Rear Admiral Rick Snyder graduated with honors from Tulane University in May 1983, earning a B.S. in management. He was commissioned in the Navy having completed the Navy ROTC program. In November 1984, Rear Adm. Snyder was designated a Naval Aviator.
Following initial training in the SH-60B Seahawk helicopter, Snyder served at Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 43, based in North Island, California. Subsequent flying tours included duties as an instructor pilot at HSL-40 and as a department head at HSL-46 in Mayport, Florida.
Shore tours included attendance at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where he earned a M.S. in operations research and a follow-on tour as the Navy analyst for the Republic of Korea/U.S. Combined Forces Command in Seoul, Korea. In Washington, D.C., Snyder served the secretary of defense as the aviation liaison for public affairs and he served as a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States. Snyder also served as a senior fellow in the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group. On the Joint Staff, Snyder served in the Directorate for Strategy and Policy (J5) as deputy director for Joint Strategic Planning, deputy director for Partnership Strategy, and as executive assistant to the J5 director.
Snyder has served at sea on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as navigator and on USS Bataan (LHD 5) as executive officer.
In command, Snyder led the Sailors and Marines of HSL-46, HSL-40, Bataan and, most recently, Expeditionary Strike Group 2.
Personal awards earned by Snyder include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (2 awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (4 awards) and the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 awards).