Joint Staff’s Munch Nominated to Lead NAVEUR, New CNP Cheeseman Sworn In

The admiral in charge of the Pentagon’s joint force development office has been nominated to lead U.S. naval forces in Europe and Africa, according to a Wednesday announcement from the Department of Defense. Vice Adm. Stuart Munsch, the director of the Joint Force Development, J-7, on the Joint Staff, is nominated to lead U.S. Naval […]

The admiral in charge of the Pentagon’s joint force development office has been nominated to lead U.S. naval forces in Europe and Africa, according to a Wednesday announcement from the Department of Defense.

Vice Adm. Stuart Munsch, the director of the Joint Force Development, J-7, on the Joint Staff, is nominated to lead U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa based in Naples.

Munsch has served on the Joint Staff since 2020. Prior to his current role, Munch oversaw the Navy’s warfighting development directorate (OPNAV N7), which is also in charge of the Navy’s education efforts. He is a career submariner and a 1985 Naval Academy graduate. At sea, he served aboard submarines and aircraft carriers, including as commanding officer of USS Albuquerque (SSN-706). Munsch also commanded Submarine Group 7 and Task Forces 74 and 54, according to his bio.

Current NAVEUR Adm. Robert Burke is expected to retire, USNI News understands.

Meanwhile, the head of Navy personnel has changed over. Vice Adm. Richard Cheeseman was sworn in as the chief of naval personnel, succeeding Vice Adm. John Nowell.

Nowell had served as the Navy’s personnel chief since 2019 and was key in crafting the service’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic for deployed ships and keeping the flow of recruits coming into the service.

He also oversaw the service’s Task Force One Navy diversity study followed by political unrest in the United States in the summer of 2020.

“The power of leveraging a diverse team with inclusive leadership is not something that the Navy recently discovered, but rather something I saw in action across so many ships and commands at sea and ashore,” Nowell said in his retirement remarks, according to a news release.
“The results were always the same, better performance, warfighting readiness and lethality.”

Cheeseman is a 1989 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University and a career surface warfare officer. His previous commands include Carrier Strike Group 10, guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) and guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61). As a flag officer, he also commanded Carrier Strike Group 2.

Franchetti Tapped for VCNO, Second Navy Female Four Star; 3rd Fleet Koehler to Joint Staff, Cheeseman to CNP

A career surface warfare officer has been tapped to serve as the second highest-ranking officer in the Navy and the second female four-star in the service’s history, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday. Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, if confirmed by the Senate, will succeed current Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Lescher, who is expected […]

Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti. US Navy Photo

A career surface warfare officer has been tapped to serve as the second highest-ranking officer in the Navy and the second female four-star in the service’s history, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday.

Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti, if confirmed by the Senate, will succeed current Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Lescher, who is expected to retire following his current tour.

Franchetti, currently the head of the J5 Strategic Plans and Policy on the Joint Staff, is expected to eventually succeed current CNO Adm. Mike Gilday as the service’s top officer when Gilday retires in 2023, several defense officials have told USNI News over the last several months.

Prior to her current role, Franchetti was briefly the head of the Navy’s warfighting development office on the chief of naval operations staff, led U.S. 6th Fleet in Europe and Africa, commanded U.S. Naval Forces Korea, Carrier Strike Groups 9 and 15, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 and guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG-71).

She is a native of Rochester, N.Y., and was commissioned in1985 through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Program at Northwestern University, where she earned a journalism degree.

Current U.S. 3rd Fleet commander Vice Adm. Stephen Koehler was nominated to succeed Franchetti as the J5 after leading the West Coast fleet for less than a year.

Koehler is a career fighter pilot whose commands at sea include the “Pukin’ Dogs” of (VFA) 143, USS Bataan (LHD-5), USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and Carrier Strike Group 9. He commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) in 1986 after graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder. It’s unclear who will take charge of 3rd Fleet once Koehler heads to the Pentagon.

Current chief of legislative affairs Rear Adm. Sara Joyner has been tapped for a third star and to be the head of the J8 Force Structure, Resources and Assessment office on the Joint Staff. The current J8, Vice Adm. Ron Boxall, has been in the role since 2019.

Joyner has been in her role since 2020 and is a career fighter pilot who oversaw the Navy’s physiological episode mitigation efforts. She has commanded Carrier Strike Group 2, Carrier Air Wing 3 and the ‘Gunslingers’ of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105. She’s a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

Current Carrier Strike Group 10 commander Rear Adm. Richard Cheeseman has been nominated to be the next chief of naval personnel following Vice Adm. John Nowell.

Cheeseman is a 1989 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University and a career surface warfare officer. His previous commands include guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) and guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61). As a flag officer, he also commanded Carrier Strike Group 2.

