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Department of Leadership, Ethics, and Law

Captain Rick Rubel, USN (Ret)

Distinguished Military Professor of Ethics

  •  Phone: (410) 293-6014
  •  E-mail:
  •   Department of Leadership, Ethics, Law, Luce Hall (Mail Stop 7-B) 112 Cooper Road Annapolis, MD 21402-5022

Captain William Richard Rubel, son of Rear Admiral and Mrs. David M. Rubel, was born in Bethesda, Maryland. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. In his initial sea tour, he served as Gunnery Officer, and Damage Control Assistant in USS CHARLES F. ADAMS (DDG 2) during operations in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. He then received a Master's Degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. During his second sea tour, Captain Rubel served as Weapons and Operations Officer in USS STEIN (FF 1065).

In 1980, Captain Rubel was selected as an Engineering Duty Officer. In his initial Engineering Duty Officer tour, he served as Ship Superintendent, Combat Systems Officer, and Aircraft Carrier Project Officer at SUPSHIP, San Diego, responsible for Combat Systems Engineering and maintaining three aircraft carriers. In his next tour, he was the Deputy Maintenance Officer for Aircraft Carriers on the Staff of Commander Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

In June 1988, after graduating from Defense Systems Management College, he reported to the AEGIS Cruiser Program Office (PMS 400) as the AEGIS Cruiser Post Delivery Manager. In this capacity he was directly involved with repairs of USS PRINCETON after battle damage was incurred from hitting an Iraqi mine, directing the engineering team for battle damage assessment, repairs, and restoration in Bahrain and Dubai.

From May 1991 to June 1993, he was Commanding Officer of SUPSHIP, Long Beach, responsible for the repairs of the ships in the private sector in that port. In July 1993, he took over as Director of SUPSHIP Management in the Naval Sea Systems Command, responsible for all 14 of the private sector repair facilities.

Captain Rubel was previously the Program Manager of the, DDG 51 ARLEIGH BURKE Class Destroyer Program (PMS 400), largest program in the Department of the Navy. He was responsible for the systems engineering, design, and construction of the DDG 51 Class of ships. With an overall program budget of $54 Billion, he delivered 23 Destroyers to the Navy during his tour as Program Manager. From 1998 to 2002 he served as the Director, Division of Engineering and Weapons at the U.S. Naval Academy. While at the Naval Academy he taught eight semesters of Ethics for Military Officers, and served as the Chairman of the Admissions Board.

Captain Rubel was appointed by the Superintendent as the first Distinguished Military Professor of Ethics and is the occupant of the "General Robert T. Herres, Distinguished Military Professorship Chair of Leadership and Ethics". In this capacity he is the coordinator of the U.S. Naval Academy Core Ethics Course. He recently co-authored and co-edited the book, "Case Studies in Military Ethics", published by Pearson-Longmans. He also provides his on-line teaching notes to 82 of the NROTC universities around the country. In 2004, he was a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in the Professional Development Training Course (PDTC) on "The Chaplain as Moral and Ethical Advisor in and to the Military Institution". He is currently enrolled in a Program for a Diploma in Philosophy at the University of London.

Captain Rubel is a qualified Surface Warfare Officer and Engineering Officer of the Watch. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit (three awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Expeditionary Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, and the Navy Expert Rifle and Expert Pistol Medals.

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