Rear Adm. Ver Hage is a native of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Navy in 1984 and served as an electronics technician until his appointment to the Naval Academy. He graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and later from the Naval War College in 2008 with a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies. Ver Hage is a designated surface acquisition professional and has served in a variety of afloat and ashore assignments.
His tours at sea include duty aboard four ships and three afloat staffs. Ship assignments include commanding officer of USS Carr (FFG 52); executive officer of USS San Jacinto (CG 56); commissioning operations officer of USS Higgins (DDG 76) and as strike officer and damage control assistant aboard USS Chancellorsville (CG 62).
Afloat staff assignments include flag aide to Commander Second Fleet/Striking Fleet Atlantic; exercise/regional engagement officer in Manama, Bahrain-based Destroyer Squadron Five Zero and as officer in charge of Tomahawk Afloat Planning System Pacific Team One embarked aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) with Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group Three.
Ashore, Ver Hage served in a number of acquisition and staff assignments most recently with the Missile Defense Agency as the major program manager for Aegis Ashore. In this position he was responsible for the design, development, testing, Ballistic Missile Defense System integration and fielding of the Aegis Ashore program capabilities. Prior to his Missile Defense Agency assignment, Ver Hage served as the U.S. national point of contact and program executive officer of Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) project manager for U.S. participation in the Maritime Theater Missile Defense (MTMD) forum. Ver Hage served 33 months as commanding officer of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division and nearly four months as commanding officer of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division. He also served as an associate fellow with the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) Strategic Studies Group XXVI and twice on the OPNAV Surface Warfare Directorate staff to include as a DDG-1000 action officer and more recently as the Weapons and Sensors branch head.
Ver Hage is commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center/commander, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and leads more than 26,000 scientists, engineers, technicians and support personnel, both civilian and active duty, at eight Surface Warfare Divisions and two Undersea Warfare Divisions. The NAVSEA Warfare Centers provide research, development, test and evaluation for the future Navy as well as in-service engineering and logistics support for the operational naval forces.
Ver Hage’s personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (six awards), Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal (six awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards) and various unit and service medals and ribbons.