An earlier version of this story referred to 67 U.S. Army general officer nominations when in fact these were 67 general officer job announcements. The Army typically only announces general officer job assignments.
The Pentagon in Fiscal Year 2019 has announced the nomination or assignment of a combined 256 general officers for the Air Force, Army and Marine Corps – and one Navy admiral.
While the other services have steadily publicly published their general officer job assignments or nominees since the start of the fiscal year, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Robert Burke has opted not to publicize this year’s Navy’s 57 flag officer nominations, including his proposed replacement, Rear Adm. John Nowell.
All branches of the military are required by law to submit their flag and general officer nominations to the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), which reviews the nominations and forwards those approved for presidential signature.
In tandem to the SASC notifications, the services traditionally notify the Pentagon’s press office of pending flag and general officer nominations, so the office can distribute the lists to a broader audience.
The Air Force and Marine Corps still provide the Pentagon’s press office with their general officer nominations and the Army provides the press office with its general officer job assignments. However, since October, Navy leadership made a conscious decision to not share their flag nominations with the Pentagon’s press office or with its own office of information.
Instead, the Navy is now relying on the Senate to announce its flag nominees, USNI News has learned. The Senate publishes all flag and general officer nominees on its website but does not distribute this information to the press or public in the same way the Pentagon press office does.
A SASC spokeswoman referred USNI News to the Navy when asked about public notification of flag nominees on Monday.
When asked about the change in policy regarding announcing flag nominations, Chief of Naval Personnel spokeswoman Capt. Amy Derrick told USNI News that “the Navy is currently reviewing the timing associated with the public notification process for all boards and assignments including Flag Officer nominations. In the interim, we continue to submit nominations to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for approval, who in turn, submits any selection(s) to the White House. Following Presidential approval, nominations are posted on the Senate website.”
The exception to the new policy was the December nomination of Vice Adm. James Malloy to command U.S. 5th Fleet after the death of the previous commander, Vice Adm. Scott Stearney. Malloy’s approval was faster than normal because of the special circumstances around the vacancy.
After Malloy’s announcement, the next Navy flag nomination submitted to the SASC was for Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s attending physician, to receive a second star. The White House submitted Jackson’s nomination to the SASC on Jan. 15, 2019, the first of what has become a wave of flag nominations to not be announced by the Pentagon. Last year, when Jackson was first nominated to receive a second star, the Pentagon issued a release on March 23, 2018.
After the 2018 nomination, Jackson was also briefly considered to serve as the secretary of Veterans Affairs but withdrew his nomination when his conduct as the president’s physician was closely scrutinized. The Senate did not act on Jackson’s Navy nomination for a second star before the legislative session ended, so, according to the SASC website, Jackson’s nomination was returned to the White House on Jan. 3, 2019.
On Jan. 30, the Navy nominated 52 more flag officers for promotion. The Pentagon did not issue any announcements for these either because Burke’s office did not provide the Pentagon’s press office with the list of nominations.
Last year, the Navy provided the Pentagon’s public affairs office with numerous lists of flag officers nominations. For example, the Navy submitted the bulk of its FY 2018 flag officer nominations to the SASC between April and March. At this time, the Navy also provided information to the Pentagon’s press office, which issued the following announcements for 90 flag officer nominations:
- On April 27, 2018, the Pentagon issued a release announcing a slate of 24 captains nominated for promotion to rear admiral.
- On April 10, 2018, the Pentagon issued a release announcing 23 admirals nominated for promotion, including Adm. Phil Davidson’s nomination to lead U.S. Pacific Command.
- On March 15, 2018, the Pentagon issued a release announcing 42 admirals and captains nominated for promotion.
- On March 23, 2018, the Pentagon issued a release announcing Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson was nominated by Trump to receive a second star.
The following is the list of Navy nominees for flag rank given to the Senate Armed Services Committee Fiscal Year 2019.
|Name||Branch||Current Position or Nominated Position||Notification Date|
|Vice Adm. Robert Sharp||USN||CO, Office of Naval Intelligence||Nov 29, 2018|
|Vice Adm. James Malloy||USN||Nominated for CO of US 5th Fleet||Dec 6, 2018|
|Rear Adm. John Nowell||USN||Nominated for Chief of Naval Personnel||Feb 12, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Yancy B. Lindsey||USN||Commander, Navy Region Southwest||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Ronny Jackson||USN||White House Physician||Jan 15, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Peter G. Stamatopoulos||USN||Director, Supply, Ordnance and Logistics Operations Division, N41, OPNAV||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Michael A. Wettlaufer||USN||Commander, CSG 3||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Kelly A. Aeschbach||USN||Director of Intelligence, U.S. Strategic Command||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Karl O. Thomas||USN||Director 21st Century Sailor Office (N17)||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) John F. Wade||USN||Commander, CSG 12||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) John F. Meier||USN||Commander, CSG 10||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) John B. Skillman||USN||Commander, ESG 2||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Jeffrey T. Jablon||USN||Commander, Submarine Group 10||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) James E. Pitts||USN||Commander, Submarine Group 7/Commander,
Task Force 54/Commander, Task Force 74
|Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Gregory N. Harris||USN||Chief of Naval Air Training||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Gayle D. Shaffer||USN||Director, Health Services, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps/Medical Officer of the Marine Corps/Chief, Navy Dental Corps||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Frank D. Whitworth||USN||Deputy Chief, Tailored Access Operations, S32, National Security Agency||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Donald D. Gabrielson||USN||CO CSG 11||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Charles B. Cooper II||USN||CO ESG 7/ Amphibious Force U.S. 7th Fleet||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Brent Scott||USN||Nominated to be Chief of Chaplains of the Navy||Nov 13, 2018|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Blake L. Converse||USN||COMSUBPAC||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Timothy H. Weber||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Stephen R. Tedford||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Stephen D. Barnett||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Scott M. Brown||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Scott F. Robertson||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Robert M. Gaucher||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Robert B. Chadwick II||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Richard T. Brophy Jr.||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Paul C. Spedero Jr.||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Nicholas M. Homan||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Milton J. Sands III||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Michael W. Baze||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Michael P. Donnelly||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Michael J. Vernazza||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Kenneth W. Epps||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. John V. Menoni||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Jeromy B. Williams||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Jeffrey T. Anderson||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Jeffrey J. Czerewko||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. James L. Hancock||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Eric H. Verhage||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Dean A. Vanderley||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Daniel P. Martin||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Curt A. Renshaw||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Christopher M. Engdahl||USN||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Christopher J. Sweeney||USN||Deputy for Combat Systems, Warfighting Integration and Future Ship Requirements, N96F||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Charles W. Brown||USN||PAO U.S. PACIFIC FLEET, Nominated for CHINFO||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Casey J. Moton||USN||DDG-51 Program Manager, PEO Ships||Jan 30, 2019|
|Capt. Anthony C. Carullo||USN||Chief of Staff, COMSUBPAC||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Troy M. McClelland||USNR||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Shawn E. Duane||USNR||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Scott D. Jones||USNR||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) John B. Mustin||USNR||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) John A. Schommer||USNR||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Gene F. Price||USNR||Jan 30, 2019|
|Rear Adm. (lh) Alan J. Reyes||USNR||Jan 30, 2019|