U.S. Navy Adm. John Richardson, director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, formally took a new role as chief of naval operations during a ceremony held Friday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland.
Richardson is the U.S.’ 31st CNO and succeeds Adm. Jonathan Greenert, who has retired after a 40-year military career, the Navy said Friday.
“I think that deep in our guts we sense a shift in the world, and we sense that once again it will be vitally important to protect our interests on the seas,” said Richardson.
“As an American and as your CNO, I am very optimistic.”
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter presided over the change-of-command event and commended Greenert for his leadership of the military service over the past four years.
Carter told audience that Greenert has led the Navy’s rebalance of strategic operations toward Asia, collaboration with its NATO allies and support for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief programs worldwide during his tenure.