Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command

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Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command
US Navy Admiral Flag.jpeg
Admiral William E. Gortney 2013.jpg
Incumbent
ADM William E. Gortney

since September 14, 2012
Formation 1905
First holder Robley D. Evans
Website Official Website

Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (COMFLTFORCOM), is the title of the United States Navy officer who serves as the commanding officer of the United States Fleet Forces Command. The U.S. Fleet Forces Command was originally established in 1905 as the U.S. Atlantic Fleet and as a two-star rear admiral's billet;[1] the position has been held by a four-star admiral since March 10, 1915.[1] The 32nd and current, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command is Admiral William E. Gortney.

Title's history[edit]

The first Commander-in-Chief of the Atlantic Fleet was Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans, who assumed command on January 1, 1906 aboard his flagship the battleship USS Maine (BB-10).[1]

The title, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, was continuously used from 1906 until 1923 and again from 1941 to 2002.[1] In a reorganization of the United States Fleet in 1923, that title was abolished and the title Commander Scouting Force was used.[1] On February 1, 1941, General Order 143 reestablished the title and reorganized the United States Fleet into three separate fleets: the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, the U.S. Pacific Fleet and the U.S. Asiatic Fleet.[1] The order further stated each fleet would be under the command of a four-star admiral.[1] Thus, on February 1, 1941, Rear Admiral Ernest J. King, in his flagship USS Texas (BB-35) at Culebra, Puerto Rico, hauled down his two-star flag and hoisted his four-star flag as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.[1]

After the end of World War II, the organization of the United States armed forces was reviewed with a view toward reorganization after the turbulent war years.[1] On December 1, 1947, under a reorganization act of the armed forces approved by Congress, the unified combatant command, United States Atlantic Command, was established with headquarters co-located to those of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.[1] Admiral William H.P. Blandy was given the dual-hatted command of both U.S. Atlantic Fleet and U.S. Atlantic Command thus becoming the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and the first Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command.[1] The two titles remained linked until another reorganization of the armed forces, via the Goldwater-Nichols Act in 1985, separated the U.S. Atlantic Command from the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.[1]

In the early 1950s, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) decided to establish a new major command, Allied Command Atlantic, under the command of a U.S. four-star admiral with headquarters in Norfolk, VA.[1] Since this was primarily a naval command responsible for allied defense of the North Atlantic, the decision was made to co-locate this organization with that of the U.S. Atlantic Command and U.S. Atlantic Fleet, to form a triple-hatted command.[1] On April 10, 1952, Admiral Lynde D. McCormick, the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command and U.S. Atlantic Fleet, assumed the additional title as the first Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic.[1] Like the U.S. Atlantic Command, the Allied Command Atlantic remained intact and part of a triple-hatted command organization until the Goldwater-Nichols Act occurred in 1985.[1] The Goldwater-Nichols Act separated command of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet from the other two commands giving the U.S. Atlantic Fleet its own four-star admiral.[1] Admiral Wesley L. McDonald was the last U.S. Navy admiral to command all three organizations at the same time.[1] He relinquished command of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet to Admiral Carlisle A. H. Trost on October 4, 1985.[1]

However, under the Goldwater-Nichols Act, the admiral filling the post of Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, would also serve as the Deputy Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command.[1] This role for CINCLANTFLT continued until 1986 when the Secretary of Defense approved a separate billet for the Deputy Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command.[1] On September 16, 1986, Admiral Frank B. Kelso II relinquished the Deputy USCINCLANT post to Major General Thomas G. Darling, USAF.[1]

On October 1, 2001, the Chief of Naval Operations designated the CINCLANTFLT to concurrently serve as Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command.[1] U.S. Fleet Forces Command became responsible for overall coordination, establishment, and implementation of integrated requirements and policies for manning, equipping, and training Atlantic and Pacific Fleet units during the inter-deployment training cycle.[1]

On October 24, 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld directed that the title of "Commander-in-Chief" be reserved solely for the President of the United States.[1] In a message to Naval Commanders-in-Chief, the Chief of Naval Operations directed a change of title to that of "Commander."[1] This change affected the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and U.S. Naval Forces Europe thus renaming Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet to Commander, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.[1]