Rear Adm. Craig Clapperton, currently serving as the commander of the Combined Joint Task Force, Cyber, U.S. 10th Fleet, has been nominated to lead 10th Fleet and succeed current commander Vice Adm. Ross Myers.

Clapperton is a 1989 Pennsylvania State University graduate and a career naval flight officer He’s commanded the “Shadowhawks” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141, command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), and Carrier Strike Group 12.

CNP Nowell: Navy Short More Than 5,000 Sailors for At-Sea Billets

The Navy has 5,000 to 6,000 gaps for sailors at-sea billets, the service’s senior personnel officer told a House panel on Tuesday. The Navy currently has 145,000 billets at sea, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. John Nowell said during a House Armed Services subcommittee on military personnel hearing. Following the fatal collisions of 2017, […]

Ensign Sofia Bliek, from Vernon, Conn., on Feb. 6, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Navy has 5,000 to 6,000 gaps for sailors at-sea billets, the service’s senior personnel officer told a House panel on Tuesday.

The Navy currently has 145,000 billets at sea, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. John Nowell said during a House Armed Services subcommittee on military personnel hearing. Following the fatal collisions of 2017, the Navy added 23,800 sea billets in an effort to buttress manning on surface ships. The service is in the midst of assigning sailors to the emerging positions but is falling short by 5,000 to 6,000, he said.

While the Navy has put an emphasis on having ships fully crewed as part of the reform following the 2017 collisions, there are manning issues highlighted by the gaps at-sea, Nowell said. The Navy is attempting to address them, including with the introduction of a program to encourage sailors to stay at-sea. The program, introduced in December, offers fiscal and practical incentives for sailors who choose to extend their time at sea, USNI News previously reported.

The program will also eliminate the five-year at-sea maximum rule with the goal of addressing some of the gaps, USNI News reported.

“How do we provide incentivization both monetary and nonmonetary to keep those sailors at-sea primarily and the journeyman level? We’ve really been leaning into this, and we have been helped by very good retention,” Nowell said.

One of the incentives for those positions, as well as retaining sailors in general, is the ability to stay in the same place for longer. The Marine Corps is instituting a similar program with the idea of changing jobs, not location, said Lt. Gen. David Ottignon, deputy commandant for the Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs during the hearing.

Keeping people in the same place is easier on their families, which can help keep service members in longer, both personnel chiefs said.

Having to move for a new duty is one of the reasons sailors consider leaving, according to Nowell’s written statement.

Overall, the service highlighted the geographic stability of sailors. Of the Navy’s 346,000 sailors, about 20 percent have been at the same duty station for three years, of those more than half of them have been in place for at least four years, according to Nowell’s written testimony.

Sailors assigned to Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS O’Kane (DDG-77) embrace their families after returning to their homeport at Naval Base San Diego on Feb. 6, 2022. US Navy Photo

“Feedback indicates that PCS moves and job changes continue to factor significantly in sailor and family retention decisions. From a 2018 Voice of the Sailor study report, 53 percent of sailors considered the impact of Navy moves on families as a reason to leave the Navy,” according to the statement. “Additionally, of the 38 percent of sailors with children, 65 percent considered the impact of PCS moves on their children as an influential reason to leave the Navy.”

Recruiting has been an issue for the forces, Nowell said, with agreement from the personnel chiefs of the other branches. Not only are the different services competing against each other, but the pool of applicants is also shrinking, he said.

In 2017, the Pentagon found that 70 percent of the country’s youth were ineligible for military service, USNI News previously reported.

“That’s probably one of my number one concerns,” Nowell said. “And then the other is that as we look at how we keep some of our communities that are always challenging, think cyber, think nuclear, think Naval Special Warfare or aviation, I think making sure that we have the flexibility and the agility, as Rep. [Mike] Gallagher (R-Wisc.) mentioned, with monetary and non-monetary incentives.”

Recruiting has also moved onto social media platforms, Ottignon said, adding that Marine Corps recruiters use gaming to connect with high school students. It would be helpful to be able to have more access to social media for recruiting, he said.

“I think what I would start by saying is that I agree that when we look to attract a young man or woman who looks to the Marine Corps for service, we’re looking for somebody who’s smart, tough, has a fighting spirit, courage, and it is challenging in some times in today’s environment with social media to reach out to those men and women,” Ottignon said.

Quartermaster 2nd Class, from Corpus Christi, Texas, shoots a sunline with a sextant to take a bearing from the bridge wing aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG-105) while conducting routine underway operations on Jan. 30, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Navy stopped funding television ads in 2020, after determining that they were not reaching the target audience, USNI News previously reported. Instead, they opted to advertise online, with a little funding also going toward radio spots and billboards.

