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Biden Overrides Defense Secretary Recommendation for Navy Chief of Operations, Appoints Woman To Achieve “A First”

Biden Overrides Defense Secretary Recommendation for Navy Chief of Operations, Appoints Woman To Achieve “A First”

Biden passes over Pacific Fleet Commander, a white man but with current expertise confronting the China threat, to lead the U.S. Navy, in favor of a woman currently serving in the Pentagon

In a stunning, but perhaps predictable move, Joe Biden has nominated Admiral Lisa Franchetti, currently the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, to the position of Chief of Naval Operations, overriding Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s recommendation that Admiral Samuel Paparo, currently Commander of the Pacific Fleet, get the job.

From Fox News: Biden overrules Pentagon, nominates first woman to head Navy

President Biden has overruled the Pentagon and chosen Adm. Lisa Franchetti to lead the Navy, making her the first woman, if she’s confirmed, to be a Pentagon service chief and the first female member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Biden’s decision goes against the recommendation of his Pentagon chief, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who recommended the president select Adm. Samuel Paparo, the current commander of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet, according to multiple reports.

Did you catch that? Biden gets a two-fer: He gets to say he is the first President to nominate a woman to lead any service, in this case the Navy, and he gets to claim that he is the first President to nominate a female member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

And before I go any further I would like to make two points:

First, I have nothing against any women in the United States Navy. I served with many incredible women during my long 31 years in the Navy. In fact, during my last job, when I was Commanding Officer of the Navy ROTC Unit at Cornell University, one of my midshipmen became one of the first three women to ever serve on submarines, and she was fantastic and just as capable as any male submariner. Oh, and I happen to be married to a retired female Navy Captain, so there’s that.

Second, I throw no stones at Admiral Franchetti. By all accounts she is an extremely competent naval officer, with a very impressive resume. Some of the things I find especially important in her background are her stint as Captain of USS Ross (DDG-71), a front-line, Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer, and her flag (admiral) assignments as Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea, two aircraft carrier strike group commands, and Commander of the Navy’s Sixth Fleet, based in Italy, and charged with the defense of U.S. interests in the Mediterranean, Africa, and the North Atlantic, among other things.

Here, from Fox News, is what I find disturbing:

In a statement on Friday, Biden noted how Franchetti is an unprecedented choice for such a high-level military post due to her sex, adding that she’s the second woman ever to achieve the rank of four-star admiral in the Navy. (emphasis mine)

“As our next chief of naval operations, Admiral Lisa Franchetti will bring 38 years of dedicated service to our nation as a commissioned officer, including in her current role of vice chief of naval operations,” Biden continued. “Throughout her career, Admiral Franchetti has demonstrated extensive expertise in both the operational and policy arenas.”

Additionally disturbing, Biden has intentionally disregarded Secretary Austin’s recommendation of Paparo, who as mentioned is the current Navy Pacific Fleet Commander.

From Politico, when the Paparo recommendation was made last month:

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has recommended Adm. Samuel Paparo as the Navy’s next chief of naval operations, two administration officials said, tapping an operational leader focused on the Indo-Pacific and passing over Adm. Lisa Franchetti, widely regarded as the frontrunner for the job.

* * *

If nominated and confirmed, Paparo would replace Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, whose four-year term ends this fall. Paparo currently commands the Navy’s Pacific Fleet, where he has focused on confronting China’s growing naval power, a perch that’s given him a front-row seat to Washington’s most pressing problem.

“He’s been doing a lot of innovative thinking” with new concepts for how to employ U.S. naval power in the Pacific, and has instituted a series of experiments and exercises aimed at testing new ideas, said Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at Hudson Institute and retired Navy officer.

He’s been much more creative than other commanders” who have led the Pacific fleet in recent years, Clark said, adding that Paparo’s potential nomination “reflects the desire to get serious” about the growing naval imbalance in the Pacific and how the U.S. can address it. (emphasis mine)

The problem with Paparo is that he is a fifty-something old white guy, which doesn’t fit the Biden identity politics mandate. Why have someone lead the Navy with “a front-row seat to Washington’s most pressing problem,” i.e. China, and who has “been much more creative than other commanders” in leading the Pacific Fleet, when you can take credit for putting  a woman first, even if her most recent experience is pushing a desk in the Pentagon?

