Admiral Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations

Admiral Michael 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, and also graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School and the National War College.

At sea, he deployed with USS Chandler, USS Princeton, and USS Gettysburg. He commanded destroyers USS Higgins and USS Benfold. He subsequently commanded Destroyer Squadron 7, serving as sea combat commander for the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group. He deployed to the Gulf War.

As a flag officer, he served as commander Carrier Strike Group 8 embarked aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, and as commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and U.S. 10th Fleet.

Gilday’s staff assignments include the Bureau of Naval Personnel, staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, and staff of the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. He served as executive assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and naval aid to the president.

He served in joint positions as director of operations for NATO’s Joint Force Command Lisbon, as chief of staff for Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO, director of operations for U.S. Cyber Command, and as director of operations for the Joint Staff. He recently served as director, Joint Staff.

He began his service as the Chief of Naval Operations in August 2019.

In the News…

The Navy has faced criticism for its latest plan to decommission all of its Freedom-class littoral combat ships. The youngest ship, USS St. Louis was commissioned less than two years ago. 

“We should consider offering these ships to other countries that would be able to use them effectively,“ Admiral Michael Gilday said during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. 

“There are countries in South America, for example,… that would be able to use these ships that have small crews,” he said. 

The Freedom-class has been found to have a major flaw in a piece of equipment that transfers power from the ship’s engines to its water jets, leading to the decision to decommission the ships. Admiral Gilday acknowledged the equipment flaw but said the Navy had other reasons for decommissioning the ships. 

One key factor that Admiral Gilday and other Navy leaders have pointed to in the decision to get rid of the ships was that the anti-submarine warfare package that was developed for the ships did not work. 


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