Michael M. Gilday

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Mike Gilday
Gilday CNO.jpg
Birth nameMichael Martin Gilday
Born (1962-10-10) October 10, 1962 (age 60)
Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1985–present
Commands held
Battles/warsGulf War
Alma mater
Spouse(s)Linda Gilday[1]

Michael Martin Gilday (born October 10, 1962) is a United States Navy officer who has served as the 32nd chief of naval operations since August 22, 2019. Gilday has commanded two destroyers, served as Director of the Joint Staff, commanded the Tenth Fleet/Fleet Cyber Command, and led Carrier Strike Group 8.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Official midshipman portrait, 1985

Gilday was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, and is a 1985 graduate of the United States Naval Academy as a Surface Warfare Officer. He has also graduated with masters degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and the National War College of National Defense University.[2][3]


Gilday, right, speaks with the Nigerian Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, at the 24th International Seapower Symposium, September 16, 2021.

Gilday's previous tours include duty with USS Chandler, USS Princeton, as well as commanding the USS Higgins and USS Benfold and Destroyer Squadron 7. He also had staff assignments on the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Chief of Naval Operation (Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate) and staff to the vice chief of naval operations. His joint assignments include Naval Aide to the President and executive assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[2][4] Gilday was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor for his actions aboard Princeton when the ship was damaged by an Iraqi mine during the Persian Gulf War.[5]

As a flag officer, Gilday served as Director of Operations for NATO's Joint Force Command in Lisbon and Director of Operations for United States Cyber Command.[2] He assumed the duties of Commander, Fleet Cyber Command and United States Tenth Fleet on July 14, 2016,[6] was appointed Director of Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in May 2018, and became Director of the Joint Staff from March 1, 2019.[7]

On July 11, 2019, Gilday was nominated for appointment as the next chief of naval operations (CNO).[8] On August 1, the United States Senate voted unanimously to award Gilday a fourth star following the Senate Armed Services Committee's recommendation that he succeed Admiral John M. Richardson as CNO in September 2019.[9]

On April 15, 2020, Gilday announced the Navy was considering reinstating Brett Crozier, earlier fired in relation to his controversial response to coronavirus disease on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.[10] Gilday and the acting United States Secretary of the Navy, James E. McPherson, recommended that Crozier be reinstated as captain of the Roosevelt on April 25, 2020.[11]

On August 10, 2020, Gilday was running on the Washington Navy Yard base, where he lives, when he "fell ill". Gilday was assisted by a passing Marine, and was taken to his physician. He underwent heart surgery for a pre-existing condition about two weeks later. He returned to work full-time on September 28.[12][13]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Surface Warfare Officer Insignia.png
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg 1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg
1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg
"V" device, brass.svg 1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg
Gold star
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svg Bronze-service-star-3d-vector.svgBronze-service-star-3d-vector.svg
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg
Silver star
United States Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with sharpshooter device.svg U.S. Navy Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon.svg
Navy CaS.png
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal (2).svg
US - Presidential Service Badge.png
Surface Warfare Officer Pin[2][14]
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal Defense Superior Service Medal w/ 3 bronze oak leaf clusters Legion of Merit w/ 2 gold award stars
Bronze Star Medal Defense Meritorious Service Medal Meritorious Service Medal w/ 2 award stars
Joint Service Commendation Medal Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ "V" device and 2 award stars Joint Service Achievement Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal w/ 1 award star Combat Action Ribbon Joint Meritorious Unit Award w/ 3 oak leaf clusters
Navy Unit Commendation w/ 1 bronze service star Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ 1 silver service star Navy "E" Ribbon with wreathed Battle E device
National Defense Service Medal with service star Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with 4 service stars Southwest Asia Service Medal with 2 service stars
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Humanitarian Service Medal
Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 1 silver service star Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with Sharpshooter Device Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal
Command at Sea insignia
Joint Chiefs of Staff Badge
Presidential Service Badge


  1. ^ "Women's History Month – A Message from CNO and MRS. Linda Gilday".
  2. ^ a b c d e "U.S. Navy bio". Department of the Navy. July 14, 2016. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  3. ^ "Navy.mil - Chief of Naval Operations Bio". navy.mil. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  4. ^ "The Valley Dispatch: Lowell native leads Navy's Fleet Cyber Command". The Valley Dispatch. September 6, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  5. ^ "Inside the historic decision to deep-select the Navy's top officer". 6 August 2019.
  6. ^ "ExecutiveGov: Michael Gilday Succeeds Jan Tighe as US Fleet Cyber Command Chief". July 19, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  7. ^ "Vice Adm. Michael Gilday". March 4, 2019. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  8. ^ "Navy to nominate three-star for CNO". July 11, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  9. ^ "Inside the historic decision to deep-select the Navy's top officer". August 6, 2019. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  10. ^ "Navy may reinstate fired captain to command of USS Roosevelt". NYT. April 15, 2020. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  11. ^ Cooper, Helene; Eric Schmitt and Thomas Gibbons-Neff (April 24, 2020). "Navy Leaders Recommend Reinstating Roosevelt Captain Fired Over Virus Warning". SF Gate.
  12. ^ Navy Chief Fell Ill, Underwent Heart Surgery, Officials Say - Adm. Gilday was stricken in August while running, Gordon Lubold and Nancy A. Youssef, Wall Street Journal, 2020-09-29.
  13. ^ Report: CNO 'fell ill,' had heart surgery last month, Navy Times, 2020-09-30.
  14. ^ "Military Times, Hall of Valor: Michael Martin Gilday". Retrieved June 6, 2017.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by Director of Operations of the United States Cyber Command
Succeeded by
Preceded by Commander of United States Tenth Fleet and Fleet Cyber Command
Succeeded by
Preceded by Director for Operations of the Joint Staff
Succeeded by
Preceded by Director of the Joint Staff
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief of Naval Operations
Order of precedence
Preceded byas Chief of Staff of the United States Army Order of precedence of the United States
as Chief of Naval Operations
Succeeded byas Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force