Lieutenant Colonel Richards is a native of Tannersville, Pennsylvania. He graduated from King’s College in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania (B.A. Psychology) and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant through the Officer Commissioning Course on 12 December 1998. Following The Basic School and USMC Basic Communications Officer Course, Lieutenant Colonel Richards reported to Communications Company, Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division where he served as the Radio Platoon Commander.
In June 2000, Lieutenant Colonel Richards reported to 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment to serve as the S-6. During this timeframe, he completed a deployment as the Battalion Landing Team S-6 with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based out of Okinawa, Japan. He deployed aboard the USS ESSEX and participated in Humanitarian Aid Operations in East Timor. In February 2003, Lieutenant Colonel Richards deployed to Kuwait with 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment as the mechanized battalion S-6 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and later deployed into Iraq for the initial invasion with 1st Marine Division during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following return from deployment, Lieutenant Colonel Richards served as the Executive Officer for Communications Company, Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division. Later in 2004, Lieutenant Colonel Richards transitioned to the USMC Inactive Ready Reserve and took a sales position with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Los Angeles, California.
In December 2006, Lieutenant Colonel Richards was approved for return to active duty and reported to Expeditionary Strike Group-2 in Norfolk, Virginia where he served as the USMC Amphibious C4 Liaison Officer. In July 2009, Lieutenant Colonel Richards reported to Marine Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia where he served as the G6 Future Operations Officer and the Amphibious C4 Officer. In August 2010, Lieutenant Colonel Richards reported to USMC Command and Staff College in Quantico, Virginia.
In July 2011, Lieutenant Colonel Richards reported to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Okinawa, Japan to serve as the Deputy G6 and later as the G6; where he supervised the communication requirements for Marines participating in Theater Security Cooperation Exercises throughout the United States Pacific Command area of operations. In July 2012, Lieutenant Colonel Richards was selected to serve as the Executive Officer for Marine Wing Communications Squadron 18.
In July 2014, Lieutenant Colonel Richards reported to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and Untied States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) where he served on the Combatant Commander’s Engagement Group staff and was then selected to serve as the Aide de Camp for the Combatant Commander. In July 2016, Lieutenant Colonel Richards was promoted and served as the Cyber Operations Integration Branch Chief in the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Joint Cyber Operations Center. He took command of Marine Wing Communications Squadron 18 on 6 June, 2017.
Lieutenant Colonel Richards is a graduate of USMC Expeditionary Warfare School, USMC Advanced Communications Officer Course, and the USMC Command and Staff College. His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Gold Star in lieu of second award, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, and various unit awards