him to be named the first chief of naval operations,[23] and his versions of the bill provided for the minimum rank of the officeholder to be a two-star rear admiral.[23]

There shall be a Chief of Naval Operations, who shall be an officer on the active list of the Navy not below the grade of Rear Admiral, appointed for a term of four years by the President, by and with the advice of the Senate, who, under the Secretary of the Navy, shall be responsible for the readiness of the Navy for war and be charged with its general direction.[23]

— Fiske's version of the bill

In contrast, Daniels' version, included in the final bill, emphasized the office's subordination to the Navy secretary, allowed for the selection of the CNO from officers of the rank of captain, and denied it authority over the Navy's general direction:[23]

There shall be a Chief of Naval Operations, who shall be an officer on the active list of the Navy appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, from the officers of the line of the Navy not below the grade of Captain for a period of four years, who shall, under the direction of the Secretary, be charged with the operations of the fleet, and with the preparation and readiness of plans for its use in war.[23]

— Daniels' version of the bill

Fiske's "end-running" of Daniels eliminated any possibility of him being named the first CNO.[23] Nevertheless, satisfied with the change he had helped enact, Fiske made a final contribution: elevating the statutory rank of the CNO to admiral with commensurate pay.[23][24] The Senate passed the appropriations bill creating the CNO position and its accompanying office on 3 March 1915, simultaneously abolishing the aides system promulgated under Meyer.[25]

Benson, the first CNO (1915–1919)

Admiral William S. Benson, chief of naval operations (seated), relaxes at Pruyn's Home, Lower Saranac Lake, New York, c. Sept. 1918. With him are Commander Charles Belknap Jr. (left), and his aide, Commander Worral R. Carter (right).

Captain William S. Benson was promoted to the temporary rank of rear admiral and became the first CNO on 11 May 1915.[25] He further assumed the rank of admiral after the passage of the 1916 Naval Appropriations Bill with Fiske's amendments,[24] second only to Admiral of the Navy George Dewey and explicitly senior to the commanders-in-chief of the Atlantic, Pacific and Asiatic Fleets.[26]

Unlike Fiske, who had campaigned for a powerful, aggressive CNO sharing authority with the Navy secretary,[25] Benson demonstrated personal loyalty to Secretary Daniels and subordinated himself to civilian control, yet maintained the CNO's autonomy where necessary.[27][28] While alienating reformers like Sims and Fiske (who retired in 1916), Benson's conduct gave Daniels immense trust in his new CNO, and Benson was delegated greater resources and authority.[28][29]


Among the organizational efforts initiated or recommended by Benson included an advisory council to coordinate high-level staff activities,[30] composed of himself, the SECNAV and the bureau chiefs which "worked out to the great satisfaction" of Daniels and Benson;[30] the reestablishment of the Joint Army and Navy Board in 1918 with Benson as its Navy member;[31][30] and the consolidation of all matters of naval aviation under the authority of the CNO.[30]

Benson also revamped the structure of the naval districts,[30] transferring authority for them from SECNAV to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations under the Operations, Plans, Naval Districts division.[32] This enabled closer cooperation between naval district commanders and the uniformed leadership, who could more easily handle communications between the former and the Navy's fleet commanders.[32]

In the waning years of his tenure, Benson set regulations for officers on shore duty to have temporary assignments with the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations to maintain cohesion between the higher-level staff and the fleet.[33]

Establishing OPNAV

Organization of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations as of January 1916

Until 1916, the CNO's office was chronically understaffed.[34] The formal establishment of the CNO's "general staff", the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV), originally called the Office for Operations,[32] was exacerbated by Eugene Hale's retirement from politics in 1911,[35] and skepticism of whether the CNO's small staff could implement President Wilson's policy of "preparedness" without violating American neutrality in World War I.[32]

