Colonel Joe Richards ‘80
Westfield State College, BS, 1985
Commanding Officer, Marine Aviation Training Support Group-21 in Pensacola, Florida.
Enlisted in the Marine Corps as a Private in his senior year in December 79.
Achieved the rank of Corporal in the Reserves, then commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1985.
Earned his Naval Aviator wings in 1987 as an unrestricted Marine Pilot, flying the CH-46E Helicopter.
Completed four Marine Expeditionary Unit Deployments in The Pacific, Okinawa Japan, and the Atlantic.
Commanded at the company level as Platoon Commander, 1st Brigade Platoon, 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, and at the Squadron level in Helicopter Training Squadron-18.
Promoted to Colonel in 2008
Participated at the end of Desert Storm and in Operation Allied Force, Kosovo.
Amphibious Warfare School, Command and Staff College
Joint Forces Staff College; Faculty, USAF Air War College
Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medals,
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
Advice to Students
Study hard. Work hard. Absolutely do your best at the job you have right now.
Leadership - It’s not about you, it’s about serving others and giving back.
Inducted November 24, 2009