Bill Lescher

William K. Lescher - Retired US Navy, Admiral, Vice Chief of Naval Operations

Admiral (Retired) Bill Lescher served as the 41st Vice Chief of Naval Operations. As Vice Chief, and previously as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Integration of Capabilities and Resources, he led a team of exceptional leaders in transforming key Navy processes spanning resource allocation, execution, and innovation. Integrating analytic tools, organizational structure/cadence, and new leadership behaviors, the Navy achieved significantly improved readiness, force generation, and institutional learning outcomes with enduring initiatives spanning Get Real Get Better culture growth, Navigation Plan Implementation Framework, Unmanned Task Force, and the Learning to Action Board.

Operationally, Lescher commanded at the Squadron, Wing and Strike Group level. As a flag officer, he commanded Expeditionary Strike Group 5 and Task Forces 51/59 in Bahrain, leading multiple Amphibious Ready Groups and Marine Expeditionary Units executing contingency and counter-terrorism missions.

Ashore, his assignments included leading the Seahawk developmental test team as an engineering test pilot, where he launched the first guided missiles from a Navy helicopter. He served in resource, acquisition and strategy assignments on the staffs of the Chief of Naval Operations, Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff. Flag assignments included Joint Staff Deputy Director for Resources and Acquisition, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Budget, and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Integration of Capabilities and Resources.

Admiral Lescher holds systems and aeronautical engineering degrees from the Naval Academy and Naval Postgraduate School, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He graduated with distinction from fixed wing, rotary wing and Naval Test Pilot School training, and the units in which he served earned the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy “E” Ribbons and Theodore Ellyson award.

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Recent News

Theories of Force Projection
May 5, 2023

Theories of Force Projection and World War I

World War I was a time of immense change in warfare. It introduced the greatest changes in battlefield tactics and technologies of all time. However, it also brought with it the biggest challenges in military operations. One of these challenges was the disconnect between firepower and maneuver that plagued World War I battles. Mahanian Theory […]

April 27, 2023

Experimentation, Innovation and the Tools of the Test Pilot

Admiral Bill Lescher has written and spoken broadly of the imperative to increase the velocity of experimentation from the tactical edge to the laboratory in order to generate Warfighting advantage at speed. When experimentation takes place in contexts with the potential for harsh downside consequences as well as upside learning and innovation, we commonly see […]

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