Just over a year ago, retired Vice Adm. Mike Miller collected $100 each from the chief of naval operations and the Navy secretary as he handed over command of the Naval Academy.
In his remarks, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told the crowd at Alumni Hall that he and Adm. Jon Greenert had made a bet four years earlier with Miller — a ’74 academy grad — that he wouldn’t last a second tour at the Naval Academy without getting in trouble.
“… I think the main thing we share is the astonishment of his classmates and my shipmates from long ago at the offices we have attained,” Mabus quipped.
The catch is, Miller did get in trouble during his tour, but for expensive gifts and dinners he had accepted as the one-star skipper of the Reagan Carrier Strike Group from Leonard Glenn Francis, the larger-than-life CEO now at the center of a bribery ring.
Indeed, Miller was only ceremoniously retired at the July ceremony. In reality, he was quietly held on active-duty — at O-8 pay — pending the findings of the Navy and Justice Department investigations and any possible charges or discipline resulting from them.
Miller, then the Navy’s longest-serving admiral, was issued a letter of censure but allowed to retire Aug. 1 as a three-star, the determination of the highest rank at which he served honorably.
It took a year after this retirement ceremony for the investigation into his 2006 Pacific cruise to wrap up. In the end, Mabus also censured Reagan’s former CO, Rear Adm. Terry Kraft, and its former supply officer, Rear Adm. David Pimpo.
The investigation found they improperly solicited and received gifts and endorsed Glenn Defense Marine Asia, a Malaysian pier services contractor led by Francis.
So does this mean Miller owes the Navy’s top officials $200?