Navy Adm. Bill Gortney and Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Votel have been nominated by President Barack Obama to new senior leadership positions, according to an announcement from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Hagel said Tuesday Gortney was nominated to lead the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, while Votel was nominated to head the U.S. Special Operations Command and for promotion to general.
“[They] are highly qualified officers who have devoted many years of service to their country,” Hagel said, noting Gortney and Votel would succeed Gen. Charles Jacoby and Adm. William McRaven, respectively, if Congress confirms the nominations.
Gortney, commander of Fleet Forces Command, began his military career as an aviation officer and supported the U.S. Central Command in maritime security and combat operations.
He also served on carrier-based fleets onboard the USS Nimitz, USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, overseas operations in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and various shore assignments.
He is a recipient of awards such as the Defense Distinguished Service Medal and Navy Distinguished Service Medal.
Votel, commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, was previously SOCOM chief of staff, deputy commanding general for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and JSOC, Army and Joint IED Defeat Task Force director and has served as a small group tactics instructor at the Fort Benning infantry school.
He has also been assigned overseas to Italy for Allied Forces Southern Europe, to Bosnia for the NATO Peace Implementation Force and to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom.