Updated: October 2, 2013 6:16AM
Stagg High School alumnus William Hunter Hilarides was promoted to the rank of Navy vice admiral and recently assumed command of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C.
The Naval Sea Systems Command, known as NAVSEA, is the largest of the Navy’s systems commands. In his position as commander, Hilarides oversees a global workforce of more than 56,000 military and civilian personnel responsible for the development, delivery and maintenance of the Navy’s ships, submarines and combat systems.
“Stagg High School is very proud of Hilarides’ success as he undertakes these new responsibilities with the Navy,” Principal Eric Olsen said. “His visit to campus a few years back is, and will remain, part of our institutional memory. Students thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to hear the success story of someone who learned in the same classrooms where they do now. He spoke of the importance of leadership, math and science to a full auditorium of Chargers.”
Hilarides also was recognized as an outstanding District 230 alumnus when he was selected for the District 230 Foundation Legacy Hall in 2009.
Hilarides graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981 with a bachelor of science degree in physics. After graduation, he served as master of the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron sloop Avenger, competing in several offshore racing events.
Prior to assuming command of NAVSEA, he served at sea aboard USS Pargo, USS Gurnard and USS Maryland, deploying to the North Atlantic, Mediterranean, Arctic and Western Pacific, as well as conducting several strategic deterrent patrols.
Ashore, he served on the staff of Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Bureau of Naval Personnel; Joint Staff; and the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations.
Since becoming an acquisition professional in 2002, he has served as director, Advanced Submarine Research and Development; program manager of the SSGN Program; and program executive officer for submarines, where he was responsible for all new construction submarine programs, along with the acquisition and life cycle maintenance of submarine weapons, countermeasures, sonar, combat control and imaging systems.
He holds a master’s degree in Engineering Management from the Catholic University of America, completed the Air Force Command and Staff College, the MIT Seminar XXI Program in International Security Affairs and numerous acquisition schools.
Hilarides also has received various personal and campaign awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
Hilarides’ family is formerly from Hickory Hills.