Admiral Meyer was widely known as the “Father of Aegis,” the combat system that entered the fleet in 1983 and is still effective 36 years later. During World War II, he began training in the V-12 reserve officer program at the University of Kansas. He became an ensign in February 1946 at age 19. This edited excerpt is from Meyer’s Naval Institute oral history interview with Paul Stillwell on 12 November 2007
The commissioning day was so big that it overwhelmed me. It took me a long time to really appreciate the significance of it. Afterward about 60 or 70 people went to celebrate at a place called The Tee Pee, which was a joint. That night we drank a case of Three Feathers whiskey. Of course, we were all underage.
Well, what were we going to do next? Nobody knew what to do with us. Several days later an AlNav [All Navy] message came in. It was soliciting applications to attend graduate training for five terms in the new science of electronics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT]. We didn’t know what to do, so we talked to a lieutenant who said: