The head of the Navy underwent heart surgery after falling ill on a run in mid-August, USNI News has learned.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday was exercising near his home on the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 10 when he fell ill and was assisted by a passing Marine and taken to see his doctor, several people familiar with the incident told USNI News on Tuesday.
After consulting with his physicians, in the last week of August Gilday underwent heart surgery for a preexisting condition that contributed to his illness, USNI News understands. Gilday has been in recovery since the surgery and has been working from his quarters on the Navy Yard.
The Wall Street Journal first reported details of the surgery.
Defense officials confirmed to USNI News that Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mark Milley were informed of Gilday’s surgery and recovery at every step of the process.
Navy spokesman Cmdr. Nathan Christensen told USNI News, “Gilday recently underwent a medical procedure for a pre-existing medical issue. He is in good condition and returned to full duty yesterday [Sept. 28] in the Pentagon.”
When asked additional questions on Gilday’s health, Navy officials cited privacy rules that prevented them from disclosing additional information on the CNO’s condition.
A person familiar with the procedure said the running incident accelerated the timeline of a surgery Gilday would have needed in the future.
Gilday, 57, has served as the Navy’s top officer since August of 2019.