CBS News reported that the White House revealed on Friday President Biden’s nomination of the first female candidate to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The nominee, Adm. Lisa Franchetti, has been selected to potentially assume the position of Chief of Naval Operations. Should the Senate confirm her appointment, Franchetti would achieve another milestone as the first woman to hold the position of a Pentagon service chief.
At first, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin suggested that President Biden nominate Adm. Samuel Paparo, who is the commander of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet, for the Navy chief position. Nevertheless, President Biden decided to prioritize his diversity and equity agenda by choosing a woman for the nomination.
In a statement released on Friday, President Biden emphasized the historical importance of nominating a woman to the Joint Chiefs. He pointed out that Adm. Franchetti’s achievements as the second woman to attain the rank of 4-star admiral and her potential appointment to the Joint Chiefs of Staff would mark another significant milestone in history.
Biden praised Franchetti’s 38 years of service, highlighting her exceptional expertise in both operational and policy domains.
Additionally, the President revealed that he nominated Adm. Paparo, the preferred candidate of Defense Secretary Austin, to take on the role of Commander of the US Indo-Pacific Fleet.
According to a senior administration official who spoke with CBS News, President Biden’s selection of Adm. Franchetti was influenced by her extensive experience both at sea and onshore. This includes her various administrative and policy roles, which have provided her with a profound grasp of budgeting and departmental management.
At the same time, the official acknowledged that Biden’s decision was also motivated by the historical significance of nominating a woman for this position.
President Biden criticized Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville in his statement, expressing strong disapproval of Tuberville’s actions that blocked unanimous consent votes on military nominations. The President deemed the senator’s actions as “dangerous” and a potential threat to military readiness.
Senator Tuberville has been obstructing the Senate from confirming service nominations through unanimous consent due to his opposition to the Pentagon’s policy of funding out-of-state travel for female service members seeking abortion services.