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Rich attended Surface Warfare Officer School and reported to USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) where he qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer and deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf. Skipping his shore tour, Rich left The Sullivans to attend Department Head School and serve as Chief Engineer on USS Milius (DDG 69). While on Milius, Rich deployed to the Western Pacific and the Arabian Gulf. He was later assigned to Afloat Training Group, Pacific as an engineering plant inspector. His inspector tour was cut short and he transferred to the University of Florida. After earning an MBA at UF, the Pentagon summoned and Rich served as a Special Assistant and Speechwriter to the Chief of Naval Operations and later to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Rich departed the Pentagon to attend the Joint and Combined Warfighting School followed by assignment to U.S. Southern Command as aide to the Commander. He then transferred to Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe to serve as Special Assistant to the Commander.
Returning to sea duty, Rich relieved as Executive Officer and later as Commanding Officer of USS Benfold (DDG 65) where he deployed to the Western Pacific and the Arabian Gulf. He also founded the Athena Project lauded by the Secretary of the Navy as exemplary and reflective of the way the Navy must strive to capture the intellectual surplus resident within our workforce. Post command, Rich headed to Rome, Italy as a member of the NATO Defense College. He later reported to U.S. Pacific Fleet Headquarters as Director of the Commander's Strategic Initiatives Group and as both founder and Director of 'The Bridge' innovation initiative. He departed Pacific Fleet Headquarters for duty as the USS Bonhomme Richard's Executive Officer and later as Commanding Officer. Rich departed Bonhomme Richard for duty as Commander, Amphibious Squadron Eleven.
Rich is a Joint Specialty and PolMil Officer, speaks Spanish fluently, and is entitled to wear the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and Humanitarian Service Medal along with various other personal, unit, and service awards.