A retired U.S. Navy captain, who is a native of South Brunswick, was promoted to the position of director of Fleet Installations and Environment at U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) command in Norfolk, Virginia.
Tracy Veltre Riker, a current resident of Virginia Beach, was promoted on June 8.
Her department is responsible for the environmental planning and compliance for ships out at sea, and acts as advocates for any installation or shore issues that may impact the fleet.
“If you are determined to do something, you can do it,” Riker said. “You need people that support you and you need really good mentors. I was fortunate to have all those things. It’s wonderful to be up here.”
Riker has worked for USFF since 2014 as a civilian as USFF Planning and Resources branch head/principal advisor to the Environmental Readiness branch head, but was previously stationed at the command as a commissioned officer.
She commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps in July 1992. During her 21-year naval career, Riker served as trial counsel, legal assistance attorney, and defense counsel at Naval Legal Service Offices in Washington D.C., Bremerton, Washington and Norfolk, Virginia.
Riker served in several operational law billets to include staff judge advocate onboard USS Samuel Gompers (AD-37), Amphibious Group TWO, where she deployed onboard the USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) and U.S. Fifth Fleet in Manama, Bahrain, during Operation Desert Strike. She also served on several legal staffs including Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, and Submarine Forces Atlantic.
She retired in 2013.
Among her many achievements at USFF, Riker also helped pioneer Stewards of the Sea outreach program. The program raises awareness of the Navy’s environmental policy and initiatives, and aims to increase support for its training and basing activities among public, scientific and regulatory communities. It is now a national program that has reached hundreds of thousands of visitors through the permanent, portable and traveling exhibits.
“I will say that the Stewards of the Sea program is probably one of my proudest accomplishments,” she said.
The advice Riker would give to women in the Navy is that you don’t have to choose between having a family or having a career.
“Don’t feel like you are going to have to pick a career over a family. You can have it all, and you should want it all,” she said.
Riker has been awarded the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), and is authorized to wear various other service medals and ribbons.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science, a Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall Law School and a Masters in Environmental Law from the George Washington University Law School.