Lieutenant Colonel Richard Alvarez
Lieutenant Colonel Richard Alvarez began his active service in 1991 upon reporting to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego for recruit training. After several years on active duty, he graduated from Texas A&M University in December of 1999. He was subsequently commissioned through the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program. Upon completion of TBS, he attended flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in March of 2002.
First Lieutenant Alvarez completed initial CH-46E training at Camp Pendleton and was transferred to Marine Aircraft Group 26, MCAS New River. He immediately joined Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 266(HMM-266), the "Fighting Griffins" From 2003 to 2004, he deployed with the 22d MEU aboard the USS WASP in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. While in Afghanistan, he participated in Operation MOUNTAIN STORM. The squadron returned after an extended deployment and quickly prepared for the next combat deployment. From 2005 to 2006, Capt Alvarez deployed to Al Asad, Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 04-06.2.
In June of 2006, Capt Alvarez transferred to MWSS-272 aboard New River, where he served as the Airfield Operations Company Commander. In June of 2007, he executed PCS Orders to MAG 36, Okinawa Japan, where he served as the Assistant Operations Officer for MAG 36. Capt Alvarez was then assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265, the "Dragons." From 2007 to 2010 he deployed with both MAG 36 and the 31st MEU in support of multiple exercises and HA/DR operations within the PACOM AOR. He served as a Squadron Weapons and Tactics Instructor, Director of Safety and Standardization, and Future Operations Officer.
In 2010, Maj Alvarez was invited to join the instructor staff at Marine Aviation and Tactics Squadron-1(MAWTS-1), Yuma, Arizona. He executed orders to Yuma and served during the final years of the CH-46E. In July of 2012, he was selected to transition to the MV-22B and transferred to MAG-16, MCAS Miramar. During this period he had the opportunity to serve with VMM-363,VMM-166, and VMM-268. After initial training with the Red Lions of VMM-268, he was offered an opportunity to deploy with VMM-166(Rein) and the 13th MEU as part of the first west coast MEU to deploy with MV-22s. After an extended deployment from 2013 to 2014, he joined the Red Dragons of VMM-268 to assume duties as the Executive Officer. The squadron completed the transition from the CH-46E to the MV-22B during this time. Simultaneously, the squadron prepared for a deployment to Al Jaber, Kuwait as part of SPMAGTF-CR-CC. Maj Alvarez deployed as the squadron Operations Officer from 2015 to 2016 while supporting Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.
In July of 2016, Lieutenant Colonel Alvarez transferred to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit where he served as the Executive Officer. From 2017 to 2018 he deployed to the U.S. 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility.
Lieutenant Colonel Alvarez's personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with ten Strike/Flight awards, the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three gold stars, and the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal with one gold star.