Adm. Ferguson Receives 'Old Goat' Award

Story Number: NNS151002-16Release Date: 10/2/2015 4:20:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Second Class Nathan Wilkes, U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs

Annapolis, Md. (NNS) -- Adm. Mark Ferguson, Commander of Allied Joint Force Command and U.S. Naval Forces Europe Africa, received the "Old Goat" award during a ceremony in King Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) Oct. 2.

The award, a glass decanter engraved with the initials and class years of previous old goats, is awarded to the oldest Naval Academy graduate still on active duty. Ferguson graduated with distinction from USNA in 1978.

"Today we are witnessing the passing of the Old Goat award to Adm. Mark Ferguson," said Vice Adm. Ted Carter, USNA superintendent. "It is an honor to have him come to the academy all the way from Europe and spend some time with the brigade to share his leadership experiences."

Admiral Mark Ferguson serves as the Commander of Allied Joint Force Command located in Naples, Italy. In this capacity, he directs a combined NATO staff responsible for planning, preparing, and conducting military operations throughout the Supreme Allied Commander Europe's area of responsibility.

Ferguson also concurrently serves as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa. His area of responsibility covers more than 20 million square nautical miles of ocean, to include the waters bordering the coasts of Europe and Africa, and including the Mediterranean and Black Seas.

"I didn't think it would take me 37 years to get back to the academy and be able to talk to the brigade," said Ferguson. "It's a very busy, exciting, and volatile time in Europe and it's a great pleasure and privilege to be back in Annapolis."

Ferguson also thanked those who were involved in today's ceremony.

"I'd like to thank everyone who had a hand in presenting me with this award," said Ferguson. "I look forward to speaking with more of the brigade while I am here and watching Navy beat Air Force during the game tomorrow."

Ferguson's initials and class year are engraved on the award along with those of former Deputy Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Rear Admiral Alton L. Stock, MC, USN, Class of 1972, who retired on March 28, 2014; former USNA Superintendent Vice Admiral Michael H. Miller, Class of 1974, who retired on August 1, 2015; and former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Class of 1975; who retired on September 18, 2015.

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