And, ironically, the big loser here is Admiral Franchetti. As U.S. Supreme Court Clarence Thomas said in his excellent, stinging concurrence in the Court’s recent affirmative action opinion, the people who benefit from affirmative action, or here, gender preference, are the biggest victims of the policy:

“These policies may harm even those who succeed…I have long believed that large racial preferences in college admissions stamp blacks and Hispanics with a badge of inferiority. They thus taint the accomplishments of all those who are admitted as a result of racial discrimination as well as [others who are not] because no one can distinguish those students from the ones whose race played a role in their admission. Consequently, when blacks and, now, Hispanics take positions in the highest places of government, industry, or academia, it is an open question whether their skin color played a part in their advancement. The question itself is the stigma—because either racial discrimination did play a role, in which case the person may be deemed “otherwise unqualified,” or it did not, in which case asking the question itself unfairly marks those who would succeed without discrimination.” Students for Fair Admissions v. President & Fellows of Harvard, 143 S. Ct. 2141, 2198 (2023) (Thomas, J., concurring) (citations omitted).

Here it is even worse, because we know Biden nominated Franchetti because of her sex, whatever her background, against SecDef’s recommendation.

Jay Nordlinger makes a good point:

Biden may think he is doing the “progressive,” politically correct thing, but for once Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had it right: Better to have someone in charge with recent, first-hand experience against our biggest threat, than not. Even if that means having another old white guy in charge of the U.S. Navy.


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I have LESS than zero respect for any woman who would accept the job under these circumstances, and her subordinates will think the same.

Biden – the form over substance President.

Hey, in Biden’s defense, he had no choice. Soros REALLY insisted on this one.

    txvet2 in reply to Q. | July 25, 2023 at 9:30 pm

    As did the Chinese. The Ukrainians haven’t responded to a request for comment.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Q. | July 26, 2023 at 10:26 am

    And, you know this…how? Her resume looks pretty solid. She is not some racial minority with a paper-thin CV. She is, in fact, someone Soros might NOT want.

      Clarence Thomas’s autobio was striking in that all of the token black attorneys tossed a cloud over any merit he brought to the table.

      My W2 job has me working with both earned and un-earned types in the gender category. Sadly I haven’t encountered any in the color category- they are all in their positions and protected from being removed due to non performance because of the color of their skin…. and by positions I mean senior director and VP and it’s costing stockholders hundreds of millions due to mismanagement.

      We’re talking Obama state senate to president types of promotions for literally showing up over people with actual competence and merit

Another “first” for democrats would be making a decision that was not based on logic rather than virtue signaling.

Though in the left’s eyes, these are the same. Pearls meet swine.

Who was the first President to be stoned by an enraged mob of American citizens?
Just throwing the question out there.

Oh dear God.

I wonder if she has a signed Hunter Biden original in her house.

The tailhook scandal started the decline.

Presumably a biological woman, though? If so, it’s an improvement on Joe’s usual thinking. Or maybe he just couldn’t find a tranny?

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to Nabi. | July 26, 2023 at 8:26 am

    That wouldn’t have been a first. He already appointed a tranny Admiral, so zero impact.

    I am sure that Admiral Franchetti is so excited to be publicly selected over someone who was previously recommended, and only because she is a woman.

    This telegraphs to the world that the ONLY reason she got the job was because she has a vagina (to her credit, another female admiral nominated by Biden has a dïck).

    Since she is already a Pentagon paper pusher, at least she already has that qualification.

      Yeah, but this would have been a REAL Admiral, not a Public Health Service (PHS) Commissioned Corps make believe Admiral. The PHS Commissioned Corps was no longer needed decades ago and should have been phased out.

