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Release No: 326-96
June 05, 1996


The Secretary of Defense today announced that President Clinton has nominated Admiral Jay L. Johnson, U.S. Navy, to be the 26th Chief of Naval Operations.

Admiral Johnson has served as the Vice Chief of Naval Operations since March 1996. Upon confirmation by the Senate, he would be the senior uniformed leader of the Navy, responsible for organizing, training, equipping, preparing and maintaining the readiness of naval forces. The CNO is also the Navy representative on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Commenting on the President's nomination, Secretary of Defense William J. Perry said, Admiral Johnson will be an outstanding Chief of Naval Operations. He 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.

A native of West Salem, Wisconsin, Admiral Johnson is a 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He is a Naval Aviator with extensive operational experience, including combat operations in Vietnam flying the F-8 Crusader, command of an F-14 fighter squadron and command of a carrier air wing. He was the USS Theodore Roosevelt battle group commander during a deployment in late 1993 and early 1994 in which the battle group initiated Operation Deny Flight in Bosnia, and also supported operation Southern Watch over Iraq while operating in the Red Sea. His shore duty includes three tours in the personnel area, the most recent being from 1990 until 1992 as the Navy's Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel for Distribution, a position which manages career development and worldwide assignment of all Navy personnel.

Before assuming his current position, Admiral Johnson was Commander, U.S. Second Fleet with additional duty as NATO's Commander, Striking Fleet Atlantic. During this tour he conducted the rescue of Cuban and Haitian migrants and supervised fleet operations associated with Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti. The 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.

Admiral Johnson is married to the former Garland Hawthorne of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Their daughter, Cullen, is a graduate of Longwood College in Virginia.


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