New leaders in top Navy IT, cyber posts

President Barack Obama has named Rear Adm. Michael Gilday to be the next commander of the Navy’s 10th Fleet and Fleet Cyber Command, the Defense Department said on Tuesday.

The personnel change is subject to Senate confirmation. But barring any legislative roadblocks, Gilday will receive a promotion to the rank of Vice Admiral and will take over for Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, the current leader of the Navy component of U.S. Cyber Command.

Tighe has...

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President Barack Obama has named Rear Adm. Michael Gilday to be the next commander of the Navy’s 10th Fleet and Fleet Cyber Command, the Defense Department said on Tuesday.

The personnel change is subject to Senate confirmation. But barring any legislative roadblocks, Gilday will receive a promotion to the rank of Vice Admiral and will take over for Vice Adm. Jan Tighe, the current leader of the Navy component of U.S. Cyber Command.

Rear Adm. Michael Giday
Rear Adm. Michael Giday

Tighe has already been picked as the next deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare (N2/N6), and the Senate confirmed her for that job on May 26. But Navy officials said she will not take over the new post until her successor at Fleet Cyber Command is in firmly place and she’s able to conduct a face-to-face turnover.

Once Tighe’s duties for the 10th Fleet are finished, she’ll replace Vice Adm. Ted “Twig” Branch, who has served since 2013 as the chief of information warfare, a position formerly called “chief of information dominance.”

Branch, at that point, is expected to retire from the Navy after 40 years of service. His three-year tenure in the Navy’s top IT and intelligence job included an overhaul of the service’s approach to cybersecurity, including the creation of Task Force Cyber Awakening and its successor, Navy Cybersecurity.

But it was partially clouded by the suspension of his security clearance shortly after he assumed his current post. Branch has never been accused of any wrongdoing, but his name arose under unclear circumstances as part of the Justice Department’s sprawling investigation into a ship husbanding scandal in the Western Pacific.  In a recent interview with the online publication Military.com, he called the suspension “insulting.”

Gilday currently serves as the director for operations (J-3) at USCYBERCOM. His earlier tours of duty include posts as the executive assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as the top Naval aide to the President.

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