The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) is a four-star admiral and senior military officer in the Department of the Navy. Appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, the CNO serves for a four-year term. Despite the title, the CNO has no operational command authority over naval forces. Instead, they are responsible for overseeing Navy organizations as appointed by the Secretary of the Navy. The CNO is an administrative position based in the Pentagon.
The operational command of naval forces is the responsibility of combatant commanders who report to the Secretary of Defense. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff consults with other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and commanders of combatants, seeking their advice as deemed appropriate. These officers, along with their respective staff members, are collectively referred to as the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV). The CNO is responsible for command, use of resources, and operational efficiency of naval operational forces and for ground activities assigned by the Secretary of the Navy. The head of naval operations liked their position so much that in 1923 they converted it into their own official residence. Like other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CNO is an administrative position with no operational command authority over United States Navy forces. The Joint Chiefs of Staff acted as executive agents when dealing with theater and area commanders.
However, according to the original National Security Act of 1947, they were considered planners and advisors rather than commanders of combatant commandos. As a flag officer, they held joint positions such as director of operations for NATO Joint Force Command in Lisbon; chief of staff for NATO Naval Attack and Support Forces; director of operations J3 for U. S. European Command; and director for operations J3 for U. Central Command. The Act also gives some functions and responsibilities previously assigned to the corporate body of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the President.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff is composed of the President, Vice President, Chief of Staff for Army, Chief of Naval Operations, Chief of Staff for Air Force, Commander for Marine Corps, Chief for Office National Guard, and Chief for Space Operations. Members (other than President) may submit advice or an opinion to the President that disagrees with advice presented by President to NSC or SECDEF. Out of habit, deputy heads act on behalf of their bosses in most matters related to day-to-day operation. Responsibilities as members take precedence over functions as Chiefs. Each Head appoints an operations deputy who works with Director to form subsidiary body known as Deputies for Operations or OPSDEPS. Duties as members take precedence over all other functions. CNO assistants include Deputy Chief (VCNO), Deputy Chiefs (DCNO), Deputy Chiefs (ACNO), and several other high-ranking officials.