Adm. Bill Moran, who in May received Senate confirmation to become the next Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), will retire instead of assuming the service’s top military post after facing top-level Pentagon scrutiny over poor professional judgment, the Associated Press reported Monday.
Moran, a four-star admiral, would have become the Navy’s top officer Aug. 1 but was confronted with increasing concerns by Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer about poor judgment regarding a professional relationship, according to the report.
Moran’s abrupt move came Sunday evening when he released a written statement that he had informed Spencer he would decline his CNO appointment and requested retirement instead.
“As painful as it is to submit my request to retire, I will not be an impediment whatsoever to the important service that you and your families continue to render the nation every day,” Moran wrote.
He was slated to replace current CNO Adm. John Richardson and become a member of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. Richardson will now remain in the role until a new CNO is confirmed.
“Adm. Bill Moran recently brought to my attention that over the past two years he maintained a professional relationship with an individual who was held accountable and counseled for failing to meet the values and standards of the Naval profession,” Spencer said in a written statement Sunday evening.
“While I admire his faithful service and commitment to the Navy, this decision on his part to maintain that relationship has caused me to call his judgment into question. Therefore, today I accepted Adm. Moran’s request to retire.”
Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Trey Fowler