If confirmed, Moran, the vice chief of Naval Operations, would take over the head position from Adm. John Richardson.
"I am honored and deeply humbled by the nomination and look forward to working with Congress during the confirmation process," Moran said in a statement.
Richardson, who is expected to retire in the coming months, welcomed the nomination, saying he was "thrilled" by the announcement.
"He has been central to the Navy adopting a fighting stance in this great power competition," Richardson said. "As I turn over and go ashore, I will rest easy knowing that, pending confirmation, Adm. Moran has the watch."
Moran has been vice chief of naval operations since May 31, 2016, and has worked to increase fleet readiness and personnel reform, the press release announcing his nomination said, adding that he has made a digital transformation a priority for the Navy in order to meet the demands of a modern military force.
"[Digital transformation is] as important to our future success as the transition from sail to steam was at the start of the 20th century or the harnessing of the atom for ship propulsion during the Cold War," he said, during his keynote address at this year's Surface Navy Association.
The Newburg, New York, native was on the staff to the chief of Naval personnel prior to being promoted to vice chief.