With the blessing of President Donald J. Trump, the Navy continues to reshuffle its top deck, asking lawmakers to promote the Chief of Naval Personnel, Vice Adm. Robert “Bob” Burke, to become the Vice Chief of Naval Operations.
If greenlighted by the Senate, Burke will pick up his fourth star and replace Adm. Bill Moran, the president’s pick to become the Chief of Naval Operations.
The 31st Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, is retiring.
Burke’s proposed elevation to VCNO was contained in the same Thursday flag officer message issued by acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan that announced the nomination of Moran.
When Burke, a career submariner, replaced Moran as chief of personnel on May 27, 2016, he continued and expanded many of the reforms initiated by his former boss.
Burke’s legacy as the Navy’s personnel chief drew applause within the service for his tireless efforts to improve life for both officers and their enlisted sailors.
His reforms included revamping fitness reports and evaluations, hiking the number of no-test meritorious advancements and successfully lobbying Congress to radically rework the way commissioned leaders are recruited, trained and retained in the 21st century.
A native of Portage, Michigan, Burke commanded the Norfolk-based attack submarine Hampton and later became commodore of Submarine Development Squadron 12 in Groton, Connecticut.
The United States Submarine League bestowed upon him the Rear Admiral Jack M. Darby Award for Inspirational Leadership and Excellence of Command in 2004.
The next year, the Navy named him the recipient of the Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership.
He also served as the deputy commander of 6th Fleet, director of operations for U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander of Submarine Group 8.
His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal and five Legion of Merit medals.
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.