Admiral Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations

Admiral Mike Gilday

Chief of Naval Operations

Michael Martin Gilday was born in October 1962 in Lowell, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He also graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School and the Naval War College.

A surface warfare officer, GIlday’s tours include duty with USS Chandler, USS Princeton, as well as commanding the USS Higgins and USS Benfold and Destroyer Squadron 7.  He saw action in the Gulf War.

He has held staff assignments on the Bureau of Naval Personnel and Vice Chief of Naval Operations. His joint assignments include Naval Aide to the President and executive assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Gilday served as Director of Operations for NATO’S Joint Force Command in Lisbon and Director of Operations for United States Cyber Command. He was nominated for appointment as Chief of Naval Operations in 2019, confirmed unanimously by the Senate, awarded a fourth star, and assumed his position in September 2019.

In the News…

A weapons-grade laser was fired by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy at a United States P-8A reconnaissance aircraft in the Philippine Sea last month. In response, the Navy issued a warning on Instagram, saying, “You don’t want to play laser tag with us.”

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday confirmed that the U.S. government had issued a formal protest in response to the incident.

The laser, which was not visible to the naked eye, was captured by a sensor onboard the P-8A. Weapons-grade lasers could potentially cause serious harm to aircrew and mariners, as well as ship and aircraft systems, according to the Pacific Fleet.

“The U.S. government démarched China,” Admiral Gilday said, referencing a diplomatic or political maneuver or protest through diplomatic channels. “It’s the first time we saw it happen from that type of PLA ship. We do have protective gear onboard for our pilots, and importantly they’re also trained to deal with it.”


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