Moran Becomes First Naval Aviator to Be Nominated for CNO in Two Decades
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Senior Editor
ARLINTON, Virginia — Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan announced April 11 that President Trump has nominated Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran as the 32nd chief of naval operations.
If confirmed by the Senate, Moran would be the first naval aviator to become the Navy’s top officer since Adm. Jay L. Johnson was confirmed in 1996. Johnson served as CNO from 1996 until 2000. In the years since, there have been three surface warfare officers and then two submariners to serve as CNO, according to a release from the Navy.
Moran, a native of Newburg, New York, also would be the first CNO since Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, who served from 1967 to 1970, to have been a patrol plane pilot. Moorer flew PBY Catalina aircraft during World War II. Moran is a P-3 Orion pilot.
Moran served in Patrol Squadron 44 (VP-44) in Brunswick, Maine, and twice as an instructor pilot in VP-30 in Jacksonville, Florida. He commanded VP-46 and later Patrol Reconnaissance Wing Two in Hawaii. He also served on the staff of commander, Carrier Group 6 aboard USS Forrestal (CVA-59).
“As a flag officer, he has served as commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group; director, Air Warfare (N98) on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations; and most recently as the 57th chief of naval personnel,” according to his official biography. “Ashore, he served as executive assistant to the chief of naval operations; executive assistant to Commander, U.S. Pacific Command; deputy director, Navy staff; and assistant Washington placement officer and assistant flag officer detailer in the Bureau of Naval Personnel.
Current CNO Adm. John M. Richardson said he is “thrilled with this announcement. Adm. Bill Moran is an amazing leader and good friend,” according to the Navy release. “He has been central to the Navy adopting a fighting stance in this Great Power Competition. As I turn over and go ashore, I will rest easy knowing that, pending confirmation, Adm. Moran has the watch.”
Moran graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981 and a master's from the National War College in 2006.