    Dimsdale in reply to Nabi. | July 26, 2023 at 12:50 pm

    Given the formerly low incidence rate, he probably ran out of useable trans officers.

Actually, I’ve been quite unimpressed by the Navy’s “confrontation of the China threat.” To be fair, Biden has probably tied their hands, but they seem to be doing a lot more observing China’s aggression than confronting anyone or anything. So I give the admiral who was passed over no points there.

That doesn’t make the admiral who got the job any better, however. We simply don’t have the evidence to say. But then, neither does Biden, whose only knowledge of China is that their checks don’t bounce and whose only knowledge of the Navy is … never mind. Now I’m depressed.

    ULT74 in reply to irv. | July 26, 2023 at 6:42 am

    Somewhere in the heavens, above turbulent sea, John Paul Jones’ s spirit sails the heavenly Bonhomme Richard, and scratches his head. He sighs and thinks “I sacrificed my ship and crew, just so this doddering fool can play with what so many fought and died for to bring to life. Where did they get this moron” He snuffs his candle, and opens the bottle of whatever is closest.

    I’m doing the same. What happened to my navy?

    ’86-’92, USS Mt Vernon LSD-39

Biden has been a lot of firsts. Some we dare not call…..

We can find $60,000 plus to pay for transgender surgery

But not to bury our fallen soldiers

Who probably would be alive of Trump sis t have the election stolen

Diversity is about Equality not getting the best person for the job. White males need not apply..
They are out to make the US Military the equal of any other the world.

Brandon has not appointed anyone. He nominated her for the position and it has to be confirmed by the Senate which might not happen.

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to diver64. | July 26, 2023 at 8:31 am

    The Republican Party has been a rubber stamp for virtually every DoD Affirmative Action nominee as far back as I can remember. Especially when the nominee is a hot button issue, such as “First.”

      Call me delusional but I think with an election coming up and the Dems thinking of anything to get rid of a President who is about to get impeached over corruption some Republican might get a spine and say no. All his other firsts did not have such dire repurcussions.

E Howard Hunt | July 26, 2023 at 6:41 am

Why not Admiral Rachel Levine?

Not that she may be talentless, but passing over the naturally seasoned male is not smart IMHO.

50 something years old white guys may have stopped the Titan catastrophe, no?

    henrybowman in reply to Aussie Pat. | July 26, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    May have.
    But as Galting increases in popularity, maybe wouldn’t have bothered.
    Circumscribing bad choices defeats Darwin’s clever plan.

This sort of thing has been happening on the enlisted side since the Obama administration. Many well qualified, very experienced white male SR NCO passed over in favor of a historic first female, POC, trendy sexual orientation or combination. Same for the O5 to O6 cut and more and more for the O6 to O7 cut on the officer side. Now it’s applied to the top military positions.

I suspect that the rates of retirement for straight, white male SR Officers and SR NCO at 20 or 22 years v them remaining for 30 years in the hope of being selected for a true position of great influence in the service are increasing. None of these folks are stupid and they can definitely read the tea leaves.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to CommoChief. | July 26, 2023 at 1:44 pm

    I noticed a lot of 20 and out in enlisted back in my days of service. Lots of people in CPO rank having no business being there. Lower rank blacks whose lack of competence was made up for with arrogance and rudeness being sent for officer training.

    CTR3 T G Grizzly, 1977-1981, fired.

Steven Brizel | July 26, 2023 at 9:07 am

This nominee served her time with various fleet commands but something tells me that she lacks the creative thinking re China that the Navy needs right now.

Meanwhile, in a cavernous compound somewhere in the armpit of the middle east…

FYI…his next “first” ——, will likely be even more confounding.

Bucky Barkingham | July 26, 2023 at 10:08 am

Non-female flag officer wannabes may want to consider taking the transgender career path.

Biden achieved a first by publicly over-riding his black pentagon chief, Lloyd Austin. You would’ve thought they would have worked this out beforehand and presented a united front. What is going on here? A recommendation from a black man is no good now? Obama needs to look into this ASAP!

