Commander William R. Howard Jr.
Medical Service Corps
United States Navy
Commander William Howard, a native of Frankfort, Kentucky, earned a master’s degree in toxicology from Johns Hopkins University where his thesis concerned the discovery of a novel protein in yeast. He then received a doctoral degree in biochemistry from the University of Kentucky in 2001 where his dissertation involved the functions of an uncharacterized steroid receptor. He entered the U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps as a Lieutenant in 2002 where his first assignment was as an instructor at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
From 2004 to 2007 he was assigned to the Forward Deployable Preventive Medicine Unit East where he served as Department Head for Field Analytical Support at the Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit Two in Norfolk, Virginia. As acting Head of Plans and Operations in 2006, he oversaw the training and outfitting of three deployable teams. He then deployed to Kuwait and established the theater’s first advanced chemical and biological threat agent analysis capability.
From 2007 to 2010 he was assigned as Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Research Laboratory – Detachment at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland where he was Naval Liaison to the US Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command. As a member of U.S. NORTHCOM’s Joint Technical Augmentation Cell, he provided hazard mitigation advice during the descent of a prematurely dying NROL-21/USA 193 satellite that was successfully destroyed in orbit by a U.S. Navy SM-3 missile in February 2008.
From 2010 to 2014, he served as Department Head of Environmental Toxicology at the Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio where he also served as the newly established unit’s first Director for Administration from 2010-2011. His research included an evaluation of atmospheric standards on submarines with an emphasis on female reproductive health in the wake of the mandate to allow women to serve on submarines.
From 2014-2016, Commander Howard served as the Deputy Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction Defense in the Office of Readiness and Health at the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Falls Church, Virginia where he also served as the Navy Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Medical Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Working Group.
Commander Howard is currently serving as the Executive Officer of the Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. His personal awards include three Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and two Navy Achievement Medals.