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John Michael Richardson[1] (born April 8, 1960) is a four-star admiral in the United States Navy who previously served as the 31st Chief of Naval Operations. He served as the Director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program from November 2, 2012 to August 14, 2015. While serving as Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion (itself a joint Department of Energy and Department of Navy organization), Richardson was responsible for the command and safe, reliable operation of the United States Navy's nuclear propulsion program and for all the current United States naval reactors deployed for usage as well as all facilities needed to ensure safe operations. On May 13, 2015, United States Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, announced Richardson's nomination to succeed Admiral Jonathan Greenert as Chief of Naval Operations.[2] Richardson served as the 31st Chief of Naval Operations from September 18, 2015 to August 22, 2019. [3]

John M. Richardson
ADM John M. Richardson, USN.jpg
Born (1960-04-08) April 8, 1960 (age 59)
Petersburg, Virginia, U.S.
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1982–2019
Commands heldChief of Naval Operations
Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion
Naval Submarine Forces in Norfolk
Submarine Group 8
USS Honolulu
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Defense Superior Service Medal (3)
Legion of Merit (4)
Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership
SignatureAdmiral John M. Richardson signature.png

Early life and educationEdit

Born on April 8, 1960 in Petersburg, Virginia,[4] Richardson was commissioned into the United States Navy upon his graduation from the United States Naval Academy Annapolis, Maryland in 1982.[3]

Naval careerEdit

During his naval career, Richardson has served primarily with submarine operations, serving on USS Parche, USS Salt Lake City, and USS George C. Marshall. Prior to being Director of Nuclear Propulsion, Richardson was Commander, Naval Submarine Forces (COMSUBFOR), where he was relieved by Michael J. Connor. Richardson has also commanded USS Honolulu, Submarine Development Squadron 12, Submarine Group 8, and Submarine Allied Naval Forces South. Richardson served as the Chief of Staff for U.S. Naval Forces Europe as well as U.S. Naval Forces Africa, Naval Aide to the President of the United States and Director of Strategy and Policy at U.S. Joint Forces Command.[3] Richardson also attended and received master's degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the National War College.[5]

Richardson in August 2017, speaking on the John S. McCain collision

On May 13, 2015, Richardson was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), was confirmed August 5, and began serving as CNO on September 18, 2015.[6][3] In this capacity, Richardson made several trips to China, in an effort to reduce tension between the United States and Chinese military over naval operations conducted by both countries in the South China Sea.[7] On 22 August 2019, Richardson was succeeded by Admiral Michael M. Gilday as the 32nd Chief of Naval Operations.

Awards and decorationsEdit


  1. ^ "Former Trident Scholars who have achieved flag officer rank". United States Naval Academy. 2014. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  2. ^ Dougan, Tom. "Navy Gets New Nuclear Propulsion Boss". US Navy. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Bio: 9/18/2015 – Present, ADMIRAL JOHN M. RICHARDSON". Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  4. ^ "Nominations Before the Senate Armed Services Committee, First Session, 114th Congress" (PDF). Hearings Before the Committee on Armed Services United States Senate One Hundred Fourteenth Congress. GPO. December 2015. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  5. ^ "Admiral John M. Richardson". National Nuclear Security Administration. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  6. ^ "Richardson Confirmed as Next CNO". Official Website of the United States Navy. United States Navy. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  7. ^ US Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John M. Richardson, John M. Richardson: "Maintaining Maritime Superiority" on YouTube, Lecture at Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center. / Feb 2019, minutes 38:22–41:25; 49:39–52:00.
  8. ^ "2001 VADM James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award Winners (NAVADMIN 246/01)". Naval Administrative Messages. United States Navy. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  9. ^ Cavas Christopher P. "Richardson Nominated for Naval Reactors" DefenseNews. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  10. ^ "US Chief of Naval Operations Receives Prestigious Military Award for Enhancing Strong Navy-to-Navy Ties". May 15, 2017. Archived from the original on October 2, 2018. The United States' Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral (ADM) John M. Richardson, was conferred Singapore's prestigious military award, the Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Tentera) [or the Meritorious Service Medal (Military)] by President Tony Tan.

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Jonathan Greenert
Chief of Naval Operations
Succeeded by
Michael M. Gilday