| 10 U.S.C. § 5035|
Frederick J. Horne
| 26 March 1942|
| Secretary of the Navy
Chief of Naval Operations|
with Senate advice and consent
The Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) is the second highest-ranking commissioned United States Navy officer in the Department of the Navy and functions as the principal deputy of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO); and by statute, the VCNO is appointed as a four-star admiral.
The current VCNO is Admiral William F. Moran.
Vice Chief of Naval Operations Wikipedia
The senior leadership of the U.S. Department of the Navy consists of two civilians, the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) and the Under Secretary of the Navy (USECNAV), as well as the four senior commissioned officers on the two military service staffs: Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) and Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC).
The Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) is the principal deputy of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). The VCNO may also perform other delegated duties that either the Secretary of the Navy or the CNO assigns to him or her. In the event that the CNO is absent or is unable to perform their duties, the VCNO assumes the duties and responsibilities of the CNO. Within the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, while there are several Deputy Chiefs of Naval Operations (DCNOs) of either three and two star rank, there is only one VCNO.
The VCNO is appointed by the President of the United States, and must be confirmed via majority vote by the Senate. While there is not a fixed term nor a term limit in the statute; the historical precedent is that a Vice Chief of Naval Operations serves for a tenure of two to three years.
The equivalent of the current VCNO position was called Assistant for Operations in 1915, and Assistant Chief of Naval Operations in 1922. In 1942 the title became Vice Chief of Naval Operations.