WASHINGTON -- Adm. Mike Gilday relieved Adm. John Richardson as the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) in a ceremony, Aug. 22, at the Washington Navy Yard.
Gilday became the 32nd CNO, the U.S. Navy's most senior officer. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CNO acts as an advisor to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense. Under direction of the Secretary of the Navy, the CNO is responsible for the command, utilization of resources, and operating efficiency of naval forces and shore activities assigned by the Secretary.
The Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer acted as the presiding officer and guest speaker at the ceremony. In his speech, Spencer focused on the Navy's many accomplishments during Richardson's tenure.
“The Sailors serving this nation are constantly on Adm. Richardson’s mind and close to his heart. As much as Adm. Richardson has done for our capabilities and processes, he’s done more for our people. Thanks to his efforts, the men and women of the U.S. Navy are safer, better prepared, and better commanded while standing watch around the world.”
Before concluding, Spencer spoke about the future of the Navy.
“Adm. Gilday has already played a critical role in restoring our readiness and lethality, and he’s well positioned to help take our integrated naval force into the next decade.”
During the ceremony, Gilday spoke about the status of the Navy and what he sees in the service’s future.
“I believe our Navy’s strategic direction is rock solid and that our Navy is in great shape,” said Gilday. “We are recruiting and retaining a high-quality force, we are providing well trained combat-ready forces forward, around the globe. We are modernizing our Navy at a scope and pace not seen in decades. I can say all that, in large part, due to the leadership of our 31st CNO.”
Gilday also thanked Richardson and his family for their service throughout the years.
“Admiral and Mrs. Richardson – John and Dana – thanks for your nearly four decades of selfless service,” said Gilday. “You have given so much – and accomplished so much – all of it quietly and humbly, yet so effectively.”
In his speech, Richardson thanked his family, friends, those who served with him during his 37-year tenure, as well as the men and women serving in the Navy.
"The Navy has given so much to me and my family,” said Richardson. “Most important has been the chance to be part of a noble institution, working with honorable and talented people. Dana and I are so grateful for a lifetime of working shoulder-to-shoulder with the Navy team."
Richardson also praised Gilday and spoke about some of his accomplishments.
“Admiral Gilday is a true cutting edge warfighter, a surface warrior who, by virtue of his leadership at 10th Fleet, fully appreciates the challenges we face in the cyber warfare arena and the increasing pace of competition in new domains,” said Richardson. “His experience as the director of the Joint Staff will ensure that the Navy continues to look for every opportunity to collaborate with other services, allies, and partners around the world. The Navy will be in good hands with Admiral Gilday at the helm.”