By June 1916, OPNAV was organized into eight divisions: Operations, Plans, Naval Districts;[32] Regulations;[32] Ship Movements;[32] Communications;[32] Publicity;[32] and Materiel.[32] Operations provided a link between fleet commanders and the General Board, Ship Movements coordinated the movement of Navy vessels and oversaw navy yard overhauls, Communications accounted for the Navy's developing radio network, Publicity conducted the Navy's public affairs, and the Materiel section coordinated the work of the naval bureaus.[32]

Numbering only 75 staffers in January 1917,[36] OPNAV increased in size following the American entry into World War I, as it was deemed of great importance to manage the rapid mobilization of forces to fight in the war.[37] By war's end, OPNAV employed over 1462 people.[38] The CNO and OPNAV thus gained influence over Navy administration but at the expense of the Navy secretary and bureau chiefs.[37]

Advisor to the president

Edward M. House, also known as the Colonel House, was a close advisor to President Woodrow Wilson, who helped him elevat the CNO's stature.

In 1918, Benson became a military advisor to Edward M. House, an advisor and confidant of President Wilson,[38] joining him on a trip to Europe as the 1918 armistice with Germany was signed.[38] His stance that the United States remain equal to Great Britain in naval power was very useful to House and Wilson, enough for Wilson to insist Benson remain in Europe until after the Treaty of Versailles was signed in July 1919.[38]

End of tenure

Benson's tenure as CNO was slated to end on 10 May 1919, but this was delayed by the president at Secretary Daniels' insistence;[39] Benson instead retired on 25 September 1919.[40] Admiral Robert Coontz replaced Benson as CNO on 1 November 1919.

Interwar period (1919–1939)

The CNO's office faced no significant changes in authority during the interwar period, largely due to the Navy secretaries opting to keep executive authority within their own office. Innovations during this period included encouraging coordination in war planning process, and compliance with the Washington Naval Treaty[41][42] while still keeping to the shipbuilding plan authorized by the Naval Act of 1916.[43] and implementing the concept of naval aviation into naval doctrine.

CNO Pratt, relationship with the General Board and Army-Navy relations

CNO Pratt (right) with Admiral Frank H. Schofield (left) aboard the Tennessee-class battleship USS California (BB-44) in February 1931

William V. Pratt became the fifth Chief of Naval Operations on 17 September 1930, after the resignation of Charles F. Hughes.[44] He had previously served as assistant chief of naval operations under CNO Benson.[45] A premier naval policymaker and supporter of arms control under the Washington Naval Treaty, Pratt, despite otherwise good relations, clashed with President Herbert Hoover over building up naval force strength to treaty levels,[46] with Hoover favoring restrictions in spending due to financial difficulties caused by the Great Depression.[47] Under Pratt, such a "treaty system" was needed to maintain a compliant peacetime navy.[46]

Pratt opposed centralized management of the Navy, and encouraged diversity of opinion between the offices of the Navy secretary, CNO and the Navy's General Board.[48] To this effect, Pratt removed the CNO as an ex officio member of the General Board,[48] concerned that the office's association with the Board could hamper diversities of opinion between the former and counterparts within the offices of the Navy secretary and OPNAV.[48] Pratt's vision of a less powerful CNO also clashed with Representative Carl Vinson of Georgia, chair of the House Naval Affairs Committee from 1931 to 1947, a proponent of centralizing power within OPNAV.[49] Vinson deliberately delayed many of his planned reorganization proposals until Pratt's replacement by William H. Standley to avoid the unnecessary delays that would otherwise have happened with Pratt.[49]

Pratt also enjoyed a good working relationship with Army chief of staff Douglas MacArthur, and negotiated several key agreements with him over coordinating their services' radio communications networks, mutual interests in coastal defense, and authority over Army and Navy aviation.[50]

CNO Standley and the Vinson-Trammell act

William H. Standley (sitting) poses for his last photograph as Chief of Naval Operations on the day of his retirement, 29 December 1936.

