May 04, 2020

Warren Applauds Navy Decision to Resume Public Announcements of Promotions of Top Commanders

NDAA Provision Authored by Warren Requires All Military Services to Announce Promotions of General and Flag Officers

Washington, D.C. - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, applauded the U.S. Navy's decision to resume their practice of issuing press releases announcing the nominations and assignments of Navy flag officers. The decision follows a letter sent by Senator Warren in which she asked Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Michael Gilday why the Navy was ignoring a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)-written by Senator Warren-requiring all military services to publicly announce promotions of its top generals and admirals.

"Our Navy flag officers are often responsible for the lives of thousands of sailors, and the public has a right to know which officers are given this enormous responsibility," said Senator Warren. "I'm glad the Navy has decided to comply with the law and resume these public announcements, and I'll keep fighting for more transparency across our armed forces."

In early 2019, then-CNO Admiral John Richardson decided to stop the historical practice of issuing press releases announcing the promotions of Navy flag officers. In response to a Question for the Record following an Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee in February 2019, then-Vice Admiral Robert Burke said that "(l)imiting the public release of flag officer assignments and nominations is a first step intended to help flag officers secure their cyber profiles, which may be exploited by adversaries." Until now, the Navy was the only military service to cease making such public notices.

In response, Senator Warren successfully included a provision in the Fiscal Year 2020 NDAA requiring the services to publicly release all assignments of officers above the grade of O-7. Earlier this month, following a report that the Navy nominated several senior flag officers for important billets around the world without a public notice, Senator Warren wrote to Admiral Gilday requesting an explanation and urging the Navy to comply with the law.