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Navy Kicks Off Summer Flag Moves With VCNO Swearing-In

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday, left, administers the Oath of Office to Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) Adm. Bill Lescher during a promotion ceremony at the Pentagon on May 29, 2020. US Navy Photo

Several promotions last week kicked off an unofficial start to this summer’s season of flag officer moves.

On Friday, the Navy ushered in the service’s new Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Lescher who relieved former VCNO Adm. Robert Burke in a small ceremony overseen by CNO Adm. Mike Gilday. The same day Vice Adm. Yancy Lindsey relieved retiring Vice Adm. Mary Jackson as the commander of Navy Installations Command (CNIC) in a May 29 ceremony also presided over Gilday.

On Tuesday, the Navy released a list of 24 rear admirals heading to or recently having taken over a variety of posts around the globe. At the end of May, the Navy announced 27 flag assignments, including 15 captains who were selected for promotion to rear admiral.

Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, also on May 29, took command as the chief of naval research. Selby, who had been the Navy’s chief engineer and the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) deputy commander for ship design, integration, and naval engineering (SEA-05), is replacing retiring Rear Adm. David Hahn at the Office of Naval Research. Burke presided over the small ceremony, which was streamed live online for the first time in ONR history due to COVID-19 concerns. Selby, in his dress whites, addressed the Navy research workforce from behind a computer after taking over the command.

The Friday before Rear Adm. Tom Anderson relieved Rear Adm. Bill Galinis as Program Executive Officer for Ships to clear the way for Galinis to relieve current NAVSEA commander Vice Adm. Thomas Moore.

The announcement of the new assignments and changes of command follow a reversal in Navy policy. For more than year, the service stopped announcing flag officer nominations and assignments due to cybersecurity concerns. In April, the Navy faced criticism from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who wrote to Gilday saying the Navy’s flag announcement policy was out of step with the rest of the military. Gilday reversed the policy last month.

Rear Adm. Lorin Selby during his change of command ceremony to lead the Office of Naval Research. US Navy Photo

The following flag assignments were recently announced by the Navy:

Navy Adm. Robert Burke for reappointment to the rank of admiral and assignment as the commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe; the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Africa; and the commander of Allied Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy.

Navy Adm. William Lescher is now the vice chief of naval operations, Washington, D.C. Lescher was serving as the deputy chief of naval operations for integration of capabilities and resources (N8), in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Navy Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti for reappointment to the rank of vice admiral and assignment as the deputy chief of naval operations for warfighting development, N7, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Franchetti is currently serving as the commander of U.S. 6th Fleet; the commander of Task Force 6; the commander of Striking and Support Forces NATO; the deputy commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe; the deputy commander of U.S. Naval Forces Africa; and the Joint Force Maritime Component commander for Europe in Naples, Italy.

Navy Vice Adm. Stuart B. Munsch for reappointment to the grade of vice admiral and assignment as the director for joint force development, J7, on the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C. Munsch is currently serving as the deputy chief of naval operations for warfighting development, N7, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Navy Rear Adm. Eugene Black for appointment to the rank of vice admiral and assignment as the commander of U.S. 6th Fleet; the commander of Task Force 6; the commander of Striking and Support Forces NATO; the deputy commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe; the deputy commander of U.S. Naval Forces Africa; and the Joint Force Maritime Component commander for Europe in Naples, Italy. Black is currently serving as the director of the Surface Warfare Division, N96, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Navy Rear Adm. Randy Crites for appointment to the rank of vice admiral and assignment as the deputy chief of naval operations for integration of capabilities and resources (N8), in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D.C. Crites was the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for budget (FMB); and director, Fiscal Management Division (N82), in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Vice Adm. Yancy Lindsey is now the commander of Navy Installations Command, CNIC, in Washington, D.C. Lindsey was the commander of Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia; and the commander of Maritime Air Forces in Naples, Italy.

Navy Rear Adm. Kenneth Whitesell for appointment to the rank of vice admiral and assigned to be the commander of Naval Air Forces; and the commander of Naval Air Force with U.S. Pacific Fleet, San Diego. Whitesell is currently serving as the deputy commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Navy Reserve Rear Adm. John Mustin for appointment to the rank of vice admiral and assignment as the chief of Navy Reserve, Washington, D.C. Mustin is currently serving as the commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 2, Norfolk, Va.

