This story was originally published April 1 at 11:03 a.m. and has been updated.
The Navy's top officer is withdrawing the nomination of Rear Adm. Elizabeth Train to succeed Vice Adm. Ted Branch, who has been stymied for years in his job as the Navy's top intelligence officer after his security clearance was revoked in .
Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, commander of the Navy's Cyber Command, will be the Navy's pick to replace Branch and her nomination is working its way through the system, according to a Navy official who spoke on background. Her name has not yet been forwarded to the U.S. Senate for confirmation. Indeed, it took 10 months from when Train's name was first mentioned as Branch's replacement to when the service sent it to the Senate for confirmation.
Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, thanked the career naval intelligence officer for her service but said the Navy was going in another direction.
"Rear Adm. Train has given 33 years of incredible service to our Navy and nation," Richardson said in a statement. "In recognition of her talents Admiral Train was nominated to be our next deputy CNO for Information Warfare (N2/N6).
"As the scope of the rapidly-changing information warfare environment has grown, I decided to go in a different direction. Liz Train is a valued and important member of our intelligence and information warfare leadership team and has performed superbly in her current assignment. I am grateful for her many years of service and the role she played in helping to keep America safe."
Branch has been stuck with less access to secret information than the lowliest ensign for more than two years, and his deputies have had to represent him in all classified meetings. Some have worried that naval intelligence has suffered without a three-star to attend top meetings.
"The shortest version of the story is, it's frustrating in the extreme," Branch said, according to a February story on Military.com. "Probably the most important point is, I am not a danger to national security, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be, and the idea that I would be is insulting."
David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News.