Chief of Naval Operations

The chief of naval operations (CNO) is the professional head of the United States Navy. The position is a statutory office (10 U.S.C. § 8033) held by an admiral who is a military adviser and deputy to the secretary of the Navy. In a separate capacity as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (10 U.S.C. § 151), the CNO is a military adviser to the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, the secretary of defense, and the president. The current chief of naval operations is Admiral Michael M. Gilday.

Chief of Naval Operations
Seal of the Chief of Naval Operations
Flag of the Chief of Naval Operations
Incumbent
Admiral Michael M. Gilday

since 22 August 2019
United States Navy
Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
AbbreviationCNO
Member ofJoint Chiefs of Staff
Reports toSecretary of the Navy
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length4 years
Renewable one time, only during war or national emergency
Constituting instrument10 U.S.C. § 8033
PrecursorAide for Naval Operations
Formation11 May 1915
First holderADM William S. Benson
DeputyVice Chief of Naval Operations
Websitewww.navy.mil

Despite the title, the CNO does not have operational command authority over naval forces. The CNO is an administrative position based in the Pentagon, and exercises supervision of Navy organizations as the designee of the secretary of the Navy. Operational command of naval forces falls within the purview of the combatant commanders who report to the secretary of defense.


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