Rear Adm. James Bynum is currently serving as the director of warfare development, N72, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Bynum previously served as the director of the Assessment Division, N81, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. Charles “Brad” Cooper will be assigned as the commander of Naval Surface Force Atlantic in Norfolk, Va. Cooper previously served as the chief of legislative affairs in Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. Marc H. Dalton is currently serving as the director of the Assessment Division, N81, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Dalton previously served as the director of maritime operations (DMOC/N04) for U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Rear Adm. Roy Kitchener will be assigned as the commander of Naval Surface Forces; and the commander of the Naval Surface Force in U.S. Pacific Fleet, San Diego. Kitchener is currently serving as the commander of Naval Surface Force Atlantic, Norfolk, Va.

Rear Adm. John Meier is currently serving as the commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, Norfolk, Va. Meier previously served as commander, Navy Warfare Development Command in Norfolk.

Rear Adm. Lorin Selby is now the chief of naval research, Arlington, Va. Selby previously served as the deputy commander for ship design, integration, and naval engineering, SEA-05, Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. John Skillman will be assigned as the director of the Programming Division, N80, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Skillman is currently serving as the director of enterprise support, N1, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Arlington, Va.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Daniel Dwyer, selected for promotion to rear admiral, will be assigned as the director of plans and policy, J5, with U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Md. Dwyer is currently serving as the chief of naval air training, Corpus Christi, Texas.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Peter Garvin, selected for promotion to rear admiral, will be assigned as the commander of the Naval Education and Training Command in Pensacola, Fla. Garvin is currently assigned as the commander of the Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, Norfolk, Va.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Fred Pyle, selected for promotion to rear admiral, is currently serving as the commander of the Navy Warfare Development Command, Norfolk, Va. Pyle previously served as the commander of Carrier Strike Group 3, Bremerton, Wash.

Rear Adm. (lower half) James Aiken is currently serving as the commander of Carrier Strike Group 3 in Bremerton, Wash. Aiken previously served as the deputy director for resources and acquisition, J8, with the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Thomas Anderson will be assigned as the program executive officer for ships in Washington, D.C. Anderson previously served as the commander of the Regional Maintenance Center in Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Michael Boyle will be assigned as the director of maritime operations (DMOC/N04) for U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Boyle previously served as the commander of Carrier Strike Group 12, Norfolk, Va.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Richard Cheeseman, is currently serving as the commander of Carrier Strike Group 2 in Norfolk, Va. Cheeseman previously served as assistant commander for career management, PERS-4, Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tenn.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Craig Clapperton is currently serving as the commander of Carrier Strike Group 12, Norfolk, Va. Clapperton previously served as deputy director, operations, J3, with U.S. Cyber Command, Fort Meade, Md.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Kristen Fabry will be assigned as the commander of the Defense Logistics Agency – Land and Maritime, in Columbus, Ohio. Fabry is currently serving as the director of logistics, fleet supply and ordnance, N4, with U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Sara Joyner is currently serving as the chief of legislative affairs, Washington, D.C. Joyner previously served as the commander of Carrier Strike Group 2, Norfolk, Va.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Robert Katz is currently serving as the commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 2, Virginia Beach, Va. Katz previously served as the director of joint/fleet operations, with U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Va.

Rear Adm. (lower half) James A. Kirk is currently serving as the commander of Carrier Strike Group 11 out of Everett, Wash. Kirk previously served as the deputy commander/chief of staff for the Joint Warfare Center, Allied Command Transformation, Stavanger, Norway.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Timothy Kott will be assigned as the commander of Carrier Strike Group 1 in San Diego. Kott is currently serving as the assistant chief of staff for operations with the Allied Joint Forces Command, Naples, Italy.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Frederick Luchtman is currently serving as the commander of the Naval Safety Center; and the lead for the Physiological Episodes (PE) Effort in Norfolk, Va. Luchtman previously served as the lead for the PE Effort in Arlington, Va.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Lance Scott will be assigned as the commander of Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, Norfolk, Va. Scott is currently serving as chief, Global Operations Center, U.S. Transportation Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

