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Report: Vice Adm. Michael Gilday Among Top Candidates for CNO Role

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Vice Adm. Michael Gilday

Vice Adm. Michael Gilday, director of the Joint Staff, has emerged as one of the top contenders for the role of chief of naval operations, Defense News reported Tuesday.

Sources said Gilday would bring his experience in cyber warfare to the role if he were to be nominated and confirmed. He is former head of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and 10th Fleet. Navy Secretary and 2019 Wash100 Award Richard Spencer considers recommending a three-star admiral for the CNO job, according to people familiar with the matter.

Spencer “is committed to quickly recommending a new CNO for nomination, and he will move to that decision urgently but deliberately,” said Cmdr. Sarah Higgins, a spokesperson for the secretary. “This position is one of importance and responsibility and as such it is necessary to ensure the right person is recommended. We will not share details of where the secretary is in the decision-making process.”

Adm. Bill Moran, who received Senate confirmation in May for the CNO position, announced this month his plan to retire and decision to decline his appointment to the role. The report noted that Adm. John Richardson will step down in September as CNO. Vice Adm. Robert Burke, vice CNO, could assume the role of acting CNO if the position remains unfilled by September.