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130702-N-PX557-254 NEWPORT, R.I. (July 2, 2013) Rear Adm. John N. Christenson turns over command to Rear Adm. Walter E. “Ted” Carter Jr. with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert during a change of command ceremony for U.S. Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, R.I. During the event, Greenert recognized the service of Christenson and welcomed aboard Carter as the 54th president of the NWC. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist James E. Foehl/Released)


By Daniel S. Marciniak, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
July 2, 2013

NEWPORT, R.I. – The U.S. Naval War College (NWC) welcomed its 54th president during a change of command ceremony onboard Naval Station Newport, July 2.

Rear Adm. Walter E. “Ted” Carter Jr. relieved Rear Adm. John N. Christenson, who has been at the helm since March 30, 2011.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, the ceremony’s presiding official and guest speaker, commended Christenson for a job well done.

“He has led this college through some very, very dynamic times,” said Greenert, referring to the fiscal uncertainty of the past 12 months and the recent support provided by the NWC to Operation Odyssey Dawn and the Asia-Pacific rebalance. “He certainly was the right person for the job.”

In recognition of his achievements, Christenson received the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

Christenson leaves the “Navy’s Home of Thought” for his next assignment as deputy U.S. military representative to NATO Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium.

“Others may command fleets of ships and aircraft, and today some even command fleets of cyber warriors,” said Christenson. “I was privileged to command the United States Navy’s fleet of minds.”

He went on to tell the NWC’s ‘fleet of minds’ that their hard work does not go unnoticed.

“You are the engine room of this war college,” said Christenson. “I am extremely proud that your curriculum is regarded as the most prestigious of all the joint professional military education institutions.”

Carter, a native of Burrillville, R.I., thanked Greenert for giving him the opportunity to return home and to lead the U.S. military’s oldest and most prestigious academic institution.

“I am excited, humbled and have never been more proud to be a naval officer than today at this very moment,” said Carter.

Having most recently served as director for the Navy’s 21st Century Sailor Office and, before that, commander of Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, Carter was hand selected by Greenert to lead the NWC in the 21st century.

“This is the guy I want up here,” said Greenert. “He’s a visionary … someone who’s wholly committed to the institution. He will sustain this war college as our finest and most relevant, and develop the naval strategists for the 21st century.”

Carter concluded his remarks by sharing his vision for the way forward.

“My highest commitment to you, our world-class faculty and staff, is to continue to respect the institution of the Naval War College and the values we stand for,” said Carter. “We as a team will promote higher-level thinking and critical writing by continuing to educate tomorrow’s leaders.

“We will protect the mission of the war college through creative innovation, in-depth analyses, and rigorous computer-based, table-top gaming, all the while embracing the military transition our nation will require us to face in the next decade.”

Photos from the ceremony can be found on Flickr at http://ow.ly/mBjBB.
For the video, visit the NWC’s YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/4iXnnrjKZLw.


Edited by Cmdr. Carla McCarthy