SUITLAND, Md. –
Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti served as the guest speaker and presiding officer over the ceremony. Attendees included intelligence and information warfare community leaders, former ONI commanders, family members, and ONI and NMIO employees.
Franchetti summarized Studeman’s body of work as commander of ONI with one word: dedication, and elaborated on his achievements in his three focus areas: threat, mission, and people.
“There is no one who better understands the threat the People’s Republic of China poses to our American way of life,” said Franchetti. “Mike aligned ONI’s efforts and really built a cadre of experts to address the most challenging situation we face, for both our nation and our Navy, not to mention the world.”
She noted Studeman’s progress in reimagining the way ONI delivers intelligence to decision makers and reinvigorating fleet engagements as well as his commitment to speaking boldly about the threat the United States faces from China.
Franchetti praised Studeman for these efforts, noting, “He raised the profile of Naval Intelligence and underscored the key role ONI and NMIO play in supporting the whole of government, industry partners, and allies and partners alike. Thanks to you, we are postured and we are more ready to drive winning outcomes by harnessing the full spectrum of Naval Intelligence.”
Franchetti welcomed Brookes as the incoming ONI commander, stating, “You bring the exact type of professional experience and energy we need for this immense responsibility. I am confident that ONI is in good hands.”
Prior to concluding her remarks, Franchetti expressed gratitude for the dedication, support and sacrifices of the ONI workforce, their families and support systems.
“Your tireless pursuit and analysis of information combined with your expertise and deep knowledge is invaluable at every single level of decision making. What you do on a daily basis matters to our Navy and—most importantly—to the security of our nation,” she said.
Following the presentation of awards from Franchetti and U.S. Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Operations Vice Adm. Peter Gautier, Studeman took the floor and reflected on his time as ONI commander—his last Navy assignment prior to his upcoming retirement in late July.
“I can think of no better way to end my career here, at the Navy family,” he said.
Studeman reflected on the continuous nature of an intelligence agency’s obligation to understand how to contend with evolving challenges, stating, “There are more secrets to find, there are more truths to uncover, there’s more clarity to provide in our line of work. We need to help the nation avoid strategic surprise and to be able to win the peace, manage crises, and, God forbid, prevail in war.”
Studeman thanked ONI and NMIO employees at all levels and across all functions—from mission enablers to watch standers, analysts, managers and staff—for their support and commitment during his tenure.
“I’m confident that ONI is going to rise to the occasion the way it always has, and I want to express my deepest thanks to ONI for everything you’ve done to get us to this point in managing the world, but also for what you’re going to do going forward,” Studeman said.
Following the official transfer of command from Studeman and Brookes, Brookes echoed the need for ONI’s continued focus on strategic competition.
“I believe the U.S. has entered a critical period marked by an increased danger for strategic competitions to boil over into conflict. We must not only anticipate this possibility, but be prepared to respond appropriately and with alacrity,” Brookes said. “I believe the National Maritime Intelligence Center has long held a place of importance for the U.S. Navy and Intelligence Community, and I am determined to sustain and reinforce that position.”
Brookes most recently served as the Director, J2, U.S. Southern Command, and commanded ONI’s Kennedy Irregular Warfare Center from August 2013 to June 2015.