The Gentle Grizzly | July 26, 2023 at 10:23 am

No matrter how good her resume, her selection by Biden’s Administration hinged on two things: a) her being a “first”, and b) indoor plumbing.

As someone elsewhere in the comments stated, were I her, I’d have turned it down flat for those reasons.

Brent Ramsey | July 26, 2023 at 11:56 am

A simple comparison of key factors from each of these officers is in order:
ADM Franchetti
Education BA Journalism
MA online
War College None
Qualifications Surface Warfare
Warfighting None
Command at sea USS Ross DDG71, DESRON-21 (~5 ships)
Combat Command None
Combat Decorations None
ADM Paparo
Education BA Political Science
BA International Studies
MS Systems Analysis
War College Naval War College
Air Command and Staff College
Air War College
Joint and Combined Warfighting School
Qualifications Aviator
Warfighting Aviator with 6000+ hours in 4 different aircraft and 1100
carrier landings
Top Gun
Exchange with USAF flying F-15C
Commander, Provincial Reconstruction Team,
Battle Director, Combined Air and Space Ops Center,
Command at sea VFA 195, VFA 106
Combat Command Air Wing 6, Carrier Strike Group 10, US Pacific Fleet
(~200 ships)
Combat Decorations Bronze Star, Air Medal with bronze service star &
bronze strike flight/numeral 6

It is this officer’s opinion that clearly ADM Parparo is the best qualified to lead our Navy forward. This opinion is shared by many senior officers this author has consulted with. It is not the intent to criticize ADM Franchetti. Without question she is a fine officer, a Patriot, a dedicated naval officer who has led well and sacrificed much in service to our country. She deserves our praise, respect, and thanks. However, her record does not merit her rise to the position of CNO.

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to Brent Ramsey. | July 26, 2023 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you sir for your clear and concise comparison of the qualifications of the two admirals under consideration.

    While I made a snarky affirmative action comment previously, I still stand by the comment that her qualifications as an admiral were not under question, her selection over a previously recommended admiral makes her the affirmative action selection.

    However, your comparison of the qualifications clearly shows that while Franchetti is qualified to be an admiral, she is clearly not qualified to be CNO.


More of the Liberal’s approach of Afirmitive Action, to which the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional. Let’s shout out this fact NOW to our representatives, telling them to sue!

texansamurai | July 26, 2023 at 12:31 pm

by selecting this admiral based on her sex alone, fjb dishonors both her and the male flag officer in consideration for the post–what an absolute pos biden is–do not know either of these two candidates but to publicly state she was nominated because of her sex alone is despicable–whether she is / can be as capable as the male flag officer or as proficient / up to the moment on chinese adventures as he is matters not to fjb–at least she appears to have significant command experience / service / intelligence unlike jackson who, by any measure, is ignorant and completely unqualified for the court

Fat_Freddys_Cat | July 26, 2023 at 12:58 pm

Based on her resume Admiral Franchetti looks as if she may have the chops to do the job. The problem is that her qualifications are basically an accident; Biden is only concerned about the “first woman to ever _____” schtick. It’s a bad process for choosing people for leadership positions.

The Navy and the people of this country deserve better from the President.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Fat_Freddys_Cat. | July 26, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Look at the sunny side. If the nation survives long enough to get a non-Democrat President, he can go back to appointing competent people. No need for firsts.

    Indeed, and basically what I said below. Biden did her no favors by nominating her as the “First Woman” Chief of Naval Operations.

    And ironically, the person most harmed by this is Adm. Franchetti herself, specifically because she probably IS qualified for the job — meaning she’s put in the time and work for it — but the “First Woman” hiring decision will haunt the rest of her military career.

    As hard as she apparently works, from now on she’ll have to double her efforts if she wants to be taken seriously.

Call me old-fashioned, but any time I hear a President bragging about nominating the “First [demographic checkbox]” for any position, it makes me question whether they truly deserve it.

