The Senate on Wednesday confirmed the nomination of Adm. John M. Richardson as the Navy’s 31st chief of naval operations, the service’s top military officer.

Currently the director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, Richardson is expected to step into the position in September, replacing Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, CNO since September 2011, according to a Navy statement.

Richardson, 55, is from Petersburg, Va., and graduated with a degree in physics from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., in 1982. He also holds master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the National War College.

In the past, Richardson has commanded the nuclear attack submarine USS Honolulu and served as a naval aide to the president.

Richardson’s replacement as director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, Vice Adm. Frank Caldwell, was also confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday.

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