Admiral Christopher W. Grady

 

Responsibilities

  • On December 20, 2021, Christopher Grady became the 12th vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the second-highest ranking officer in the U.S. military.
  • In his new position, the four-star Navy admiral takes the reins of one of the Pentagon’s most important acquisition organizations — the Joint Requirement Oversight Council (JROC), which reviews and arbitrates DoD’s acquisition priorities for major weapon systems across all branches. Members include the vice chiefs of each military service.
  • Functioning as a statutory council to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the JROC writes the military-wide requirements for system acquisitions, assessing and identifying priorities, considering factors such as: core mission, cost, schedule and performance in its overreaching objectives, in keeping with the national military strategy,
  • Beyond chairing key acquisition committees, Grady also co-chairs the Deputy’s Management Action Group — a civilian-military management forum created to support the Secretary of Defense on budgetary priorities. He is a senior member of the Nuclear Weapons Council, responsible for managing the atomic stockpile and coordinating nuclear weapon-related programs and budgets.
  • The current law allows the vice chairman to serve four years and requires that s/he come from a different branch of the military than the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who is presently Army Gen. Mark A. Milley.

Stated Priorities

  • Continue to back naval forces, which he calls the military’s “varsity away team”
  • Defend and maintain NATO alliances and support Ukraine’s sovereignty, calling the situation “dangerous and destabilizing”
  • Balance the dual challenges of capability and capacity, which include identifying the gaps between long-term acquisitions and near-term capabilities
  • Determine how to best integrate offensive and defensive competences
  • Move away from traditional, risk-aversion policies toward a quicker-response, threat-based paradigm
  • Keep pace in a digital era that includes a growing spectrum of electronic operations and warfare that present danger and opportunity
  • Bring commercial-military innovation and collaboration to the JROC
  • Further prior reforms aimed at unifying: Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2); joint fires; information advantage and; contested logistics, joining operations together within a unified framework

Quote

  • “Contested logistics is an incredibly important part of our theory, that fight going forward. I think that’s why we recognize that it is one of the four pillars of the new joint warfighting construct. And so contested logistics, whether it allows us to fight in Korea, or in the Indo-Pacific or even in Europe is going to be incredibly important to what we do.”

Nomination hearing before the Senate Committee on Armed Services, December 9th, 2021.

Areas of Expertise

  • A career surface warfare officer with 37 years of service, Grady brings direct, day-to-day working experience to the vice chairman position, giving him a broad perspective of any capability gaps that might exist within the services’ operational forces.

Military Career

  • Past commands include: Fleet Forces Command, based in Norfolk, VA; Naval Forces Northern Command; Naval Forces Strategic Command; Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO; Naval Forces Europe – Naval Forces Africa; the Navy’s 6th Fleet; and Joint Force Maritime Component Commander Europe
  • Commanded the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1/Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, deployed to the Western Pacific and the Persian Gulf; the Destroyer Squadron 22; the USS Cole (DDG 67), which he commanded years after the 2000 attack by al-Qaida in Yemen; the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships USS Ardent (MCM 12); and the USS Chief (MCM 14)
  • Initial sea tour was as a combat information center officer and anti-submarine warfare officer aboard the Spruance-class destroyer Moosbrugger (DD 980)
  • Deployed to the Middle East numerous times. Combat operations included: Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve
  • Additional flag assignments included serving as commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic and as the director of the Maritime Operations Center
  • Ashore, Grady held several administrative posts including: executive assistant to the Navy’s Chief of Legislative Affairs; deputy executive secretary of the National Security Council in the White House; and executive assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations

Background

 

Education

  • Graduate of the University of Notre Dame. A three-time monogram winner for student athletics, and captain of the school’s fencing team. Received his commission as ensign through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program in 1984.
  • Graduate of Georgetown University. Earned a Master of Arts in National Security Studies while concurrently participating as a fellow in Foreign Service at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. A graduate of the National War College, Grady earned a Master of Science in National Security Affairs.

Personal

  • Christopher Watson Grady was born on Nov. 28, 1962, in Portsmouth, VA. He is a native of Newport, RI.

Affiliations/Awards

  • Distinguished Service Medal; Defense Superior Service Medal and; Legion of Merit with four gold stars, among others.



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