Incoming Naval Academy superintendent Rear Adm. Ted Carter, left, takes the oath of office administered by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert at a July 23 ceremony. Carter was promoted to vice admiral for his new post. (MC2 Tyler Caswell/Navy)
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Back in 2010, the secretary of the Navy and the chief of naval operations made a $100 bet with then-Naval Academy superintendent Vice Adm. Mike Miller that he wouldn’t survive a second four-year stint back on the yard.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jon Greenert walked across the stage at Alumni Hall and slapped their bills down on the podium Wednesday at Miller’s change-of-command ceremony, as he passed the superintendent reins to newly minted Vice Adm. Ted Carter in Annapolis, Maryland.
It was a passing of responsibility between two Navy record-holders: From the longest serving admiral in the fleet — Miller graduated from the academy in 1974, a year ahead of Greenert — to the aviator with the most carrier landings in U.S. history, at 2,016.
Miller and Mabus have a lot in common, the secretary said in his address, “but I think the main thing we share is the astonishment of his classmates and my shipmates from long ago at the offices we have attained.”
Friends, family and senior Navy officials past and present attended the change of command, representing the end of Miller’s 40 years of commissioned service. He’s preparing to retire as the last member of the Class of ’74 still on continuous active duty.
In his first address as the new supe, Carter pledged to continue Miller’s efforts.
“Our nation is pivoting toward potential adversaries and perilous challenges. Technologies are advancing at a frightening, dramatic pace,” he said. “Our training, our facilities and our curriculum must evolve rapidly, include further development of cyber education, among many other fields.”
Mabus presented Miller with the Defense Superior Service Medal for his tenure, and presented a Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal to the admiral’s wife, Barbara Miller, for her service to Navy personnel and families throughout her husband’s career.
Miller, in turn, presented Greenert with a sacred token: The “Old Goat” liquor decanter, passed down from the longest-serving academy graduate to the next.
Miller took over in 2010 after his predecessor, Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler, was forced out early when government watchdogs uncovered a pattern of lavish spending and an off-the-books “slush fund” maintained by academy officials. Miller brought the academy’s accounting back into compliance with Navy policies, returning a sense of normalcy to the school’s administration.
He also spearheaded plans for the Cyber Center of Security, a new campus building to house the academy’s cyberwarfare program, with plans to break ground in 2016.
Miller also came under fire for pushing a shaky sexual assault investigation to court-martial, attorneys on both sides of the case said. Of three originally accused midshipmen, only one went to trial. He was acquitted of sexual assault charges.
Carter, a 1981 academy graduate and highly decorated flight officer, returned to the academy following one year as president of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
He graduated from the Navy Fighter Weapons School, better known as Top Gun, in 1985 and went on to multiple squadron assignments. He has commanded Strike Fighter Squadron 14, the combat support ship Camden and the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, and was the last boss of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group.