- Franchetti, who is currently the vice chief of operations for the Navy, was among the candidates believed to be in the running for the position
- In a statement, Biden noted Franchetti’s 38 years of experience
WASHINGTON (Agencies): President Joe Biden on Friday nominated Admiral Lisa Franchetti to lead the Navy, a move that would break a gender barrier in the US military by making her the first woman to command the Navy and to become a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The decision by Biden is a surprise. Pentagon officials had widely expected the nomination to go to Admiral Samuel Paparo, who leads the Navy in the Pacific and who has experience grappling with the growing challenge from China.
Still, Franchetti, who is currently the vice chief of operations for the Navy, was among the candidates believed to be in the running for the position.
In a statement, Biden noted Franchetti’s 38 years of experience.
“Throughout her career, Admiral Franchetti has demonstrated extensive expertise in both the operational and policy arenas,” Biden said in a statement, noting that she was just the second woman ever to achieve the rank of four-star admiral in the US Navy.
Franchetti is not the first woman to lead a branch of the US military. Last year, Biden picked Admiral Linda Fagan to lead the US Coast Guard.
But the coast guard is not formally part of the Department of Defense (DoD), and instead falls under the Department of Homeland Security. Franchetti would become the first woman to lead a military service at DoD as its chief.