Research & Graduate Studies
Sea Camp and Outreach
Texas Maritime Academy
RADM William Pickavance
|Superintendent Texas Maritime Academy|
Rear Admiral William W. Pickavance, Jr. is a native of Fort Worth, Texas. He graduated from college in 1968 and was commissioned as an Ensign, USNR, and licensed as a Third Officer (Deck) in the U.S. Merchant Marine. He served in the U.S. Merchant Marine prior to attending US Navy flight training in 1969 and received Merchant Marine Viet Nam Service Medal. He received his pilot wings at NAS Kingsville, Texas in May 1971 and reported to NAS Lemoore, California for combat training in the single seat A-7 A/B Corsair. He augmented to the regular Navy in 1973. As a Naval Aviator, he flew all Navy versions of the A-7 Corsair II before transitioning and commanding the Navy’s first operational F/A-18 Hornet Squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron 113 (VFA-113). He has flown over 3500 hours in the Corsair, 1500 hours in the Hornet and several hundred hours in numerous other Naval aircraft. Additionally, he has accumulated over 800 carrier landings. He had six operational commands including Attack Squadron 113 (VA-113), an A-7 squadron embarked in USS Ranger (CV 61), Strike Fighter Squadron 113, (VFA-113) which he stood up, transitioned, and commanded as the first operational F/A-18 Hornet squadron in the Navy and embarked in USS Constellation (CV 64), he commanded the Hornet Readiness Training Squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron 125 (VFA-125) the largest aviation command in the Navy at that time, he commanded the support ship, USS MARS (AFS 1) during operation Desert Shield/Storm, commanded the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) during tensions with North Korea in 1994. In 1995 he was designated a Surface Warfare Officer. Finally, as a Flag Officer, he commanded Carrier Group One (CCG-1) where, as a battle/strike group commander, he broke his Flag in all the west coast aircraft carriers. His last flight on active duty as a Naval Aviator was in June 2000 in a Royal Thai Navy A-7E Corsair in UTAPAO, Thailand.
Although he spent a good portion of his career at sea, he has also served on several staffs; twice on the Navy staff in the Pentagon. First, as Aide/Flag Lieutenant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations and then as a Captain he was the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air (OP-05). In 1994, after being selected for flag, he was assigned to the NATO Supreme Allied Headquarters staff in Mons, Belgium and before retiring in 2000, was the Director for Operations (J-3) for the U.S. Pacific Command, Camp Smith, Hawaii, where he was responsible to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command for the operations of all U.S. and coalition forces in the Pacific area of responsibility which consists of 43 countries and roughly 53% of the earth.
He has more than 32 years of military service, retiring as a U.S. Navy Rear Admiral (upper half) in October 2000. After retiring, he then spent eight years with a major space operations company as the VP for Space Shuttle launch and recovery operations at the Kennedy Space center. In this capacity he had over 5000 employees who “processed” the Nation’s Space Shuttles and Solid Rocket Boosters for launch and subsequent recovery on return from space.
He numbers among his military decorations the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Department of Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (4 awards), the Distinguished Flying Cross, Naval Meritorious Service Medal (4 individual awards), the Air Medal (with 3 gold stars for individual combat action) and the Navy Commendation Medal (4 awards 3 of which are for valor in combat), and several expeditionary, campaign, service, and unit awards. He saw combat in North Vietnam and Desert Storm.
Academically, he has a BS degree in Marine Transportation from Texas A&M University, a M.S. degree in Management from Salve Regina University, Newport RI, and a M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. He attended Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government as a senior official in National Security in 1993 and again in 1998.
In 2003, Florida Governor Jeb Bush appointed him to the Florida Space Authority Board where he served for 3 years. Additionally, he has served on the President’s Advisory Boards of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and Webster University, he is the past Chairman of the Board of Visitors for Texas A&M University at Galveston and served on the Engineering Advisory Board at the University of Florida. He also served on the Boards of the Children's Home Society, United Way, American Red Cross, Cape Canaveral Navy League, and is a member of the Civilian/Military committee. He is currently on the board of advisors of the Navy & Marine Corps Association. He is a life member of the “Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association” (organized originally for aviators who saw combat in North Viet Nam) and in 2009 was asked to serve on the board of the “Air Warrior Courage Foundation” which supports the children of fallen fighter crew. In April 2010 he was inducted into “The Early and Pioneer Naval Aviator’s Association” (The Golden Eagles).
Additionally, he is a life member of the Naval Institute, the Association of Naval Aviation, the Southwest Commandery Naval Order of the U.S., the Tailhook Association, and is a member of the Texas A&M Former Students’ Association. In 1995, Texas Governor, George W. Bush, commissioned him an Admiral in the Texas Navy and he is now a Board Member and Chairman of the Texas Navy Association. In 2001 he was inducted into the “Legends of Texas A&M University” and in 2008 he was awarded the “Outstanding Alumnus Award” for Texas A&M University, Galveston. In 2004 he was awarded the “Silver Knight of management by the National Management Association" (NMA). Since becoming Superintendent of the Texas Maritime Academy, the Secretary of Transportation has appointed him a Rear Admiral in the US Maritime Service.