When it comes to recruiting for some positions, such as cyber, the Navy has tried to be creative, Nowell said. The Navy brought back the warrant officer one program for the first time since the Vietnam War. There is also more awareness that not everyone wants to be in a leadership position, he said.

There are people in the cryptologic fields who want to keep doing their tasks instead of moving into a role that requires more administrative work. So they are now allowing for that, which has been popular, Nowell said.

The Navy has also used lateral entry options to bring in 44 sailors for cryptologic warfare and information roles over the past two years, he said.

To keep sailors, the Navy will also use monetary and nonmonetary incentives, Nowell wrote in the statement for the subcommittee.

“Competition for talent remains high, with continued challenges in the high-demand and low-density communities of nuclear, information warfare, and special warfare,” according to this document. “We continue to use monetary and non-monetary incentives – bonuses, special duty assignment pays, and high-year tenure waivers – to keep talented individuals in the Navy.”

Final Department of Defense Board on Diversity and Inclusion Report

The following is the Department of Defense Board on Diversity and Inclusion Report: Recommendations to Improve Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion in the U.S. Military that was released on Dec. 18, 2020. From the report For more than 200 years, the U.S. military has fought to defend this nation and its interests, earning the […]

The following is the Department of Defense Board on Diversity and Inclusion Report: Recommendations to Improve Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion in the U.S. Military that was released on Dec. 18, 2020.

From the report

For more than 200 years, the U.S. military has fought to defend this nation and its interests, earning the reputation as the greatest military force in history. The U.S. military attracts highly qualified men and women who represent a wide variety of creeds, religions, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and other attributes that make the people of this country stronger together. Moreover, the Department of Defense (DoD) recognizes diversity and inclusion (D&I) as strategic imperatives—to ensure that the military across all grades reflects and is inclusive of the American people it has sworn to protect and defend.

Throughout its history, the U.S. military has been a leader on issues of D&I. Yet this leadership role does not make it immune to the forces of bias and prejudice that directly and indirectly affect minority Service members. As America’s most respected institution and a global leader, the U.S. military must continue to lead on D&I issues, building diverse, winning teams and creating opportunity for all.

On June 19, 2020, then–Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper directed wide-ranging initiatives to promote morale, cohesion, and force readiness, using a three-pronged approach composed of:

  • Identification of immediate actions that can be implemented to support a
    more diverse and inclusive force.
  • Establishment of a Department of Defense Board on Diversity and
    Inclusion (the “Board”) tasked with identifying additional actions related
    to D&I policies and processes.
  • Founding of an independent federal advisory committee, the Defense
    Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (DACODAI), to provide
    autonomous, continuous review and assessment of the military’s actions in
    this mission area.

This effort reinforces a half-century of policies, programs, and practices instituted by DoD to create an inclusive environment that harnesses each Service member’s potential. The U.S. military has traversed fundamental socio-political eras that situated DoD as a pioneering force in racial and ethnic D&I. As the largest meritocracy in the country, DoD embraces D&I for all its Service members and fosters an environment in which they can rise to positions of responsibility and leadership. While the military has been a leader in racial integration and inclusion, it nevertheless is not immune to the perils of bias and prejudice. This report recommends aggressive integration of D&I into Military Department culture to build upon decades of progress and transform DoD for today’s Service members and for generations to come.

Current State

DoD has observed modest increases in minority demographic representation in officer grades since the transition to an all-volunteer force, but persistent underrepresentation in senior officer grades continues. Congress established the Military Leadership Diversity
Commission in 2009 to study this and other matters. Since the release of the Commission’s report in 2011, DoD has restructured its D&I oversight function, developed new policies to bolster the inclusion of minority Service members, and refined metrics to better assess the
efficacy of D&I policies, programs, and practices.

Examination of recent trends in representation—including American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic, multiracial, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and White—shows varied levels of representation across the force. Currently, the active component enlisted population is slightly more racially and ethnically diverse than the U.S. population eligible for military service, with Blacks/African Americans and Hispanics represented at slightly higher rates. The Reserve Component shows a similar trend for Blacks/African Americans; however, Hispanics are underrepresented compared with the eligible U.S. population.

Overall, the active component officer population is less diverse than the eligible civilian population. Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians are all underrepresented compared with the eligible population. Similar trends hold for the Reserve Component, but representation of Black/African American officers is on par with the eligible population.

Notably, the officer corps is significantly less racially and ethnically diverse than the enlisted population, for both the active and Reserve Components. Similarly, the civilian population eligible for commissioning as an officer is much less racially and ethnically diverse than the population eligible for serving as an enlisted member.

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