A native of Virginia, Rear Adm. Charles Williams graduated from the University of Virginia in 1985 with a degree in history, and commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Program.
Williams’ sea duty assignments include tours on USS Deyo (DD 989) as auxiliaries officer and damage control assistant, USS Elliot (DD 967) as engineer officer, and USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) as executive officer. He commanded USS Firebolt (PC 10) and USS Stethem (DDG 63), in San Diego.
Williams served as the first deputy commodore in Destroyer Squadron Fifteen in Yokosuka, Japan, and then as commodore and Strike Force ASW commander for Commander Task Force SEVEN ZERO, 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. While on the Joint Staff, he served on the Crisis Action Team that stood up on September 11, 2001 and in the months that followed on the Joint Staff Current Operations Team. Williams also served as head, Surface Warfare Junior Officer Assignments, in Pers-41 in Millington, Tennessee; his most recent assignment was on the chief of naval operations staff as deputy, Surface Warfare Combat Systems.
He holds masters degrees in Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, and in National Security from the Naval Command and Staff College.
Williams’ decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and individual and unit awards.