The following is the July 8, 2019 message from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson to senior flag officers and civilians on Adm. Bill Moran’s unexpected retirement from the Navy obtained by USNI News.
Subject: Hard News
It is my sad duty to confirm to you that Adm. Moran has submitted his request to retire. The Secretary of the Navy has accepted his request. He will not serve as the next CNO.
This is an extremely difficult situation, but importantly, this matter strongly reinforces the importance of trust, and the high standards of behavior needed to secure that trust. The American people expect this from us. We must expect and enforce this standard for ourselves.
Adm. Moran, as VCNO, had maintained an off-the-record collaboration on high-level official Navy business with an officer who had previously been held accountable for inappropriate behavior towards junior female officers.
Adm. Moran recognized that the nature of this collaboration made it untenable for him to serve as the CNO, which is why he requested to retire.
What makes this so difficult is that Adm. Moran served the Navy and the nation faithfully for 38 years. He has also been a close friend and colleague to me and many others for decades. He is a superb Naval Officer and leader.
But Adm. Moran would be the first to say that our primary loyalty must be to the nation and the Navy. Our enduring commitment to the highest ethical principles is the foundation of our trust and confidence with the American people, a force enabler when working with our global partners, and a competitive advantage against our adversaries.
I will continue to serve as your CNO while the Secretary of the Navy determines who will serve as the next CNO. The US Navy will continue to carry out its global mission to protect our nation and its people, maintain the freedom of the seas upon which our economy depends, and to support our friends and allies.
Please send me your questions.