Chaplain William S. Riley was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan and is a graduate of Evangelical School of Theology (M.A.R. and M.Div.), Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.M.), as well as Command and Staff and the Senior Course, United States Naval War College, where he received an MA in National Security and Strategic Studies with JPME Phase II, becoming a Joint Service Qualified Officer (JS8).
Father Riley is endorsed by the Anglican Church in America (ACA).
His duty assignments include: Newport RI, Whidbey Island Washington, Point Mugu and Port Hueneme California, Norfolk Virginia, Cherry Point North Carolina, Princeton New Jersey, Monterey California, Okinawa Japan and Washington D.C. He has served in a variety of assignments at sea and shore, including deployments to the Persian Gulf and Iraq during OIF. His first ship as Command Chaplain was the USS CAPE ST GEORGE (CG-71). Prior to assuming duties as the Executive Director of the Armed Forces Chaplain Board (OUSD-P&R), he served as the Deputy to the Executive Director AFCB, Command and Supervisory Chaplain for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, as well as Command Chaplain and Instructor Faculty of Military and World Religious Ethics in the National Security Affairs Dept., the Naval Postgraduate School.