After enlisting in the Navy in 1988, Commander Chris Richard was commissioned in 1997 through the Enlisted Commissioning Program. He was winged a Naval Aviator in the spring of 1999, eventually qualifying in the SH-60B Seahawk helicopter. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech and a Master's Degree in International Affairs from the U.S. Air Force Command and Staff College.
Commander Richard's sea-duty tours include HSL-42, where he deployed to the Persian Gulf aboard USS NICHOLAS (FFG 47) and to the Eastern Pacific aboard USS BOONE (FFG 28); HSL-44, where he served as Squadron Weapons and Tactics Instructor (SWTI); HSL-48, where he deployed to the Horn of Africa aboard USS JAMES E. WILLIAMS (DDG 95); and HSM-46, where he served as Commanding Officer and deployed to the Arabian Gulf with CVW-1.
Commander Richard's shore-duty tours include HSL-40, the SH-60B Fleet Replacement Squadron in Mayport, Florida; Air Command and Staff College in Montgomery, Alabama; the United States Southern Command in Miami, Florida; and the OPNAV Staff at the Pentagon, where currently serves as MH-60R Requirements Officer.
Commander Richard has flown over 2,800 hours in a variety of naval aircraft. He is married to the former Elaine Pitts of Jacksonville Beach. His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (3 awards), the Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal (six awards).