Adm. Lisa Franchetti was sworn in as the 33rd Chief of Naval Operations on Thursday in a ceremony following her Senate confirmation.
The Pentagon ceremony followed her confirmation by the Senate in a 95-1 vote. Franchetti had been performing the duties of CNO while waiting for her confirmation. She will be the first woman to serve as the head of the Navy and the first female member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Franchetti is a career surface warfare officer who served primarily on destroyers and she has served as the VCNO since 2022. She was first commissioned into the Navy in 1985 through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at Northwestern University.
In addition to Franchetti, the Senate confirmed Lt. Gen. Christopher Mahoney to be the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps and Gen. David Allvin to serve as the next chief of staff of the Air Force.
Mahoney, a native of Massachusetts, graduated from the College of the Holy Cross. He is a career aviator, graduating from Naval Fighter Weapons School, also called TOPGUN. He previously served as the commanding general for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, deputy commander of the U.S. Forces, Japan, director of Strategy and Plans at Headquarters Marine Corps and deputy commander of Marine Forces Pacific.
The trio’s confirmation comes as Senate Republicans publicly broke with Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) this week over his nine-month hold on general and flag officer nominations that have created a backlog of nearly 400 promotions across the services.
Tuberville in February put a hold on unanimous consent, which allows the Senate to quickly confirm a large number of nominations, due to a Defense Department policy that allows service members who travel out of state for reproductive care, including in vitro fertilization and abortions, to seek reimbursement. Tuberville argues the policy is illegal and violates the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal dollars from going toward abortion services.
On Wednesday, several Republican senators criticized Tuberville on the Senate floor as they put forward individual nominations for a vote on unanimous consent. But Tuberville rejected each nominee in a move his Republican colleagues publicly described as breaking with the Alabama senator’s previous position that he would not object to individual votes.
“I want people to understand this: the men and women in the military, who have served our country so well for decades, probably the most combat-experienced generation since World War II, have made huge sacrifices, multiple deployments and now their careers are being punished over a policy dispute they had nothing to do with and no power to resolve,” Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, said on the floor.
For months, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) had refused to file cloture on individual nominees but filed cloture on several joint chiefs of staff nominations in September.
The logjam experienced a new sense of urgency this week after Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Eric Smith suffered a heart attack. Smith, who was confirmed in September, has been doing two jobs since his confirmation due to a vacancy in the assistant commandant’s office.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin praised Mahoney, Franchetti and Allvin, but noted that nearly 400 nominations are still stuck in the Senate.
“As we face a variety of urgent challenges, the most powerful fighting force in history must be at full-strength. This unprecedented delay in confirming our military’s top leaders has hurt our military’s readiness and unnecessarily weighed down our military families, who already give up so much to support those who serve,” Austin said in a statement.
“While today’s vote is a step forward, we continue to urge the Senate to take swift action on the remaining nominations so that these American heroes can lead our team in keeping our country safe.”