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The First Woman to Lead the U.S. Navy

With an impressive resume and a long-time commitment to the U.S. Navy, it’s no wonder that Admiral Lisa Franchetti was nominated and assigned as the Chief of Naval Operations. In November, Franchetti was sworn in as the 33rd Chief of Naval Operations at a small ceremony in the Pentagon. She is the first woman to lead the U.S. Navy in its history. According to the BBC, this is also the first time that a woman was nominated to head a Pentagon military service branch. She was voted into the position on a 95-1 vote.

“I am honored to have been confirmed as the 33rd Chief of Naval Operations, and am proud to serve alongside the Sailors and civilians that make up our Navy team,” Franchetti said. “I look forward to continuing to lead the world’s most powerful Navy.”

Franchetti has served with the U.S. Navy in some capacity for nearly 40 years. A native of Rochester, New York, Franchetti received her commission in 1985 through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Program at Northwestern University. From there, Franchetti went on to serve on several operational tours, including as an auxiliary’s officer and first division officer on USS Shenandoah; navigator and jumboization coordinator onboard USS Monongahela; operations officer on USS Moosbrugger; combat systems officer and chief staff officer for Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 2; executive officer of USS Stout and assistant surface operations officer on USS George Washington Strike Group. She also commanded several ships of her own, most notably serving as the commander of Pacific Partnership 2010, embarked on the USNS Mercy.

In her flag assignments, she served as a commander for U.S. Naval Forces Korea; commander, Carrier Strike Group 9; commander, Carrier Strike Group 15; chief of staff, Strategy, Plans and Policy (J-5) Joint Staff; commander, U.S. 6th Fleet; commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO; deputy commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa; deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Development, N7 and director for Strategy, Plans and Policy (J-5), Joint Staff. Most recently, Franchetti assumed the role of Vice Chief of Naval Operations which she held for a little over a year.

Her service has also earned Franchetti some of the highest military honors. These include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with four gold award stars, the National Defense Service Medal and many others.

Upon swearing into her historic role, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said of Franchetti:

“It was my honor today to swear in Adm. Lisa M. Franchetti as the 33rd Chief of Naval Operations. I have the utmost confidence that [she] will faithfully fulfill the duties of this esteemed position. I look forward to working with her to lead our Force into the future as we continue to strengthen our maritime dominance, build a culture of warfighting excellence and enhance strategic partnerships.”

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