Ted Stier was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1940. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from February 10 to November 11, 1963, and then entered the Officer Candidate program on November 12, 1963. After attending Pre-flight training, Basic Naval Flight Officer's School, and Radar Intercept Officer Training, Stier was commissioned an Ensign and designated a Naval Flight Officer in September 1964. He attended Maintenance Officer School from September 1964 to March 1965, and then joined VF-121 at NAS Miramar, California, for Fleet Replacement training in the F-4 Phantom II. His next assignment was with VF-103 at NAS Oceana, Virginia, from November 1965 to January 1966, followed by service with VF-151 at NAS Miramar and then deployed aboard the aircraft carriers USS Constellation (CV-64) and USS Coral Sea (CVA-43). LTJG Stier flew 155 combat missions with VF-151 in Southeast Asia before he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on November 19, 1967. After 1,943 days in captivity, LT Stier was released during Operation Homecoming on March 14, 1973. After being briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries, LCDR Stier attended the University of San Diego, where he earned his Master of Arts degree in International Relations in 1976. He then served as an instructor at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from January 1977 to July 1979, followed by service in the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon from August 1979 to August 1982. CDR Stier served as Executive Officer of the Navy ROTC unit at the University of San Diego from August 1982 to July 1985. His final assignment was back in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he served from July 1985 until his retirement from the Navy on October 1, 1988.
His 2nd Silver Star Citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. In January 1968, his captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention. By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.