CMDCM(SW/AW) Bill Houlihan is a native of Saginaw, Michigan. He enlisted in the United States Navy in July 1989. After graduating from Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Illinois, he attended Basic Journalism “A” School at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.
He reported to the Far East Network, Subic Bay, Philippines in August 1990 and covered the eruption of Mount Pinatubo and the eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country after a century-long presence there.
In August 1992, Houlihan reported to Naval Air Station Adak, Alaska, where he served as news director at the Navy Broadcasting Detachment. While assigned, he was named Chief of Information Worldwide Sailor of the Year and also given the opportunity to attend the University of Oklahoma Short Course in Communication in Norman, Oklahoma.
While in Adak, JO3 Houlihan was advanced to JO2 prior to transferring to USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) in San Diego. While onboard Kitty Hawk, he earned his Enlisted Aviation Warfare Qualification and was promoted to First Class Petty Officer. He departed Kitty Hawk in 1996 and transferred to the Defense Information School as a Broadcast Journalism instructor.
Houlihan was selected for Chief Petty Officer in 1999 and was initiated by the Fort Meade CPO Mess. Soon after he transferred to Pre-Commissioning Unit Iwo Jima and helped commission the ship in 2000. Chief Houlihan deployed aboard USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) twice and earned his Enlisted Surface Warfare Qualification before transferring to Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee.
In April 2005, Houlihan went on an Individual Augmentee assignment to Baghdad, Iraq where he served for seven months as news director for the Armed Forces Network detachment there. He was selected for Senior Chief during that tour.
Senior Chief Houlihan left Millington in 2006 and transferred to Washington, D.C. where he served as public affairs chief for MCPONs Campa and West until 2010.
Houlihan then transferred to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), where he deployed three times in two years and earned selection to Master Chief. He was selected for the Command Master Chief program in February 2013 and reported to USS Milius (DDG 69) that May. During a three-year tour, he led the Milius crew through a dynamic training phase, an extended deployment to the Arabian Gulf, and a long maintenance period.
In May 2016, Houlihan reported as Command Master Chief, Naval Station Mayport, home of the third largest naval surface fleet concentration in the United States. Two years later, he assumed duties as Command Master Chief of Navy Region Southeast, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, providing counsel to the region commander and 18 installations within the Southeastern United States.
Houlihan is a 2006 graduate of the Senior Enlisted Academy (Class 127) and a 2013 graduate of the Command Leadership School.