Rear Adm. Rich is a native of Jacksonville, Fla. He is a 1983 graduate of the University of Florida, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering. He holds a Master of Science in Systems Technology, Space Systems Operations from the Naval Postgraduate School, graduating with distinction.
Rich’s operational tours as a naval flight officer include assignments in Fighter Squadrons (VF) 14, 143 and 102, and as commanding officer of VF-32. He also served as assistant chief of staff, Operations and Plans (N3/5) for Carrier Strike Group Five/Battle Force 7th Fleet.
Ashore, Rich commanded Naval Air Station Oceana and was chief of staff, Commander Navy Region Southwest. He was an F-14 Instructor in VF-101 both as a junior officer and as executive officer. He also served on the OPNAV Staff as deputy, Strike Aircraft Plans and Requirements and at U.S. Space Command, Policy and Plans Directorate. He was a 2004-2005 Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellow with Honeywell, International.
Rich became the 88th commandant of Naval District Washington in June 2013; his first flag assignment was as commander, Navy Region Northwest.
He has accumulated more than 3,800 flight hours and 900 carrier-arrested landings. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Strike and Flight Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal, along with various campaign and service awards.