Captain Bill Byrne was born in San Francisco and raised in nearby Pacifica, California. He spent a year at the Naval Academy Prep School before attending the United States Naval Academy where he graduated with a B.S. in Political Science in 1987. He received a M.A. in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in 2004.
His initial sea tours were in San Diego, California, aboard USS Cook (FF 1083) where he served as Gunnery Officer and Main Propulsion Assistant and aboard USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) as the Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer. Subsequent sea tours were in San Diego and Yokosuka, Japan, aboard USS Vincennes (CG 49) as Weapons Officer and Combat Systems Officer and in Norfolk, Virginia, as Executive Officer in USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55). Captain Byrne's command tours were in Mayport, Florida, aboard USS Halyburton (FFG 40) and back in San Diego aboard USS Cape St. George (CG 71).
Captain Byrne's shore tours include Aide/Flag Lieutenant to Commander, Naval Forces Marianas, in Guam, and several Pentagon tours including Resource Sponsor for the Director, Surface Warfare (OPNAV N86), Warfare Analyst for the Director, Warfare Integration (OPNAV N70), and Division Chief for Antiterrorism/Force Protection Programs in the Operations Directorate of the Joint Staff (J-3). He served as the Chief of Staff for the Commander, U.S. Third Fleet prior to assuming duties as the 85th Commandant of Midshipmen in May 2013.
His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation and Achievement Medals and various unit and service awards.