WASHINGTON — Adm. Michael M. Gilday succeeded Adm. John M. Richardson as the chief of naval operations in ceremonies Aug. 22 at the Washington Navy Yard.
Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer, who presided over the ceremonies, praised Gilday.
“As Adm. Richardson begins his well-deserved retirement, I know he’s leaving feeling secure and able to sleep at night because Adm. Mike Gilday is assuming the tiller as 32nd chief of naval operations,” Spencer said.
“Adm. Gilday has already played a critical role in restoring readiness, and he is well-positioned to take over our integrated naval force as we march into the future. Just look at those shoulders, ladies and gentlemen. There is a mantle for some heavy weight and gravity.”
“From his distinguished commands at sea to his cooperation with NATO allies to confront the great power competition to his innovation of Cyber Command, Adm. Gilday has demonstrated what an outstanding leader and officer he is,” Spencer added. “His most recent as director of the Joint Staff has given visibility into the challenges he will now face. It’s a unique transition in that regard. I am confident he will attack this responsibility with the urgency that I continually beat on the drum for the United States Navy. We can achieve our next-generation integrated naval force we need under his command. Of that I am sure.”
Spencer also praised the service of Richardson.
“I could not have asked for a better business partner,” Spencer said. “Wearing the Title 10 hat that I do, that is the highest compliment I can pay John Richardson. He has done more for this Navy to put us in a ready lethal position than many before. No effort was too great, no detail too small, as he really did help us navigate the rocks and shoals to deliver the Navy the nation needs. … He has embraced emerging technologies, he has pushed this Navy forward on its front feet, to be faster, quicker to deliver what our Sailors and Marines need.”
Richardson also praised his successor, saying that 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 cyberwarfare arena and the increasing pace of competition in new domains. 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 Adm. Gilday at the helm.”
Gilday spoke briefly and praised the direction of the Navy set under Richardson.
“I believe our Navy’s strategic direction is rock solid and that our Navy is in great shape,” he said. “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.”
As the Navy’s most senior officer, Gilday also is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he “acts as an adviser to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council and the Secretary of Defense,” an Aug. 22 Navy release said. “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.”