|CAPT Richard H. Weitzel
Chief of Staff
Captain Weitzel graduated from the University of Michigan in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. He holds master’s degrees from the National War College and University of San Diego. He earned his wings of gold in 1997.
Captain Weitzel’s operational tours include assignment to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 45 (HSL-45), deploying in USS Valley Forge (CG-50) and USS Oldendorf (DD-972). He served in USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) as Aircraft Handler and Mini Boss, deploying with Expeditionary Strike Group Five in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations following the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia. Captain Weitzel also served in HSL-45 as a department head and deployed as detachment Officer in Charge in USS Bunker Hill (CG-52) and in USS McCluskey (FFG-41) in support of JIATF-South counter narco-terrorism operations.
As a plank owner in Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 78 (HSM-78), Captain Weitzel served as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer, leading the Blue Hawks as part of Carrier Air Wing TWO in the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) Strike Group.
Ashore, Captain Weitzel served as a Fleet Replacement Squadron instructor pilot and CNAP Evaluator in Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 41 (HSL-41), as an Action Officer in the Operations Directorate (J-3) of the Joint Staff, and as a Division Chief and Command Center Director in NORAD-USNORTHCOM.
Captain Weitzel’s awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation medals, and various joint, unit and service awards.