Today, I am nominating four of our nation’s most experienced and highly qualified officers to mission-critical positions of leadership in the United States military. Each of these nominees brings an essential skill set that will enhance and strengthen the operating capacity of the greatest military and naval force the world has ever seen—an anchor of our national security.
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. Throughout her career, Admiral Franchetti has demonstrated extensive expertise in both the operational and policy arenas. She is the second woman ever to achieve the rank of four-star admiral in the United States Navy, and when confirmed, she will again make history as the first woman to serve as the Chief of Naval Operations and on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
To serve as the next Vice Chief of Naval Operations, I nominate Vice Admiral James Kilby. In his current role as Deputy Commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Vice Admiral Kilby has done outstanding work to ensure that our naval forces are combat-ready and deployable worldwide.
I am also nominating Admiral Samuel Paparo for Commander of Indo-Pacific Command and Vice Admiral Stephen “Web” Koehler for Commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet. These two officers both have significant experience serving in the Indo-Pacific, where our military strength is critical to ensuring the security and stability of this vital region of the world.
I want to thank each of these leaders for their willingness to continue serving the nation and leading our brave women and men in uniform. Each of them will help ensure the safety and the prosperity of the American people in the years ahead. Given the national security challenges we face around the world, I urge the Senate to move quickly in confirming them, along with the other military nominations currently on hold. These leadership positions are far too important to delay filling while one Senator prioritizes his domestic political agenda over our military readiness.
It has long been an article of faith in this country that supporting our servicemembers and their families, and providing for the strength of our national defense, transcends politics. What Senator Tuberville is doing is not only wrong—it is dangerous. In this moment of rapidly evolving security environments and intense competition, he is risking our ability to ensure that the United States Armed Forces remain the greatest fighting force in the history of the world. And his Republican colleagues in the Senate know it.
The American people support our military and their families. I urge the Senate to approve all the outstanding military nominees as quickly as possible.