Rear Adm. Carter, a native of Burrillville, R.I., graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981 and was designated a naval flight officer in 1982. He graduated from the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) in the last F-4 Phantom class in 1985.
Carter’s sea assignments include: Fighter Squadron (VF) 161 RockRivers aboard USS Midway (CV 41) flying the F-4S Phantom II; VF-21 Freelancers flying the F-14A Tomcat aboard USS Independence (CV 62); Carrier Air Wing Five as operations officer; VF-14 Tophatters as executive officer and commanding officer; and executive officer aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). He commanded USS Camden (AOE 2), USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Enterprise Carrier Strike Group 12 (ENTCSG) during her 25th and final combat deployment, and Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group 12 (TRCSG).
Shore assignments include: instructor duty at VF-124 Gunslingers flying the F-14A Tomcat, and chief staff officer, Fighter Wing Pacific at Naval Air Station Miramar, Calif. Carter completed three joint tours to include: executive assistant to the Deputy Commander, U.S. Central Command; chief of staff for Joint Warfighting Center, U.S. Joint Forces Command; and as a flag officer, Commander, Joint Enabling Capabilities Command, U.S. Joint Forces Command where he also served as lead for the Transition Planning Team in the disestablishment of U.S. Joint Forces Command in August 2011.
Carter is the recipient of the U.S. Navy’s prestigious Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award while commanding VF-14 and the U.S. Navy League’s John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership while commanding Carl Vinson. In 2008, while serving aboard Carl Vinson, he was designated an, "Honorary Master Chief," by the master chief petty officer of the Navy.
He has accumulated 6,150 flight hours in F-4, F-14, and F-18 aircraft with 2,016 carrier-arrested landings aboard 18 aircraft carriers including all 10 active Nimitz-class carriers. He has flown 125 combat missions.
His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards), Legion of Merit (three awards), Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat V, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (two with Combat V and five strike flight), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two with Combat V), and various service medals and unit awards.
In February 2013, Carter was selected to be the 54th President of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.