Rear Adm. Richard Berkey is a native of Windber, Pennsylvania, and entered the Navy through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program at Pennsylvania State University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1983 and later qualified as a surface warfare officer aboard USS Farragut (DDG 37).
He became an engineering duty officer and attended Naval Postgraduate School where he received a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a mechanical engineer degree in 1989. He graduated with distinction and was the recipient of the Naval Sea Systems Command award for Excellence in Naval Engineering and the Navy League award for highest academic achievement.
His engineering duty tours include service as a surface ship superintendent and nuclear ship superintendent at Norfolk Naval Shipyard; main propulsion assistant in USS Saratoga (CV 60); fleet maintenance budget officer on the staff of the commander, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; assistant operations officer for surface ship and submarine fleet maintenance at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility; chief engineer on USS George Washington (CVN 73); ship engineer officer in the maintenance directorate on the staff of Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; ship/submarine branch head in the Fleet Readiness Division on the staff of the chief of naval operations; operations officer at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard; assistant deputy commander for industrial operations at Naval Sea Systems Command; 102nd shipyard commander at Norfolk Naval Shipyard; and deputy chief of staff for fleet maintenance, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
His personal decorations include three Legion of Merits, six Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. He is a member of the American Society of Naval Engineers and is a registered professional engineer in the state of California.