William H. Standley, who succeeded Pratt in 1933, had a weaker relationship with President Franklin D. Roosevelt than Pratt enjoyed with Hoover.[49] Often in direct conflict with Navy secretary Claude A. Swanson and assistant secretary Henry L. Roosevelt, Standley's hostility to the latter was described as "poisonous".[49]

Conversely, Standley successfully improved relations with Congress, streamlining communications between the Department of the Navy and the naval oversight committees by appointing the first naval legislative liaisons, the highest-ranked of which reported to the judge advocate general.[51] Standley also worked with Representative Vinson to pass the Vinson-Trammell Act, considered by Standley to be his most important achievement as CNO. The Act authorized the President:

“to suspend” construction of the ships authorized by the law “as may be necessary to bring the naval armament of the United States within the limitation so agreed upon, except that such suspension shall not apply to vessels actually under construction on the date of the passage of this act.[52]

This effectively provided security for all Navy vessels under construction; even if new shipbuilding projects could not be initiated, shipbuilders with new classes under construction could not legally be obliged to cease operations, allowing the Navy to prepare for World War II without breaking potential limits from future arms control conferences.[52] The Act also granted the CNO "soft oversight power" of the naval bureaus which nominally lay with the secretary of the Navy,[53] as Standley gradually inserted OPNAV into the ship design process.[53] Under Standley, the "treaty system" created by Pratt was abandoned.[47]

CNO Leahy

CNO Leahy and outgoing CNO Standley shake hands after Leahy is sworn in on 2 January 1937.

Outgoing commander, Battle Force William D. Leahy succeeded Standley as CNO on 2 January 1937.[54] Leahy's close personal friendship with President Roosevelt since his days as Navy assistant secretary, as well as good relationships with Representative Vinson and Secretary Swanson[55] brought him to the forefront of potential candidates for the post.[56] Unlike Standley, who tried to dominate the bureaus, Leahy preferred to let the bureau chiefs function autonomously as per convention, with the CNO acting as a primus inter pares.[57][58] Leahy's views of the CNO's authority led to clashes with his predecessor; Standley even attempted to block Leahy from being assigned a fleet command in retaliation.[55] Leahy, on his part, continued Standley's efforts to insert the CNO into the ship design process.[56]

Swanson's ill health and assistant secretary Henry Roosevelt's death on 22 February 1936 gave Leahy unprecedented influence.[59] Leahy had private lunches with the President frequently; during his tenure as CNO, Roosevelt had 52 meetings with him, compared with 12 with his Army counterpart, General Malin Craig, none of which were private lunches.

Leahy retired from the Navy on 1 August 1939 to become Governor of Puerto Rico, a month before the invasion of Poland.[60]

Official residence

Number One Observatory Circle, located on the northeast grounds of the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, was built in 1893 for its superintendent. The chief of naval operations liked the house so much that in 1923 he took over the house as his own official residence. It remained the residence of the CNO until 1974, when Congress authorized its transformation to an official residence for the vice president.[61] The chief of naval operations currently resides in Quarters A in the Washington Naval Yard.

Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

See also: Structure of the United States Navy § Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

Organizational chart of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV)

The chief of naval operations presides over the Navy Staff, formally known as the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV).[62][63] The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations is a statutory organization within the executive part of the Department of the Navy, and its purpose is to furnish professional assistance to the secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) and the CNO in carrying out their responsibilities.[64][65]

Under the authority of the CNO, the director of the Navy Staff (DNS) is responsible for day-to-day administration of the Navy Staff and coordination of the activities of the deputy chiefs of naval operations, who report directly to the CNO.[66] The office was previously known as the assistant vice chief of naval operations (AVCNO) until 1996,[67] when CNO Jeremy Boorda ordered its redesignation to its current name.[67] Previously held by a three-star vice admiral, the position became a civilian's billet in 2018. The present DNS is Andrew S. Haueptle, a retired Marine Corps colonel.[68]

List of chiefs of naval operations

(† - died in office)

Aide for Naval Operations (historical predecessor office)

