Now retired from the U.S. Navy, Rear Admiral Rick Williams served in various command positions with Navy Region Hawaii, Surface Group Middle Pacific, and Strike Group 15 during the course of his career. While in Hawaii, Rear Admiral Rick Williams participated in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercises.
Attended by dozens of nations and held every two years, RIMPAC is the largest international maritime exercise in the world. During the month-long exercise, military leaders and naval forces from around the globe converge on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the Pacific Missile Range Facility to engage in readiness training and testing in the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. RIMPAC also fosters cooperative relationships among the world’s navies.
With a history dating back to 1971, RIMPAC most recently occurred in 2016, from June 30 through August 4. The exercise included five submarines, 45 surface ships, and more than 200 aircraft. Over 25,000 personnel took part as well. Participating nations included the United States, Japan, New Zealand, the People’s Republic of China, Peru, Tonga, the United Kingdom, and 20 others.
Before transitioning to the private sector, Rick Williams attained the rank of rear admiral during a more than 20-year career in the US Navy. A student of history in his free time, Rick Williams began the process of ascending to rear admiral after receiving his commission through the Navy ROTC Program.
The history of the Navy ROTC Program dates to July 20, 1926, a day on which Secretary of the Navy Curtis D. Wilbur announced in a letter that the program would begin at six universities that autumn. An 1884 graduate of the US Naval Academy, Wilbur served as secretary for five years following his 1924 appointment by President Calvin Coolidge. He came to the secretary post having previously sat on the California Supreme Court, where he had most recently been chief justice.
Wilbur initially began pursuing a career in law after resigning his naval commission, a common practice at the time due to poor employment prospects for officers. Following his five-year tenure as secretary, he returned to the field of law when President Herbert Hoover appointed him to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where Wilbur remained until his retirement in 1945.
In 1954, Wilbur died at the age of 87. His naval legacy lives on today, as the Navy ROTC Program has grown to reach students through more than 160 colleges and universities. In addition, the Navy has honored its former secretary by commissioning the USS Curtis Wilbur, which has been in service since 1994.
Having served in the U.S. Navy for more than 20 years, Rear Admiral Rick Williams has held a number of leadership roles, including Squadron Commodore and Frigate Commander. Rear Admiral Rick Williams has also served as the Deputy Commander of the U. S. Fifth Fleet at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).
The U.S. Fifth Fleet at the Naval Forces Central Command oversees more than 2.5 million square miles of waterways covering areas such as the Suez Canal, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Arabian Gulf. The fifth fleet is responsible for maintaining relationships with partner nations and helping defeat violent extremist organizations in the region.
The U.S. Fifth Fleet is part of the U.S. Forces Central Command (CENTCOM), which is responsible for operations in the Pacific as well as Africa and Europe. CENTCOM was organized in 1983, and was a vital part of command operations during the Persian Gulf War in the 1980s.
Former United States Navy Rear Admiral Rick Williams has spent his entire adult life in service to his country. Although he no longer serves as a rear admiral, Rick Williams continues to help those in the armed forces through his support of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.
Dedicated to meeting the various needs of military families, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society conducts programs that provide financial, educational, health, and other support services. Through its Visiting Nurse Program, the organization offers health education and post-combat support to active-duty and retired sailors and marines as well as marine corps and navy families with newborns.
Although they don’t provide medical treatment, Society nurses are available to answer questions on a variety of health topics. The nurses can also provide baby weight checks and help address any concerns related to medications or chronic medical conditions. They also act as a liaison between program participants and their health care providers.
In addition to offering health advice, the Visiting Nurse Program helps connect combat veterans to the services they need to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally. Society nurses travel to every state in the country to assist navy and marine veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn. The nurses offer support and resources to help the veterans understand their diagnosis, injuries, and recovery to assist them in the rehabilitation process. The program also helps families of navy and marine corps personnel who lost their lives in service to their country.
Before beginning a career in the Navy, Rear Admiral Rick Williams attended the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business in 1984. Rear Admiral Rick Williams also completed an MBA at the University of Maryland in College Park before attending the Naval War College, where he received a master of arts in National Security Affairs in 1996.
The Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island was established in 1884 to provide professional studies for advanced training of naval officers. The War College features a NWC Museum that is established inside “the poorhouse,” a National Historic Landmark that was once the Newport Asylum for the Poor.
The NWC Museum includes several exhibits and collections related to the history of naval warfare, along with records and documents from naval encounters. The museum is open to the public and serves as a clearing house for New England naval information.