Adm. Bill Gortney refused to be upstaged, even by his own boss.
As a narrator introduced Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson to a microphone set before a crowd on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, Gortney stepped up.
It was his party, after all. In the waning minutes of a long Navy career, Richardson was moments away from becoming Gortney’s former boss, anyway.
"I get to do the introductions," Gortney said.
Gortney, a fighter pilot who commanded U.S. Fleet Forces from September 2012 through November 2014, retired after 39 years in the Navy during a ceremony Monday at Norfolk Naval Station.
Fleet Forces Command oversees the training and equipping of Navy air, surface and submarine forces worldwide. Gortney helped see the fleet through sequestration and unveiled a readiness plan that limits carriers to one seven-month deployment every three years, allowing more time for maintenance.
Gortney left Norfolk in 2014 to lead U.S. Northern Command, the Colorado-based combatant command tasked with defending the continental United States and its territorial interests. He also has commanded the Navy’s 5th Fleet in the Persian Gulf as well as Carrier Strike Group 10, aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, from 2007 to 2008 and Carrier Air Wing 7, aboard the USS John F. Kennedy, from 2002 to 2003.
Steaming into the northern Arabian…