No. Portrait Aide for Naval Operations Took office Left office Time in office Secretaries of the Navy
Richard Wainwright
Wainwright, RichardRear Admiral
Richard Wainwright
3 December 190912 December 19112 years, 9 daysGeorge von Lengerke Meyer
Charles E. Vreeland
Vreeland, CharlesRear Admiral
Charles E. Vreeland
12 December 191111 February 1913[69]1 year, 61 daysGeorge von Lengerke Meyer
Bradley A. Fiske
Fiske, BradleyRear Admiral
Bradley A. Fiske
11 February 19131 April 19152 years, 49 daysGeorge von Lengerke Meyer
Josephus Daniels

Chiefs of Naval Operations

No. Portrait Name Term Background Secretaries served under: Ref.
Took office Left office Duration Navy Defense
William S. Benson
Benson, WilliamAdmiral
William S. Benson
11 May 191525 September 19194 years, 137 daysBattleshipsJosephus Daniels[70]
(25 September 1919 – 1 November 1919)
Robert E. Coontz
Coontz, RobertAdmiral
Robert E. Coontz
1 November 191921 July 19233 years, 262 daysBattleshipsJosephus Daniels
Edwin C. Denby
Edward W. Eberle
Eberle, Edward WalterAdmiral
Edward W. Eberle
21 July 192314 November 19274 years, 116 daysBattleshipsEdwin C. Denby
Curtis D. Wilbur
Charles F. Hughes
Hughes, Charles FrederickAdmiral
Charles F. Hughes
14 November 192717 September 1930
3 years, 3 daysBattleshipsCurtis D. Wilbur
Charles F. Adams III
William V. Pratt
Pratt, William VeazieAdmiral
William V. Pratt
17 September 193030 June 19332 years, 286 daysBattleshipsCharles F. Adams III
Claude A. Swanson
William H. Standley
Standley, William HarrisonAdmiral
William H. Standley
1 July 19331 January 19373 years, 184 daysBattleshipsClaude A. Swanson[70]
William D. Leahy
Leahy, WilliamAdmiral
William D. Leahy
2 January 19371 August 19392 years, 211 daysBattleshipsClaude A. Swanson
Charles Edison
Harold R. Stark
Stark, Harold RainsfordAdmiral
Harold R. Stark
1 August 19392 March 1942
2 years, 213 daysBattleships/Cruisers-DestroyersCharles Edison
Frank Knox
Ernest J. King
King, Ernest JosephFleet Admiral
Ernest J. King
2 March 194215 December 19453 years, 288 daysAviationFrank Knox
James Forrestal
Chester W. Nimitz
Nimitz, ChesterFleet Admiral
Chester W. Nimitz
15 December 194515 December 19472 years, 0 daysSubmarinesJames Forrestal
John L. Sullivan
James Forrestal
(from Sep. 1947)
Louis E. Denfeld
Denfeld, Louis EmilAdmiral
Louis E. Denfeld
15 December 19472 November 1949
1 year, 322 daysSubmarinesJohn L. Sullivan
Francis P. Matthews
James Forrestal
Louis A. Johnson
Forrest P. Sherman
Sherman, Forrest PercivalAdmiral
Forrest P. Sherman
2 November 194922 July 1951 †1 year, 262 daysBattleships/Cruisers-DestroyersFrancis P. MatthewsLouis A. Johnson
George C. Marshall
Lynde D. McCormick
McCormick, LyndeAdmiral
Lynde D. McCormick
22 July 195116 August 195125 daysBattleships/Cruisers-DestroyersFrancis P. Matthews
Dan A. Kimball
George C. Marshall[70]
William M. Fechteler
Fechteler, WilliamAdmiral
William M. Fechteler
16 August 195117 August 19532 years, 1 dayBattleships/Cruisers-DestroyersDan A. Kimball
Robert B. Anderson
George C. Marshall
Robert A. Lovett
Robert B. Carney
Carney, RobertAdmiral
Robert B. Carney
17 August 195317 August 19552 years, 0 daysBattleships/Cruisers-DestroyersRobert B. Anderson
Charles S. Thomas
Charles Erwin Wilson[70]
Arleigh A. Burke
Burke, Arleigh AlbertAdmiral
Arleigh A. Burke
17 August 19551 August 19615 years, 349 daysCruisers-DestroyersCharles S. Thomas
Thomas S. Gates Jr.
William B. Franke
John Connally
