WASHINGTON — Naval Sea Systems Command has joined a growing list of U.S. Navy commands without Senate-confirmed leadership.
Vice Adm. William Galinis retired in a ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard on Friday, having led NAVSEA since June 2020 and serving in the force since graduating in 1983 from the Naval Academy. His retirement leaves the command — which oversees ship design, construction and repair activities — under the acting command of a two-star admiral, rather than a Senate-confirmed three-star admiral.
Since Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., blocked the military confirmation process in February over his opposition to the Pentagon’s abortion policy, more than 300 flag and general officers have been held up from promotions and job assignments. Between now and the end of the year, that figure is expected to grow to 650, according to deputy Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh.
There are 83 three- or four-star positions that are or will become vacant within the next 150 days, she said Aug. 28, including three military service chiefs. Sixty-one officers are unable to assume new positions, while 25 are postponing retirement until their replacement is confirmed.
Additionally, more than 40 selected to become one- or two-star officers are moving into their new assignments, but they won’t get the salary boost associated with these higher-grade positions, and they won’t be able to collect back pay, should the Senate approve their promotions.
In the cases laid out below, commands are taking a range of approaches to managing the inability to bring in new Senate-confirmed leaders. However, in all cases, acting leaders are fully empowered by their higher-ups to carry out the mission assigned to them, several Navy spokespeople told Defense News.
Megan Eckstein is the naval warfare reporter at Defense News. She has covered military news since 2009, with a focus on U.S. Navy and Marine Corps operations, acquisition programs and budgets. She has reported from four geographic fleets and is happiest when she’s filing stories from a ship. Megan is a University of Maryland alumna.