Rear Adm. (lower half) John Spencer will be assigned as commander of Submarine Group Ten, Kings Bay, Ga. Spencer is currently serving as the director of the Nuclear Support Directorate, Defense Threat Reduction Agency at Fort Belvoir, Va.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Eric Ver Hage is currently serving as the commander of the Regional Maintenance Center, Washington, D.C. Ver Hage previously served as the commander of the Naval Surface Warfare Center; and the commander of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Bradley Andros will be assigned as the deputy director of plans and policy for countering weapons of mass destruction with U.S. Special Operations Command, Fort Belvoir, Va. Andros previously served as the Navy Expeditionary Combat Branch head, N957, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Mark Behning is currently serving as the deputy director of strategic targeting and nuclear mission planning, J5, with U.S. Strategic Command, Omaha, Neb. Behning previously served as the chief of staff/deputy director for Strategic Systems Programs, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Kevin Byrne is currently serving as the commander of Naval Surface Warfare Center; and commander of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Washington, D.C. Byrne previously served as the major program manager for surface ships with Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Joseph Cahill III is currently serving as the deputy director for resources and acquisition, J8, with the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C. Cahill previously served as the executive assistant, N9, with the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Lawrence Legree will be assigned as the assistant chief of staff, J-3, for Joint Forces Command, Naples, Italy. Legree previously served as the senior advisor for nuclear security affairs, in the Office of the Secretary, Department of Energy, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Mark Melson is currently serving as the deputy director of joint force development and design integration, J7, with the Joint Staff, Washington, D.C. Melson previously served as the executive assistant to the deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans and strategy, N3N5, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Marc Miguez is currently serving as the deputy director for operations at the National Joint Operations Intelligence Center, Operations Team Two, J3, Joint Staff, Washington, D.C. Miguez previously served as executive assistant, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Kurt Rothenhaus is currently serving as the program executive officer for command, control, communications, computers and intelligence for Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, San Diego. Rothenhaus previously served as the major program manager for tactical networks, San Diego.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Michael Sciretta will be assigned as the deputy commander of the Joint Interagency Task Force-South, U.S. Southern Command, Key West, Fla. Sciretta previously served as the director of the Navy Senate Liaison in the Office of Legislative Affairs, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Richard Seif will be assigned as the commander of the Undersea Warfighting Development Center, Groton, Conn. Seif is currently serving as deputy commander for Task Force One Four/Three Four and Task Group 114.3, U.S. Strategic Command, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Darryl Walker is currently serving as the deputy director, operations, J3, for U.S. Cyber Command, Fort Meade, Md. Walker previously served as executive assistant to the chief of naval operations, Washington, D.C.

Rear Adm. (lower half) Robert Westendorff will be assigned as the chief of naval air training, Corpus Christi, Texas. Westendorff previously served as the chief of staff for Naval Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, San Diego.

Capt. Susan BryerJoyner, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as the Navy Cyber Security Division director for the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. BryerJoyner is currently serving as the Cyber Security Division chief, N2N6, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

Capt. Matthew Burns, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as the assistant commander for Joint Special Operations Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, Tampa, Fla. Burns is currently serving as commander of Naval Special Warfare Development Group, Virginia Beach, Va.

Capt. Brian Davies, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), is currently serving as the special assistant to the commander of Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn. Davies previously served as director, submarine/nuclear power distribution (PERS 42), Navy Personnel Command in Millington.

Capt. Dion English, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as the director of logistics, fleet supply and ordnance, N4, for U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. English is currently serving as deputy director of supply and distribution, J44, Joint Staff, Washington, D.C.

Capt. Rick Freedman, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as the director of medical systems integration and combat survivability, N44, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Freedman is currently serving as executive assistant to the Surgeon General of the Navy, Falls Church, Va.

Capt. Thomas Henderschedt, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), is currently serving as naval attaché, Beijing, China.

Capt. Cynthia Kuehner, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as the commander of Navy Medical Forces Support Command, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Kuehner is currently serving as the head of the Commander’s Action Group, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Falls Church, Va.

Capt. Jason Lloyd, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), is currently serving as the deputy commander for ship design, integration and engineering, SEA-05, at Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C. Lloyd previously served as commanding officer, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va.

Capt. Howard Markle, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), is currently serving as the deputy commander of logistics, maintenance and industrial operations (NAVSEA 04) at Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C. Markle previously served as executive assistant at Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C.

Capt. Elizabeth Okano, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as the program executive officer for integrated warfare systems, Washington, D.C. Okano is currently serving as executive assistant to the assistant secretary of the Navy (research, development and acquisition), Washington, D.C.

Capt. Matthew Ott, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as the special assistant for audit readiness in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller), Washington, D.C. Ott is currently serving as chief of staff for Naval Supply Systems Command, Mechanicsburg, Penn.

Capt. Carlos Sardiello, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as the director of joint/fleet operations for U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, Va. Sardiello is currently serving as the commanding officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). Sardiello previously served as the special assistant to the commander of naval air forces/commander, naval air force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, San Diego.

Capt. Derek Trinque, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), is currently serving as assistant commander for career management, PERS-4, at Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tenn. Trinque previously served as director of Surface Warfare Officer Distribution Division (PERS 41) in Millington.

Capt. John Watkins, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as the deputy commander of U.S. 10th, Fort Meade, Md. Watkins is currently serving as the chief of staff for U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet at Fort Meade.

Capt. Thomas Williams, selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as the director of global integration and engagement, N5I, at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C. Williams previously served as the executive assistant to the chief of naval operations, Washington, D.C.