President Nominates Johnson As Navy's New Chief
By Master Sgt. Stephen Barrett, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 12, 1996 President Clinton nominated Adm. Jay L. Johnson to become the 26th chief of naval operations. Upon Senate confirmation, Johnson would succeed Adm. Jeremy M. Boorda, who died May 16.
Clinton said Johnson brings a dynamic vision of the Navy's future, a wealth of operational experience, a decisive leadership style and a deep regard for America's sailors. "With Adm. Johnson at the helm, I am confident that our Navy will continue to protect and advance our nation's freedom and security," said Clinton.
The same praise came from Defense Secretary William Perry, who said Johnson combines the advantages of youth with great experience, particularly operational experience. "He has been the vice CNO and is intimately familiar with the process of running naval operations," said Perry.
Johnson arrived in Washington in March after serving as commander of the U.S. Second Fleet, based in Norfolk, Va. During his tour, the fleet conducted operations rescuing Cubans and Haitians attempting to sail to the United States.
He also supervised fleet operations for Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti. Clinton said that operation saw new use of joint forces, including the deployment of Army helicopters and special forces troops aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Johnson commanded the USS Theodore Roosevelt battle group from 1993 to 1994, during which time, the group provided initial Navy support to Operation Deny Flight in Bosnia. The battle group also supported Operation Southern Watch over Iraq while operating in the Red Sea.
A native of West Salem, Wis., Johnson is a 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. A career Navy pilot, Johnson's first sea duty tour was aboard the USS Oriskany. There, he served on two combat cruises in Vietnam, flying the F-8 Crusader. He also has commanded an F-14 fighter squadron and a carrier air wing.
Johnson's shore assignments include three tours with the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Arlington, Va. From 1990 to 1992, he was assistant chief of naval personnel, managing Navy career development and worldwide assignment of all Navy personnel.
His decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, four awards of the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and eight Air Medals. Johnson is married to the former Garland Hawthorne of Colorado Springs, Colo. The couple has a daughter, Cullen.