Rear Admiral William McQuilkin is currently the director of the U.S. Navy’s Strategy and Policy Division (OPNAV N51). He graduated from the University of Florida and received his commission through Officer Candidate School, Newport, Rhode Island, in June 1983. His first assignment was aboard USS Elmer Montgomery (FF 1082), where he served as disbursing officer and Supply department head.
After re-designating to the surface line, McQuilkin reported to USS Dale (CG 19) where he served as combat information center officer and deployed to the Arabian Gulf. Following the Surface Warfare Department Head course, he served two consecutive operations officer tours in USS Doyle (FFG 39) and USS Vicksburg (CG 69).
McQuilkin commanded USS Scout (MCM 8) as a lieutenant commander, and deployed to the Mediterranean as part of the USS Inchon Task Group (CTG 99-1). He was commanding officer of USS Halyburton (FFG 40), where he deployed to the North Atlantic and Mediterranean as part of the Standing Naval Force Atlantic in support of Operation Active Endeavor. McQuilkin also commanded USS Gettysburg (CG 64), where he deployed to the Arabian Gulf as the air defense commander for the Enterprise Strike Group in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
From September 2011 to September 2013 McQuilkin served as commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea. In this capacity, McQuilkin was the U.S. Navy’s representative for U.S. Pacific Fleet in Korea. In this post, he also served as the commander of Task Force 78 for U.S. 7th Fleet, and the naval component commander for United Nations Command and naval component commander for U.S. Forces Korea.
Ashore, McQuilkin served as the branch head for Area and Ship Self Defense and deputy branch head for Missile Defense in the Surface Warfare Division (N86) of the Chief of Naval Operations Staff; as the division chief of the Pacific Command Division (J-33), Joint Chiefs of Staff; and as branch head of the Policy Branch (N512) and chief of staff for the Strategy and Policy Division, Chief of Naval Operations staff.
McQuilkin holds a Master of Science degree in Management from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Master of Arts degree in Military History from the Army Command and General Staff College. His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (four awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (six awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), and various campaign and unit awards.