OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. , –
U.S. Navy Adm. Charles “Chas” A. Richard took command of U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) from U.S. Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten during a change of command ceremony at the USSTRATCOM Command and Control Facility today.
As a former deputy commander of USSTRATCOM, Richard understands the responsibilities of the command and its mission, and is a champion for its continued role as the nation’s strategic deterrent force.
“The men and women of USSTRATCOM are highly skilled warfighters who are motivated and dedicated to our nation’s defense, and it is an honor to lead them,” Richard said.
This is Richard’s third time at the command, last serving as the USSTRATCOM deputy commander 2016-2018.
“I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of a long line of great USSTRATCOM leaders and will strive every day to continue their legacy to take 21st century strategic deterrence to the next level,” he added.
The Honorable David L. Norquist, Deputy Secretary of Defense, presided over the change of command ceremony while Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered remarks as well.
"As STRATCOM's seventh commander you will have the privilege of leading some of the best men and women in the joint force and a vitally important mission for our nation, and you will get to operate the state-of-the-art command and control facility as your own weapon system...," said Milley to Richard. "I look forward to working with you in the years to come. Your superb confidence, character and agility make you the right officer at the right time to lead United States Strategic Command."
Norquist shared his appreciation for and confidence in the men and women of USSTRATCOM to carry out the strategic deterrence mission.
“The men and women of this command have been entrusted with the world’s most dangerous weapons – ones that you keep safe, secure, ready, and reliable, for a nation that hopes to never need to use them,” he said. “The stakes are far too high, and the costs far too great, for mistakes or miscalculation in your stewardship of the triad. But you have embraced that responsibility with a sense of duty that has made your mission a no-fail mission.”
Richard, a Decatur, Alabama native, is a 1982 graduate of the University of Alabama. He earned master's degrees from the Catholic University of America and the Naval War College.
In his 37 years of service, Richard’s Navy career included assignments in a variety of submarine operation positions. He also served on flag officer assignments as commander of Submarine Group 10 in Kings Bay, Georgia and director of Undersea Warfare (OPNAV N97) at the Pentagon.
Richard comes to USSTRATCOM after serving as the commander of Submarine Forces; commander of Submarine Force Atlantic; and commander of Allied Submarine Command at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. While there, as commander of Submarine Forces, he was the undersea domain lead, and responsible for the submarine force's strategic vision. As commander of Submarine Force Atlantic, he commanded all Atlantic-based U.S. submarines, their crews and supporting shore activities. These responsibilities also included duties as commander of Task Force 114, CTF 88; commander of Anti-Submarine Warfare Forces Western Atlantic; and CTF 46. As commander of Allied Submarine Command, he provided advice to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Strategic Commanders on submarine related issues.
“After serving alongside Admiral Richard, I cannot think of anyone more qualified to lead this command,” said Hyten. “Not only is he a man of character and integrity, but he also has the vision and experience for the mission of strategic deterrence that our nation and our allies need to face threats today and in the future.”
Hyten will continue his service as the 11th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
For more information, contact the USSTRATCOM Public Affairs Office at 402-294-4130 or USSTRATCOMPA@mail.mil or visit www.stratcom.mil.