U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

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Rear Admiral Wayne E. Meyer, USN (Retired)

2008 Ronald Reagan Award Winner


Rear Admiral Wayne E. Meyer's naval career began in 1943 as apprentice seaman. In over four decades of naval service he distinguished himself at sea and ashore, in engineering, strategic planning, project management, and naval warfare. In particular, he is widely recognized as the Father of AEGIS, the cornerstone of the present United States Navy.

He served in numerous ships. Ashore he served crucial leadership roles such as Director of Engineering at the Naval Ship Missile Systems Engineering Station, Manager of AEGIS Weapons System, Project Manager for Surface Missile Systems, and Director of Surface Warfare, Naval Sea Systems Command. He was selected for Admiral in 1975, and then became the founding Project Manager, AEGIS Shipbuilding. In 1983 he was reassigned as Deputy Commander, Weapons and Combat Systems, Naval Sea Systems Command, where he remained until his retirement in 1985.

Some of Rear Admiral Meyer's numerous personal decorations and service medals include: Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, China Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation. His engineering awards include: the American Society of Naval Engineers Gold Medal (1976) and Harold E. Sanders Award for a lifetime of contributions (1985), the University of Kansas Distinguished Engineer Alumni Award (1981), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Missile Systems Award (1983), the Navy League's RADM William Parsons Award (1985), the National Security Industrial Association Admiral J. H. Sides Award (1988), Pioneer designation in the U.S. Navy's Acquisition Hall of Fame in the Pentagon (1997), and Induction into Naval Post Graduate School Hall of Fame (2006).

His greatest recognition recently occurred, when he received one of the U.S. Navy's highest honors. The Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mike Mullen, just announced that a new destroyer (DDG 108) would bear his name.

Rear Admiral Meyer holds a B.S. (EE) from the University of Kansas, a B.S. (EE) and a M.S. (Astronautics and Aeronautics) from the MIT, and a B.S. (EE) from the Naval Postgraduate School. He lives in Virginia where he operates an engineering consultancy.