On May 23, 2006, the Chief of Naval Operations ordered the assimilation of U.S. Atlantic Fleet into U.S. Fleet Forces Command and that the dual-hatted position be integrated to its current title of Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command.[1]

On October 31, 2006, a ceremony was held to officially mark the transition of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet and U.S. Fleet Forces Command to just U.S. Fleet Forces Command.[1] Three of the 37 previous admirals who held the top post in the Atlantic fleet attended the ceremony, which was held aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).[1]

Appointment[edit]

The Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command is nominated by the President for appointment from any eligible officers holding the rank of rear admiral (lower half) or above,[2] who also meets the requirements for the position, under the advice and/or recommendation of the Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations, and if applicable the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[2] The nominee must be confirmed via majority vote by the Senate.[2] For the Navy, flag officer tours are usually limited to two-years.[3]

List of commanders[edit]

Commander-in-Chief of the Atlantic Fleet[edit]

# Name Rank Picture Start of tenure End of tenure
1 EvansRobley D. Evans O-8 US-O8 insignia.svg Robley Dunglison Evans.jpg March 1905 May 1908
2 SperryCharles S. Sperry O-8 US-O8 insignia.svg Charles-stillman-sperry-admiral.jpg May 1908 March 1909
3 SchroederSeaton Schroeder O-8 US-O8 insignia.svg Seaton Schroeder Admiral US Navy.jpg March 1909 June 1911
4 OsterhausHugo W. Osterhaus O-8 US-O8 insignia.svg Hugo Osterhaus 1913.jpg June 1911 January 1913
5 BadgerCharles J. Badger O-8 US-O8 insignia.svg Charles J. Badger.jpg January 1913 September 1914
6 FletcherFrank F. Fletcher[4] O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Adm Frank F Fletcher headshot.jpg September 1914 June 1916
7 MayoHenry T. Mayo O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Henry Thomas Mayo.JPG June 1916 June 1919
8 WilsonHenry B. Wilson O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg





June 1919 June 1921
9 JonesHilary P. Jones O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Hilary Pollard Jones.JPG June 1921 December 1922

Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet[edit]

# Name Rank Picture Start of tenure End of tenure
1 KingErnest J. King[5] O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Ernest King.jpg February 1, 1941 December 30, 1941
2 IngersollRoyal E. Ingersoll[6] O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Royal E Ingersoll.jpg December 30, 1941 November 15, 1944
3 IngramJonas H. Ingram O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg ADM Jonas Ingram.jpg November 15, 1944 September 26, 1946
4 MitscherMarc A. Mitscher O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Marc Mitscher.jpg September 26, 1946 February 3, 1947

Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command[edit]

# Name Rank Picture Start of tenure End of tenure
5 BlandyWilliam H. P. Blandy O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg William H P Blandy.jpg February 3, 1947 February 1, 1950
6 FechtelerWilliam M. Fechteler O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg William Fechteler.jpg February 1, 1950 August 15, 1951

Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command and Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic[edit]

# Name Rank Picture Start of tenure End of tenure
7 McCormickLynde D. McCormick O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg ADM McCormick, Lynde D.jpg August 15, 1951 April 12, 1954
8 WrightJerauld Wright O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg ADM Wright, Jerauld - Official Navy Photo.jpg April 12, 1954 February 28, 1960
9 DennisonRobert L. Dennison O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Robert L Dennison.jpg February 28, 1960 April 30, 1963
10 SmithHarold P. Smith O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Harold Page Smith.jpg April 30, 1963 April 30, 1965
11 MoorerThomas H. Moorer[7] O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg ADM Thomas Moorer.JPG April 30, 1965 June 17, 1967
12 HolmesEphraim P. Holmes O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg ADM Holmes, Ephraim.jpg June 17, 1967 September 30, 1970
13 DuncanCharles K. Duncan O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg ADM Duncan, Charles K.jpg September 30, 1970 October 31, 1972
14 CousinsRalph W. Cousins O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Ralph Cousins.jpg October 31, 1972 May 30, 1975
15 KiddIsaac C. Kidd, Jr. O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Isaac C. Kidd, Jr. portrait.jpg May 30, 1975 September 30, 1978
16 TrainHarry D. Train II O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg ADM Train, Harry Depue II.jpg September 30, 1978 September 30, 1982
17 McDonaldWesley L. McDonald O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg ADM McDonald, Wesley USN.jpg September 30, 1982 October 4, 1985

Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Deputy Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command[edit]

# Name Rank Picture Start of tenure End of tenure
18 TrostCarlisle A. H. Trost[8] O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral Carlisle Trost, official military photo.JPEG October 4, 1985 June 30, 1986
19 KelsoFrank B. Kelso II[9] O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral Frank Kelso, official military photo.JPEG June 30, 1986 September 16, 1986

Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet[edit]

# Name Rank Picture Start of tenure End of tenure
19 KelsoFrank B. Kelso II[9] O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral Frank Kelso, official military photo.JPEG September 16, 1986 November 4, 1988
20 CaterPowell F. Carter, Jr. O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Powell F Carter Jr.jpg November 4, 1988 January 31, 1991
21 MillerPaul David Miller O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg





January 31, 1991 July 13, 1992
22 MauzHenry H. Mauz, Jr. O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Henry H Mauz2.jpg July 13, 1992 October 5, 1994
23 FlanaganWilliam J. Flanagan, Jr. O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg ADM William J Flanagan.jpg October 5, 1994 December 20, 1996
24 ReasonJ. Paul Reason[10] O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral Joseph Paul Reason.jpg December 20, 1996 September 17, 1999
25 ClarkVern Clark[11] O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg VernClark.jpg September 17, 1999 June 23, 2000
26 NatterRobert J. Natter O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Robert J Natter.jpg June 23, 2000 October 1, 2002

Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command[edit]

# Name Rank Picture Start of tenure End of tenure
26 NatterRobert J. Natter O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Robert J Natter.jpg October 1, 2002 October 24, 2002

Commander, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command[edit]

# Name Rank Picture Start of tenure End of tenure
26 NatterRobert J. Natter O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Robert J Natter.jpg October 24, 2002 October 3, 2003
27 FallonWilliam J. Fallon[12] O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg ADM Fallon Portrait.jpg October 3, 2003 February 18, 2005
28 NathmanJohn B. Nathman O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg John B. Nathman.jpg February 18, 2005 May 22, 2006

Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command[edit]

# Name Rank Picture Start of tenure End of tenure
28 NathmanJohn B. Nathman O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg John B. Nathman.jpg May 22, 2006 May 16, 2007
29 RougheadGary Roughead[13] O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg ADM Gary Roughead CNO.jpg May 17, 2007 September 28, 2007
30 GreenertJonathan W. Greenert[14] O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Jonathan W. Greenert.jpg September 29, 2007 July 23, 2009
31 HarveyJohn C. Harvey, Jr. O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg ADM John C Harvey Jr.jpg July 24, 2009 September 14, 2012
32 GortneyWilliam E. Gortney O-10 US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral William E. Gortney 2013.jpg September 14, 2012 Incumbent

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad "A Brief History Of The U.S. Fleet Forces Command". United States Navy. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  2. ^ a b c [1] 10 USC 601. Positions of importance and responsibility: generals and lieutenant generals; admirals and vice admirals.
  3. ^ Chief of Naval Operations. Navy Military Personnel Assignment Policy, 2006, pg 6
  4. ^ Fletcher originally assumed office as a rear admiral then was promoted to admiral in 1915 bypassing the rank of vice admiral.
  5. ^ King was promoted to Fleet Admiral on December 17, 1944. He later served as Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet and as the 9th Chief of Naval Operations.
  6. ^ Ingersoll later served as Commander, Western Sea Frontier.
  7. ^ Moorer later served as the 18th Chief of Naval Operations and as the 7th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  8. ^ Troust later served as the 23rd Chief of Naval Operations.
  9. ^ a b Kelso later served as the 24th Chief of Naval Operations.
  10. ^ Reason was the first African-American to become a four-star admiral.
  11. ^ Clark later served as the 27th Chief of Naval Operations.
  12. ^ Fallon later served as Commander, U.S. Pacific Command and as Commander, U.S. Central Command.
  13. ^ Roughead later served as the 29th Chief of Naval Operations.
  14. ^ Greenert later served as the 36th Vice Chief of Naval Operations and the 30th Chief of Naval Operations.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "http://www.cffc.navy.mil/history.htm".

External links[edit]