In the near future, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Michael Gilday will need to follow the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ example and provide a courageous vision and strategy for the fleet. The CNO appears to be taking a fix and making some immediate changes to enable the development of strategy. U.S. competitors are not standing still, however, and only intrepid and truly innovative strategic action will keep the United States in the lead.
For now, guidance to the fleet is focused on current challenges, a temporary placeholder to modify elements of his predecessor’s Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority. Admiral Gilday’s December 2019 guidance based on the Design contains a good approach for developing a future strategy for the fleet, but a much bolder vision must be developed soon and promulgated to meet the challenges before the Navy.