TRACEN Petaluma

Meet the Command Chaplain

LCDR D. Ryan Williams
Chaplain Corps, USN

Command Chaplain

Chaplain Williams was born in Provo, Utah on 6 April 1977. He is a 2001 graduate of Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah where he earned his Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance. He also holds a Masters and Doctorate in Music from Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona and a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from Brigham Young University.

Additionally, in 2018 he was awarded the College of Distance Education Command and Staff Diploma for Joint Professional Military Education Phase I.

Enlisting in the Air Force in 2005, he served as a member of The USAF Band of the Golden West, Travis AFB, California. He entered the USAF Chaplain Candidate Program in 2008 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and later commissioned a First Lieutenant, USAF Reserve Chaplain, in 2010.

While in the USAF, Chaplain Williams served as staff chaplain to the 75th Air Base Wing, Hill AFB, Utah. Concurrent to his service in the USAF Reserves, Chaplain Williams completed a 1- 1/2 year Clinical Pastoral Education residency at St. Mark’s Hospital, Salt Lake City Utah, and subsequently served as a Staff Chaplain at St. Mark’s and the SLC VA hospital. He received full board certification through the Association of Professional Chaplains in 2012. That same year Chaplain Williams detached from the USAF and received an appointment as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Chaplain Corps.

Chaplain Williams’ Navy Chaplain Corps service has included assignments with Third Battalion, First Marines, First Reconnaissance Battalion, Camp Pendleton, California (2012-2015), Clinical Staff Chaplain at Naval Medical Center San Diego (2015-2018), Command Chaplain on USS Antietam, Yokosuka, Japan (2018-2020), and USCG Training Center Petaluma (2020-present). With 3/1 he completed a six-month Unit Deployment Program (UDP) to Okinawa. From April – September, 2016 he served as Command Chaplain for the USNS MERCY hospital ship in support of Pacific Partnership 2016. While on Antietam, he participated in 4 major Indo-Pacific Fleet patrols as part of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG 5). At the conclusion of this assignment he was awarded the Professional Naval Chaplaincy annual award for chaplaincy excellence in 2020.

Chaplain Williams is married to his lovely wife, Nicki and has 5 children: Sophie (19), Caleb (17), Elsie (15), Ruby (10), and Annie (9).