Rear Admiral Richard David Williams III, USN (Retired)

A Biography


Rear Admiral Richard David Williams III


Captain Richard David Williams III, began his naval service in 1959 when he joined the US Naval Reserve at the end of his junior year at Messick High School in Memphis, Tennessee.   He received a US Naval Reserve appointment to the US Naval Academy where he studied Naval Science.   He was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree and was commissioned an Ensign in 1964.
The two years following his commissioning, Captain Williams served aboard the USS Semmes DDG 18.   He held the position of Assistant Combat Information Officer, Gunnery Officer and First Lieutenant before going to the Republic of Vietnam where he reported to COASTAL SQUADRON ONE in November 1966. He was assigned as Officer-in-Charge of a patrol craft, fast (PCF) and spent the following year conducting Operation Market Time missions from DaNang and Chu Lai.
In January 1968 he reported to NAVAL STATION SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, and served there as Security Officer until August when he was assigned to the staff of COMMANDER, SOUTH ATLANTIC FORCE. He remained with USCOMSOLANT as Aide and Flag Secretary until June 1970.
He received a Master's of Science Degree in Physics at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California in 1972.   In 1973 he attended the Navy Nuclear Propulsion School in Bainbridge, Maryland, and then the Nuclear Power Training Unit at Saratoga Spring, New York.   In March 1974 he reported as Electrical Officer aboard the USS Long Beach CGN 9.   Two years later he went to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where he served until February 1978 as Executive Officer of the Navy Nuclear Power Training Unit.   In July 1978 he became Engineer Officer of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN  69, a position he held until December 1981.
In July 1982 Captain Williams relieved as Commanding Officer USS Clark FFG 11.   During his tour, USS Clark participated in operations off Lebanon and in the Persian Gulf.
He reported to the USS California CGN 36 as Commanding Officer in October 1985 and served on California until August 1988; he participated in California's around-the-world deployment in 1987.

He has served as Chief of Staff for the Surface Ship Directorate of the Naval Sea Systems Command Washington, DC, as Commander, Port Hueneme Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme, California, and as Director, Naval Warfare System Architecture and Engineering, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, Washington, DC. Rear Admiral Williams retired on 1 April 1997.

He has attended the Executive Program at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia.

Rear Admiral Williams has served as Vice President and General Manager, DRS Precision Echo in Santa Clara, California, and as President, WESMAR Defense Products Company, a division of Western Marine Electronics in Woodinville, Washington.

At present, Rear Admiral Williams is the US NAVY’s first Program Executive Officer for Mine Warfare at the Naval Post Graduate School, serving as Chair Professor of Mine Warfare and the Deputy Director, Under Sea Warfare Research Center.
Captain Williams' decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, two Navy Unit Commendations, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, three Battle "E's", two Navy-Marine Corps Expeditionary Medals and two Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals.
He is married to the former Sherryl Lynn Cooper of Memphis, Tennessee.   They reside in Monterey, California and are the proud parents of two children, Deborah and David.