Admiral Lisa Franchetti is certainly an accomplished person (of ANY gender), a capable officer, a dedicated service-member, etc.

None of that matters, though, because at the end of the day she got the position because she has girl parts under her uniform. Biden explicitly said so.

As others have pointed out, this cloud will forever hang over the rest of Adm. Franchetti’s career in the Navy, and the person most harmed by it will be Adm. Franchetti herself. No matter what she does or how well she serves, everyone knows she is there solely because she’s a woman, not because she is qualified.

And the worst part is, she likely is qualified. But that’s not why she’s there, everyone knows it, and so people won’t take her as seriously.

I agree with another commenter: No self-respecting woman should accept a nomination on the sole basis she’s a woman. Doubly so if she really is objectively qualified; she will never escape the “affirmative action hire” reputation.

Hominem Humilem | July 27, 2023 at 8:45 am

The Chief of Naval Operations is, by its nature, a “pencil pushing” job. The person in that role is responsible to organize, train and equip forces, NOT to employ them in combat. If ADM Paparo is a brilliant and innovative warfighter, it is probably best to leave him in the warfighting role and put the better staff officer in the staff role.

Note that the holder of the PACOM Command billet reports directly to the Secretary of Defense while the CNO reports directly to the SecDef’s underling, the Secretary of the Navy.

    A fair point.

    However, I’d still remind everyone that the Commander-in-Chief chose her not because of her previous experience or qualifications.

    He chose her for exactly two reasons:
    1. Because she has girl parts under her uniform, and
    2. So Joseph Biden could be recorded as having hired the “First Person with Girl Parts” to that job.

    (Given the oversized egos of most politicians, #2 is the main reason; #1 is incidental.)

    Her previous experience and qualifications do not matter to that decision. Which is a shame, because it sounds like she genuinely does have the chops necessary for the job, but will forever be known as “The CNO Hired for Her Girl Parts”.

      Both Archer and Hom are right, but I’d like to add something. CNO organizes, trains, and equips, which means she’s in a unique position to say ‘No’ to the suicidal great Woke Navy wave. Things like “No, we’re going to spend more time on firefighting training at sea and navigation rather than another round of ‘what gender am I today’ that was planned.” A male CNO would get hammered for that, while a female CNO has leverage (although not total immunity). We’ll see how it works out. Senate confirmation is a given anyway.

inspectorudy | July 27, 2023 at 11:48 pm

I think Biden chose her to have a sniffer nearby.

She’s a good head shorter than any one in the picture. Sometimes you can’t find a man to do a man’s job. Then steps in a women. Remember Debra in the O.T. Bible that filled in for Gideon because Gideon didn’t have the courage to take out Israel’s enemies. Hope she makes the right decisions in her responsibilities.

Just another example of Biden placing the US in an ever increasing vulnerable position.

Roosevelt chose Adm. Stark as his CNO and Kimmel as his US Fleet/Pacific Fleet commander because they would not challenge him. Adm. Richardson did when was quite vocal against the Pacific Fleet’s move from San Deigo to Pearl Harbor…that “Damned Mouse Trap” as he called it. Presidents can learn the easy way, or the hard way. Problem is, US service members pay ultimate price for such ignorance & arrogance!

Eh, Pappy’s going to INDOPACOM, so that’s a plus. She also has far east experience, plus 6th Fleet. It’s not a bad decision, even if it was (maybe) made with political intentions.

drsamherman | July 30, 2023 at 5:45 am

So in summary from what I am getting from the input here, the skirt never did War College (standard for all senior commanders), has very limited combat experience [required for command] and was a check the box for Affirmative Action. Got it.

Hope the Chief Naval Broad can cut the mustard when she has to start issuing orders against the Chinese aggression towards Taiwan, and she won’t be seeking advice from her Taiwanese nail artist.

38 years of service, assigned to nine seagoing commands, only has 3 sea service deployment ribbons. I was in for only six years, and got 3 of them. Her awards and medals show that she is a pencil pushing career staff officer ass kisser.