Charles Erwin Wilson
Neil H. McElroy
Thomas S. Gates Jr.
Robert McNamara
George W. Anderson Jr.
Anderson, George Whelan Jr.Admiral
George W. Anderson Jr.
1 August 19611 August 1963
2 years, 0 daysAviationJohn Connally
Fred Korth
Robert McNamara[70]
David L. McDonald
McDonald, DavidAdmiral
David L. McDonald
1 August 19631 August 19674 years, 0 daysAviationFred Korth
Paul Nitze
Robert McNamara[70]
Thomas H. Moorer
Moorer, Thomas HinmanAdmiral
Thomas H. Moorer
1 August 19671 July 1970[b]2 years, 334 daysAviationPaul R. Ignatius
John Chafee
Robert McNamara
Clark Clifford
Melvin Laird
Elmo R. Zumwalt
Zumwalt, ElmoAdmiral
Elmo R. Zumwalt
1 July 197029 June 19743 years, 363 daysCruisers-DestroyersJohn Chafee
John Warner
J. William Middendorf
Melvin Laird
Elliot Richardson
James R. Schlesinger
James L. Holloway III
Holloway, JamesAdmiral
James L. Holloway III
29 June 1974[c]1 July 19784 years, 2 daysAviationJ. William Middendorf
W. Graham Claytor Jr.
James R. Schlesinger
Donald Rumsfeld
Harold Brown
Thomas B. Hayward
Hayward, Thomas BibbAdmiral
Thomas B. Hayward
1 July 197830 June 19823 years, 364 daysAviationW. Graham Claytor Jr.
Edward Hidalgo
John Lehman
Harold Brown
Caspar Weinberger
James D. Watkins
Watkins, JamesAdmiral
James D. Watkins
30 June 198230 June 19864 years, 0 daysSubmarinesJohn LehmanCaspar Weinberger[70]
Carlisle A.H. Trost
Trost, CarlisleAdmiral
Carlisle A.H. Trost
1 July 198629 June 19903 years, 363 daysSubmarinesJohn Lehman
Jim Webb
William L. Ball
Henry L. Garrett III
Caspar Weinberger
Frank Carlucci
Dick Cheney
Frank B. Kelso II
Kelso, FrankAdmiral
Frank B. Kelso II
29 June 199023 April 19943 years, 298 daysSubmarinesHenry L. Garrett III
Sean O'Keefe
John H. Dalton
Dick Cheney
Les Aspin
William J. Perry
Jeremy M. Boorda
Boorda, Jeremy MichaelAdmiral
Jeremy M. Boorda
23 April 199416 May 1996 †2 years, 23 daysCruisers-DestroyersJohn H. DaltonWilliam J. Perry[70]
[a] Admiral
Jay L. Johnson
(born 1946)
16 May 1996 2 August 1996 78 days Aviation John H. Dalton
Richard Danzig
William J. Perry
William Cohen
26 2 August 1996 21 July 2000 3 years, 354 days [70]
Vernon E. Clark
Clark, VernonAdmiral
Vernon E. Clark
(born 1944)
21 July 200022 July 20055 years, 1 dayCruisers-DestroyersRichard Danzig
Gordon R. England
William Cohen
Donald Rumsfeld
Michael G. Mullen
Mullen, MichaelAdmiral
Michael G. Mullen
(born 1946)
22 July 200529 September 2007[b]2 years, 130 daysCruisers-DestroyersGordon R. England
Donald C. Winter
Donald Rumsfeld
Robert Gates
Gary Roughead
Roughead, GaryAdmiral
Gary Roughead
(born 1951)
29 September 200723 September 20113 years, 359 daysCruisers-DestroyersDonald C. Winter
Ray Mabus
Robert Gates
Leon Panetta
Jonathan W. Greenert
Greenert, JonathanAdmiral
Jonathan W. Greenert
(born 1953)
23 September 2011[c]18 September 20153 years, 360 daysSubmarinesRay MabusLeon Panetta
Chuck Hagel
Ash Carter
John M. Richardson
Richardson, JohnAdmiral
John M. Richardson
(born 1960)
18 September 201522 August 20193 years, 338 daysSubmarinesRay Mabus
Richard V. Spencer
Ash Carter
Jim Mattis
Michael M. Gilday
Gilday, MichaelAdmiral
Michael M. Gilday
(born 1962)
22 August 201914 August 20233 years, 357 daysCruisers-Destroyers/CyberspaceRichard V. Spencer
Kenneth Braithwaite
Carlos Del Toro
Mark Esper
Lloyd Austin
[a] Admiral
Lisa M. Franchetti
(born 1964)
14 August 2023 2 November 2023 80 days Cruisers-Destroyers Carlos Del Toro Lloyd Austin [77]
33 2 November 2023 Incumbent 246 days [1]


