What will Franchetti mean for the fleet?

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Adm. Lisa Franchetti was confirmed in November as the Navy’s next chief of naval operations following a monthslong congressional blockade that kept the service’s first female leader from taking the top job.

For many, work slows as the winter holidays draw near. Not so for Franchetti, who has already begun visiting sailors around the world and spent Thanksgiving aboard the deployed aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan.

Jan. 1 will launch Franchetti’s first full year in office. Her stated priorities have so far aligned with those of the Navy’s previous top officers: The fleet must be ready to fight at a moment’s notice, and sailors and their families must be taken care of.

Franchetti spoke with Navy Times in December about how combat ship exclusion laws impacted young women like her decades ago, and how the service’s culture has changed since then. She has also spoken out on social media about how suicide has affected her family.

In a message to the fleet following former CNO Adm. Mike Gilday’s retirement in August, Franchetti urged sailors to stay the course.

Franchetti wrote that the Navy is in the midst of a “decisive decade,” and that the sea service has “commenced a once-in-a-generation transformation of our Navy in order to develop, design and deploy the weapons and tools we need to compete and win, both now and in the future.”

“I am proud to serve beside you and will rely on your continued commitment to our Navy and our Constitution,” she wrote. “Thank you for what you do, and please pass my thanks to your families and support networks for what they do to keep us ready — every day — to fight and win against any adversary, any time.”

Watch for Franchetti to spearhead new policies to achieve those priorities as part of her historic first full year.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at geoffz@militarytimes.com.

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