Adm. Harry Harris, commander of the Pacific Fleet for nearly a year, was nominated Monday to be come next commander of all forces in the Pacific, the Pentagon announced.
Harris’ nomination needs to be confirmed by the Senate.
No successor has been named to replace Harris at the Makalapa command that he assumed in October.
Harris, 57, will replace Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, who has been head of the Pacific Command since May 2012.
The four-star admiral was born in Japan and reared in Tennessee and Florida. Following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978 and designation as a naval flight officer, he was assigned to Patrol Squadron 44. His subsequent operational tours include tactical action officer aboard the carrier USS Saratoga; operations officer for Patrol Squadron 4 at Barbers Point; three tours with Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 1 at Kami Seya, Japan, the last as commander; director of operations for the U.S. 5th Fleet at Manama, Bahrain; and director of operations for the U.S. Southern Command.
Harris has commanded Patrol Squadron 46, Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, the U.S. 6th Fleet, and Striking and Support Forces NATO.
He has logged 4,400 flight hours, including more than 400 combat hours, in maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
He has done graduate studies in East Asia security at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and Oxford University.
In 2011, Harris was military representative to the secretary of state and traveled with Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, which exposed him to the most pressing foreign-policy issues facing the country.
Harris’ father was a chief petty officer and machinist’s mate aboard the aircraft carrier Lexington, which left Pearl Harbor before the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941.
His mother, who was Japanese, taught him to be proud of his ethnic heritage and about the importance of “giri” (duty or obligation), Harris said.
In July at Pearl Harbor, Harris spoke at a ceremony in which six Nisei or second-generation Japanese-American World War II soldiers received the French Legion of Honor medal.
In many speeches Harris has said that the Nisei solders were his role models.
The Pacific Command includes about 325,000 personnel, or about one-fifth of total U.S. military strength, including six aircraft carrier strike groups. The 36 nations that form the Asia-Pacific region are home to more than half of the world’s population, 3,000 languages, several of the world’s largest militaries and five nations allied with the U.S. through mutual defense treaties.