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Jul 21, 2023, 3:50pm EDT
securityNorth America

Biden nominates first woman to lead the Navy

U.S. Navy Photo
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The News

President Joe Biden has tapped Admiral Lisa Franchetti to head the U.S. Navy. If confirmed, she will be the first woman to lead the Navy as well as the first to become a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — a group of the most senior uniformed leaders within the Department of Defense.

She has been the Vice Chief of Operations for the Navy since April 2022.

We’ve curated insights and reporting on Franchetti’s track record and experience serving as a woman in the military.

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Insights

  • Administration officials said that Biden chose Franchetti based on her extensive experience at sea and ashore. The 59-year-old has commanded at all levels within the Navy –– including heading the U.S. Naval Forces in Korea and the U.S. 6th fleet in Naples, Italy, where she managed operations across the U.S. Africa, Europe, and Central Commands, and had a “front-row seat” to the region’s renewed great power competition stemming from the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia and subsequent 2018 conflict in eastern Ukraine. — Defense News
  • “There’s no one better prepared to be the 33rd CNO,” Harry Harris, the former U.S. Pacific Command Chief and Ambassador to South Korea said, citing Franchetti’s operational experience leading destroyer squadrons and carrier strike groups. Her track record, he said, gives her all the “operational bona fides” to lead the Navy. — Breaking Defense
  • In a March interview with the highest-ranking women in the U.S. military on CBS News, Franchetti recalled how, during her first deployment in the U.S. military in the 1980s, a commanding officer of her ship told her that he didn’t want women abroad and “was going to make sure I didn’t succeed.” She said, “I just worked harder and made sure that what he wanted to happen, wouldn’t happen.” Franchetti acknowledged that she was lucky it was the only time she faced discrimination in the military because of her gender. Women make up 20.5% of the Navy, according to recent DOD data.
  • Her nomination is one of hundred military moves that are being held up by Alabama’s Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville. In response to the Pentagon’s decision to pay for service members to go out of state to get an abortion and other reproductive care, Tuberville blocked the process of confirming military officers, leaving the Senate with the tedious process of voting on each individual nomination –– which could take two to three days per person. — The Associated Press
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