Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Bill Moran has been nominated for a fourth star and named to replace Adm. Michelle Howard as the vice chief of naval operations, pending congressional approval.

Howard is expected to be nominated for U.S. Naval Forces Europe, but has yet to be formally nominated for the post.

Moran took over as the Navy's top uniformed personnel officer just as the Navy manpower structure was suffering from the fallout from the 2011 enlisted retention boards, which forced out nearly 3,000 mid-career sailors and increased anxiety for everyone else.

When he took over in 2013, Moran's agenda was to re-establish trust with the rank and file.

Since then, Moran has overhauled the Meritorious Advancement Program, delivered a special pay for sailors serving on long deployments, and eased body fat rules. Moran has made it a signature to delegate more personnel decisions to Navy commands, and his initiatives like loosening the tattoo rules have been hailed inside the service for their common sense.

Moran is a career P-3 pilot who graduated from the Naval Academy in 1981 and has commanded Patrol Squadron 46 and Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 2.

Mark D. Faram is a former reporter for Navy Times. He was a senior writer covering personnel, cultural and historical issues. A nine-year active duty Navy veteran, Faram served from 1978 to 1987 as a Navy Diver and photographer.

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