- The Washington Times - Monday, June 6, 2005

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Rear Adm. Ronald F. Marryott, who led and taught a generation of sailors and officers during a Navy career that spanned 33 years, died June 4 of complications from leukemia. He was 71.

Adm. Marryott was the U.S. Naval Academy’s superintendent from 1986 to 1988 and was honored last year as a Naval Academy Distinguished Graduate.

“His significant and enduring contributions helped develop thousands of young men and women into leaders of character who are serving our Navy and Marine Corps,” said Rear Adm. Rodney P. Rempt, the academy’s current superintendent.

Adm. Rempt said Adm. Marryott “embodied the highest ideals” of the academy.

Adm. Marryott was a member of the class of 1957. He served as a Navy aviator and commanded the Iceland Defense Force. He also served seven tours in the Pentagon and was president of the Naval War College from 1985 to 1986.

“Best job in the Navy,” he said last year, describing his time as superintendent. “It was like a real homecoming for me.”

Adm. Marryott said one of his greatest challenges as the academy’s 52nd superintendent was to stanch the dropout rate for female midshipmen.

He appointed a task force to examine the reasons for the high attrition rate in the 1980s. He found that much of the problem was that female recruits often lacked strong backgrounds in sciences or athletics, two staples of life at the academy. Once recruiters started looking for women who were strong in these areas, as were their male counterparts, the attrition rate dropped, Adm. Marryott said.

Adm. Marryott flew patrol and surveillance operations in P-2V and P-3 aircraft over both the Atlantic and the Pacific.

He participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis blockade and served as Project Mercury recovery officer for the first three manned spaceflights.

In the mid-1960s at the academy, he taught naval history and the history of U.S. foreign policy, American government and politics, and international relations.

Adm. Marryott saw duty in Vietnam and flew numerous Cold War missions. He went on to command Patrol Squadron 90 and the Naval Air Station, Moffett Field, Calif.

His decorations include the Air Medal, two Legions of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Order of the Falcon, Iceland and the Order du Merite, France.

Adm. Marryott retired from active duty in 1990 and served as president and chief executive officer of the George C. Marshall Foundation before returning to Annapolis as president and chief executive officer of the academy’s alumni association. He retired from the association in 2000, but remained active and served as co-chairman of the Class of ‘57 fundraising efforts.

Adm. Marryott is survived by his wife, Carol; three sons, Ronald Jr. of Santa Monica, Calif., Robert of Hartford, Conn., and Thomas W. of Annapolis; and a brother, Thomas D. Marryott of Port Charlotte, Fla.

Adm. Marryott will be buried with full military honors at the U.S. Naval Academy on Thursday.

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