Ted Ricciardella was born in Washington D.C. He grew up in Bethesda, MD and attended Dickinson College, graduating with a BA in History. He taught high school U.S. History at The Webb School in Bell Buckle, TN for three years before attending Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, FL where he was commissioned in September 1996. He earned his wings of gold and was designated as a Naval Flight Officer in May 1998.
CDR Ricciardella reported to the Grim Reapers of VF-101 following flight school for initial training in the F-14 Tomcat. Upon completion, he reported to the World Famous Red Rippers of VF-11. During his tour with the Rippers, he deployed twice in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
In 2001, after graduating from the Naval Fighter Weapons School, CDR Ricciardella remained stationed at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC), NAS Fallon, NV as a TOPGUN tactics instructor and Subject Matter Expert (SME). During this time CDR Ricciardella transitioned to the FA-18F Super Hornet at VFA-122 in Lemoore, CA.
In October 2005, CDR Ricciardella reported to the Swordsmen of VF-32 as the Training Officer. A “plank owner” of VFA-32, he helped successfully transition the squadron from the F-14 Tomcat to the F/A-18F Super Hornet.
In September 2007, CDR Ricciardella reported to the Blacklions of VFA-213 where he served as a Department Head. While attached, he completed a combat deployment to the Central Command Area of Operations with CVW-8 and the Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group. In February 2010, CDR Ricciardella was assigned to the Navy Personnel Command as the Strike Fighter Assignments and Placement Officer.
CDR Ricciardella has accumulated over 2800 flight hours and 400 arrested landings. His awards include the 2007 Commander Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic Weapon Systems Officer of the Year, Strike Flight Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and various unit and campaign awards.