Rear Adm. Charles Williams is a native of Virginia. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia in 1985 with a degree in history and commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Program. He holds master’s degrees in systems engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School and in National Security from the Naval Command and Staff College.
Williams’ previous sea duty assignments include tours aboard USS Deyo (DD 989), USS Elliot (DD 967) and USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54). He commanded USS Firebolt (PC 10) and USS Stethem (DDG 63).
Williams served as the first deputy commodore in Destroyer Squadron 15 in Yokosuka, Japan, and then as commodore and Strike Force Anti-Submarine Warfare commander for Commander Task Force 70, where he was the on-scene commander for the Navy’s response to the sinking of the Republic of Korea ship Cheonan. He then reported to Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet as the chief of staff, where he served from July 2010 to July 2012, including during Operation Tomodachi, the U.S. response to support Japan in disaster relief following the March 2011 Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.
Ashore, he served in the Joint Staff, in the Command, Control, Communications and Computers (J-6) directorate, Current Operations Division. Williams also served as head, Surface Warfare Junior Officer Assignments, in Pers-41 in Millington, Tennessee; and as deputy, Surface Warfare Combat Systems, on the chief of naval operations staff. He was assigned as commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific; commander, Task Force (CTF) 73; and Singapore area coordinator.
Williams’ decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal among other individual and unit awards.