Rear Adm. Rick Williamson is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. He is a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. He earned a Master of Business Administration from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1990 and is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.
His early sea assignments include tours onboard USS Dewey (DDG 45), USS Briscoe (DD 977), USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and executive officer of USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60). He commanded USS Simpson (FFG 56) during NATO’s Standing Naval Forces Atlantic 2004 deployment to the United States, the first such visit by NATO to the United States after 9/11. Under his command, Simpson won two Battle “E” awards.
Ashore, his assignments include tours in the Washington, D.C. area as executive assistant to Commander, Navy Installations Command, and deputy director of Plans and Policy. Additionally, he served as a lead examiner of both the steam and gas turbine branches at the Propulsion Examination Board at Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. In May 2006, he served as the executive officer of the Command Leadership School at Newport, Rhode Island. From 2008 to 2011, he served as commanding officer of Naval Base San Diego. During this tour, Naval Base San Diego was selected as the 2010 Presidential Installation Excellence Award and the 2011 Presidential Green Government Award.
His flag assignments include Commander, Navy Region Midwest; Navy Region Southeast; and Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. He served as commander of Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia from March 2016 to April 2019.
Williamson’s decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various other unit and campaign awards.