CAPT Gilliam is a native of Henderson, NC and a graduate of East Carolina University. He was commissioned in 1983 after completing Aviation Officer Candidate School at NAS Pensacola, FL. He was designated a Naval Aviator in 1985 and received orders to NAS Whidbey Island, WA to fly the EA-6B Prowler.
His fleet assignments include VAQ-138 deploying aboard USS Nimitz (CVN-68), the CVW-9 Staff as the Air Wing Landing Signal Officer (LSO) and VAQ-139 as a Squadron Department Head deploying aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). CAPT Gilliam has commanded VAQ-141, VAQ-129, Carrier Air Wing Nine and The George Washington NROTC Unit in Washington, DC.
CAPT Gilliam’s other flying assignments include VAQ-129 where he served as an Instructor Pilot and Landing Signal Officer, as well as Commander, Naval Air Forces where he served as the Force LSO. His shore assignments include the Joint Staff where he served in the Special Operations Division and later as Executive Assistant to Deputy Director for Current Operations (J-33). He also served as Chief of Naval Operations EA-6B and EA-18G Requirements Officer where he was the resource sponsor for all EA-6B readiness, sustainment, and follow-on platform programs.
CAPT Gilliam is a graduate of National War College and has also served as the Executive Assistant to the Director for Warfare Integration (N8F) on the Navy Staff. Retiring in 2013, CAPT Gilliam spent three years in the private sector before becoming the fourth Director of the National Naval Aviation Museum in 2015.
CAPT Gilliam has over 4600 flight hours in a variety of naval aircraft and more than 1300 arrested landings on 12 different aircraft carriers. He is a Life Member of the Tailhook Association where he also served as a member of the Board of Directors and as President.
Locally, he is a member of Pensacola Five Flags Rotary, a parishioner at Christ Episcopal Church and serves as a Board member of the WSRE Foundation. Most recently, he is beginning his second stint as a Director of Visit Pensacola Inc. where he previously served as the Chairman of the Board.