Lisa FranchettiMichael M. GildayJohn M. Richardson (admiral)Jonathan W. GreenertGary RougheadMichael MullenVern ClarkJay L. JohnsonMichael BoordaFrank KelsoCarlisle TrostJames D. WatkinsThomas B. HaywardJames L. Holloway IIIElmo ZumwaltThomas Hinman MoorerDavid L. McDonaldGeorge W. Anderson Jr.Arleigh BurkeRobert B. CarneyWilliam M. FechtelerForrest ShermanLouis E. DenfeldChester W. NimitzErnest J. KingHarold R. StarkWilliam D. LeahyWilliam Harrison StandleyWilliam V. PrattCharles Frederick HughesEdward W. EberleRobert E. CoontzWilliam S. Benson

See also


  1. ^ a b "SECNAV Del Toro Statement on the Swearing-In of Adm. Lisa Franchetti as 33rd Chief of Naval Operations". DVIDS. Washington, D. C.: Office of the Secretary of the Navy. 2 November 2023. Retrieved 3 November 2023. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ a b "Chief of Naval Operations". United States Navy. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "10 USC 5033. Chief of Naval Operations". Retrieved 24 September 2007.
  4. ^ "10 USC 5035. Vice Chief of Naval Operations". Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  5. ^ a b "10 USC 5013(f). Secretary of the Navy".
  6. ^ "10 USC 165. Combatant commands: administration and support".
  7. ^ "10 USC 5033. Chief of Naval Operations". Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  8. ^ a b Hone & Utz, p. 3.
  9. ^ J. A. S. Grenville. Diplomacy and War Plans in the United States, 1890–1917. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Fifth Series, Vol. 11, (1961), pp. 1–21. Published by: Royal Historical Society
  10. ^ Hone & Utz, p. 6-7.
  11. ^ Hone & Utz, p. 5.
  12. ^ Hone & Utz, p. 8.
  13. ^ Hone & Utz, p. 7-8.
  14. ^ a b c Hone & Utz, p. 10.
  15. ^ Hone & Utz, p. 9.
  16. ^ "Navy - Chief of Naval Operations". International Military Digest. 1 (1): 68. June 1915.
  17. ^ a b Hone & Utz, p. 11.
  18. ^ "The Chiefs of Naval Operations and Admiral's House, Volume 2". 1969. p. 11.
  19. ^ Hone & Utz, p. 12: On 10 February 1913, with just three weeks remaining to the Taft presidency, Meyer appointed Rear Admiral Bradley A. Fiske his Aide for Operations, and he "made the Aide for Operations his liaison man with all the offices and bureaus of the department.".
  20. ^ Hone & Utz, p. 13.
  21. ^ a b Hone & Utz, p. 14.
  22. ^ Hone & Utz, p. 14-15.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Hone & Utz, p. 15.
  24. ^ a b Hone & Utz, p. 32.
  25. ^ a b c Hone & Utz, p. 25.
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  1. ^ a b c In capacity as Vice Chief of Naval Operations.
  2. ^ a b Appointed as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  3. ^ a b Served prior as Vice Chief of Naval Operations.