Vice Adm. John Richardson, commander of the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic Fleet submarine force, was nominated July 13 for a fourth star and to become the next director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.
If confirmed by the Senate, Richardson will follow retiring Adm. Kirkland Donald as the Navy’s top nuclear officer and become only the sixth officer to hold the office. The position was first held by Adm. Hyman Rickover.
Richardson has been widely viewed since last year as Donald’s likely successor.
The NR command is the U.S. military’s only eight-year appointment. It oversees the operation and development of all Navy reactors and also reports to the Department of Energy.