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John M. Richardson (admiral)

John M. Richardson
Born (1960-04-08) April 8, 1960 (age 64)
Petersburg, Virginia, U.S.
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1982–2020
UnitUSS Parche, USS George C. Marshall and USS Salt Lake City. He commanded the USS Honolulu.
Commands heldChief of Naval Operations
Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion
Naval Submarine Forces in Norfolk
Submarine Group 8
USS Honolulu
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Defense Superior Service Medal (3)
Legion of Merit (4)
Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership
Alma materU.S. Naval Academy (BS)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MS)

National War College (MS)

John Michael Richardson[1] (born April 8, 1960) is a retired four-star admiral in the United States Navy who previously served as the 31st Chief of Naval Operations. He served as the Director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program from November 2, 2012, to August 14, 2015. While serving as Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion, itself a joint Department of Energy and Department of Navy organization, Richardson was responsible for the command and safe, reliable operation of the United States Navy's nuclear propulsion program and for all the current United States naval reactors deployed for usage as well as all facilities needed to ensure safe operations.[2] He is currently a member of Boeing's Board of Directors.[3]

On May 13, 2015, United States Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, announced Richardson's nomination to succeed Admiral Jonathan Greenert as Chief of Naval Operations.[2] Richardson served as the 31st Chief of Naval Operations from September 18, 2015, to August 22, 2019.[4] In October 2019, Boeing announced that Richardson had been elected to its board of directors as a member of the Aerospace Safety Committee and the Special Programs Committee.[5] In November 2019, Richardson was named as a Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. [6]

Early life and education

Born on April 8, 1960, in Petersburg, Virginia,[7] Richardson was commissioned into the United States Navy upon his graduation from the United States Naval Academy Annapolis, Maryland in 1982.[4]

Naval career

Richardson speaking on the John S. McCain collision, August 2017

During his naval career, Richardson has served primarily with submarine operations, serving on USS Parche, USS Salt Lake City, and USS George C. Marshall. Prior to being Director of Nuclear Propulsion, Richardson was Commander, Naval Submarine Forces (COMSUBFOR), where he was relieved by Michael J. Connor. Richardson has commanded USS Honolulu, Submarine Development Squadron 12, Submarine Group 8, and Submarine Allied Naval Forces South.[4]

Richardson served as the Chief of Staff for U.S. Naval Forces Europe as well as U.S. Naval Forces Africa, Naval Aide to the President of the United States and Director of Strategy and Policy at U.S. Joint Forces Command.[4] Richardson attended and received master's degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the National War College.[8] In 1997–1998, he attended MIT Seminar XXI.[9]

Chief of Naval Operations

Adm. John M. Richardson, Sec. Ray Mabus, Deputy Sec. Work, and Gen. Robert Neller at the 117th Army-Navy Game, December 2016.

On May 13, 2015, Richardson was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), was confirmed August 5, and began serving as CNO on September 18, 2015.[10][4] In this capacity, Richardson made several trips to China, in an effort to reduce tension between the United States and Chinese military over naval operations conducted by both countries in the South China Sea.[citation needed] On 22 August 2019, Richardson was succeeded by Admiral Michael M. Gilday as the 32nd Chief of Naval Operations.

Post-naval career

Since retiring from the Navy, Richardson serves on the Boards of Directors of Constellation Energy, The Boeing Company, BWX Technologies, the Center for New American Security, and the Navy League of the United States. Richardson is also a senior advisor to the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and serves on the Director's Council of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Awards and decorations

In 2001,[11] Richardson received the Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership.[4]

Gold star
Gold star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Badge Submarine Warfare insignia (Officer)
1st row Defense Distinguished Service Medal Navy Distinguished Service Medal (with two gold award stars) Defense Superior Service Medal (with two bronze oak leaf clusters)
2nd row Legion of Merit (with three gold award stars) Meritorious Service Medal (with two gold award stars) Navy Commendation Medal (with three gold award stars)
3rd row Navy Achievement Medal (with one gold award star) Navy Presidential Unit Citation Joint Meritorious Unit Award
4th row Navy Unit Commendation (with one bronze service star) Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Navy "E" Ribbon (with a Wreathed Battle "E" device)
5th row Navy Expeditionary Medal National Defense Service Medal (with a bronze service star) Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
6th row Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (with four service stars) Brazilian Order of Naval Merit (commander)[12] Singapore Meritorious Service Medal (Military)[13]
Badge Silver SSBN Deterrent Patrol insignia with two gold stars
Badge Command at Sea insignia
Badge Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Badge Presidential Service Badge


  1. ^ "Former Trident Scholars who have achieved flag officer rank". United States Naval Academy. 2014. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Dougan, Tom. "Navy Gets New Nuclear Propulsion Boss". US Navy. Archived from the original on June 26, 2019. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  3. ^ "John M. Richardson". Retrieved February 16, 2024.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Bio: 9/18/2015 – Present, ADMIRAL JOHN M. RICHARDSON". Archived from the original on September 18, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  5. ^ "Boeing Elects Adm. John M. Richardson (Ret.) to Board of Directors". Boeing. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  6. ^ "Former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson Is Named Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory". Retrieved December 21, 2022.
  7. ^ "Nominations Before the Senate Armed Services Committee, First Session, 114th Congress" (PDF). Hearings Before the Committee on Armed Services United States Senate One Hundred Fourteenth Congress. GPO. December 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 31, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  8. ^ "Admiral John M. Richardson". National Nuclear Security Administration. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  9. ^ Art, Robert (September 1, 2015). "From the Director: September, 2015". MIT Seminar XXI. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Find Alumni". MIT Seminar XXI. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  10. ^ "Richardson Confirmed as Next CNO". Official Website of the United States Navy. United States Navy. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  11. ^ "2001 VADM James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award Winners (NAVADMIN 246/01)". Naval Administrative Messages. United States Navy. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  12. ^ Cavas Christopher P. "Richardson Nominated for Naval Reactors" DefenseNews. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  13. ^ "US Chief of Naval Operations Receives Prestigious Military Award for Enhancing Strong Navy-to-Navy Ties". May 15, 2017. Archived from the original on October 2, 2018. The United States' Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral (ADM) John M. Richardson, was conferred Singapore's prestigious military award, the Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Tentera) [or the Meritorious Service Medal (Military)] by President Tony Tan.
Military offices Preceded byKirkland H. Donald Director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program 2012–2015 Succeeded byJames F. Caldwell Jr. Preceded byJonathan Greenert Chief of Naval Operations 2015–2019 Succeeded byMichael M. Gilday
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John M. Richardson (admiral)
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