Integrated Deterrence and the Power of Partners and Allies

Wednesday, February 7

11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

On behalf of the Naval War College Foundation, you are invited to join us at the Gasparilla Inn & Club for a luncheon and discussion. Our featured speaker, VADM William R. Merz, USN (Ret.), will discuss the topic of integrated deterrence. Attire is business casual (tie optional).

Registration for this event has reached capacity.

Gasparilla Inn & Club
500 Palm Avenue
Boca Grande, FL 33921

About the Speaker

VADM William R. Merz, USN (Ret.)

Vice President of Operations, Aerospace and Defense Technologies (ADTech), Oceaneering
Former Director, Operations, Plans and Strategy (OPNAV N3/N5)
Former Commander of the U.S. SEVENTH Fleet
Former Director, Warfighting Requirements (OPNAV N9)
Strategic Advisory Committee, Naval War College Foundation

VADM William R. Merz, USN (Ret.), received his Bachelor’s degree in Ocean Engineering (merit) from the U.S. Naval Academy, as well as Master’s degrees from The Catholic University of America and U.S. Naval War College.  He holds certificates from the MIT Seminar XXI and the University of Virginia Darden School on Strategic Thinking and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is currently the Vice President of Aerospace and Defense Technologies (ADTech) for Oceaneering International and serves in several defense industry board positions.

VADM Merz retired from the U.S. Navy in December 2022. During his Naval career, he served in three positions at the 3-star level: Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet; Chief Requirements Officer (OPNAV N9); and Chief Operating Officer (OPNAV N3/N5). He authored Navy/Marine Corps warfighting concepts and maritime elements of the National Defense Strategy, the Nuclear Posture Review, and the Navy’s “Blue Arctic.” He also served as Senior Navy liaison for the Australia-United Kingdom- U.S (AUKUS) Defense Initiative.

A career submariner, VADM Merz commanded the nuclear deep-sea vessel (DSV) Submarine NR-1, the attack submarine USS Memphis (SSN 691), and Submarine Development Squadron 12. VADM Merz served as Chief Engineer aboard USS Boise (SSN 764) and, for three years, headed the Naval Reactors Line Locker. Over the course of 12 global deployments, his crews earned eight unit awards and five Battle “E”s. His ship was recognized as the top ship in the fleet and completed the fastest-ever under-ice polar transit. 

A native of San Diego, CA, VADM Merz is an Honorary Navy Chief Petty Officer. 


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