Walter E. “Ted” Carter

Inducted: 2015
Burrillville native Vice Admiral Walter E. “Ted’ Carter, Superintendent of the US Naval Academy, is one of the living giants of Naval aviation history.

Carter flew 125 combat missions in Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. Since earning his Naval Flight Officer wings in 1982, Admiral Carter, a record-setting “Top Gun” aviator, has made 2,016 “traps”, or arrested landings on aircraft carriers”more than any other Naval aviator in history. He has accumulated 6,150 flight hours, more than 4,500 hours of which were in the F-14 Tomcat–second most all-time. He has landed on 19 different aircraft carriers.

These accomplishments resulted in his induction into the Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame in 2014.

He has commanded a strike fighter squadron, a fast combat support ship, the supercarrier USS Carl Vinson and a carrier strike group. Before President Obama nominated him to serve as the U.S. Naval Academy’s 62nd Superintendent, Carter was President of the Naval War College in Newport. While there he established the Naval Leadership and Ethics Center.

While serving as CO of Fighter Squadron 14, then-Commander Carter was honored with the Atlantic Fleet Vice Admiral James Stockdale Award for inspirational leadership.

Carter later received the John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership”making him the only officer ever to receive the two most prestigious awards in the Navy.

Ted was born and raised in Pascoag, the eldest of three children of Walter and Dorothy Carter. His Burrillville High School yearbook entry is crammed with activities, sports, and

accomplishments. He played soccer, track and basketball, and later played hockey at Annapolis for four years, captaining the 1981 team. He is the first Burrillville High School grad to attend the Naval Academy which he now heads.

Carter was designated a Naval Flight Officer in 1982. Thanks to his hockey prowess at Annapolis, he was given the call sign “Slapshot.” Three years later he graduated from Navy Fighter Weapons School”the training program known popularly as “Top Gun”.

He also attended the Air Command and Staff College and the Armed Forces Staff College. In 2001, he completed the Navy’s Nuclear Power Program.

While commanding the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group in 2012, his final night landing was the 2016th, and latest, of his 30-year flying career.

Admiral Carter is the recipient of various personal awards, including the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor (Combat V) for leading the Navy’s first combat mission into Kosovo.

He has also earned the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards), Legion of Merit (three awards), Bronze Star, Air Medal (two with Combat V and five strike/flight), and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two with Combat V).

Admiral Carter has never forgotten his local roots. He invited high school classmates to Virginia when he was named commander of the USS Carl Vinson. He celebrated his promotion to admiral at the Assembly Theater in Burrillville so that his family and friends could share in his achievement.

Carter said, “I want them to know how proud I am that I am from a small town in Rhode Island, and that I don’t want anyone to forget that.”

Scroll to Top