Rear Adm. John B. Nowell Jr., will fleet up and become the Navy’s next top uniformed personnel officer, replacing his boss Vice Adm. Bob Burke, USNI News reported Thursday.

Since October of 2016, Nowell, has been a key deputy to Burke as the director of Military personnel plans and policy, or N13. It’s a position that Burke also held before becoming the Navy’s 58th chief of naval personnel on May 27, 2016.

Calls and emails from Navy Times to Burke’s office seeking confirmation were not returned and his home phone was busy.

Nowell is a surface warfare officer, serving on board five guided-missile destroyers and the cruiser Bunker Hill.

He commanded both the guided-missile destroyer Porter as well as Destroyer Squadron 60 and the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group.

Ashore, he served two tours at Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee, helming the Washington Placement Branch (PERS-441) and the Surface Warfare Distribution Division (PERS-41) as well as being the executive assistant to the commander of Navy Personnel Command/Naval Personnel Development Command, according to his official biography.

Nowell also served as director of the Navy Senate Liaison Office in Washington.

If confirmed by the Senate, Nowell will pick up his third star and take control of the Navy’s massive manpower, personnel, training and education organization during its most sweeping transformation n in five decades.

The Navy is revamping everything from advancements and evaluations to detailing and career fields while its training wing is overhauling itself as part of the Ready Relevant Learning initiative.

The sea service’s educational programs also are in flux following Navy Secretary Richard Spencer’s decision to shake up how it instructs its sailors and officers.

Part of his proposed reforms include consolidating the Navy’s many educational programs under a new three-star command.

Mark D. Faram is a former reporter for Navy Times. He was a senior writer covering personnel, cultural and historical issues. A nine-year active duty Navy veteran, Faram served from 1978 to 1987 as a Navy Diver and photographer.

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