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Marine Corps News Release
Release #: 464
Division of Public Affairs, Headquarters, United States Marine Corps, Washington, DC 20380-1775
Commercial: (703) 614-7678/9 DSN: 224-7678/9 FAX: (703) 697-5362

Date: 07/15/97
Story by Capt. John Church, HQMC


WASHINGTON -- Major General David A. Richwine, a highly decorated combat veteran and Naval aviator, retired in a special ceremony at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., July 1.

Richwine's former classmate from The Basic School, Lt. Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command, officiated the event which included the presentation of the Distinguished Service Medal. The general's final assignment was as the Director of Intelligence and Assistant Chief of Staff for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence at Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington.

Born in Oakland, Calif., and raised in the greater Kansas City area, Richwine graduated from the University of Kansas in June 1965. He recalled that 37 years ago his father advised him to consider the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, not only as a way to pay for college, but also as a way "to give something back" to the nation. He followed his father's recommendation, earning his degree and gaining a commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.

After completing The Basic School at Quantico, Va., Richwine was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines in the Republic of Vietnam from January 1966 to May 1967. Serving as a platoon commander, company executive officer and commanding officer, and battalion supply/logistics officer, he was awarded the Silver Star for heroism and the Purple Heart for wounds received in action against the enemy.

In June 1969, Richwine reported to Williams Air Force Base in Chandler, Ariz., where he completed the Undergraduate Pilot Training Program. He was designated a Naval Aviator in April 1971 and assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, N.C. Later, he reported to Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla., where he served as a flight instructor and assistance maintenance officer.

Following his graduation from the Amphibious Warfare School in 1973, Richwine completed pilot refamiliarization training and joined the "Red Devils," Marine Fighter Attack Squadron-232 in the Western Pacific. The squadron flew some of the last sorties of the Vietnam War from their base in Nam Phong, Thailand, known as the "Rose Garden."

The general's storied career continued to be marked by distinguished service. He served as an aide-de-camp, squadron executive officer, Marine Aircraft Group operations officer, group executive officer, and as a staff officer for the Secretary of Defense. He also commanded Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, S.C., served as the Marine Corps Aide to the Secretary of the Navy, and as the Deputy for Expeditionary Forces Programs in the Office of the Assistance Secretary of the Navy. He also graduated from the Air Command and Staff College and the National War College.

Throughout his career, Richwine said, his wife, the former Gayle Lydia Kreutzer of Leavenworth, Kansas, exhibited courage, honor and commitment every day -- with a certain style and grace that made her his inspiration. He also recalled how he met her 32 years before.

As a young Marine officer, he explained, he served as her escort for the Miss Universe pageant in Miami -- "the best orders I'd ever received." He added that he and Gayle are now embarking on "phase two" of their lives, referring to the occasion of his retirement as the beginning of a transition.

During the retirement ceremony, Zinni said none of the classmates from The Basic School are surprised by Richwine's success at every level of command over the years. "His sincere personal touch, service-wide reputation for excellence in a variety of challenging positions, and universal respect are what make Dave Richwine a truly special person."

Richwine and his wife will reside in Fairfax County, Va., where he plans to enter private business. (Capt. John Church, HQMC)

(Subhead) SILVER STAR CITATION for then-2nd Lt. David Alan Richwine

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a platoon commander with Company K, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on 16 July 1966. During Operations Hastings, Second Lieutenant Richwine's platoon was assigned to the left flank in a company perimeter defense. In the evening hours, a North Vietnamese force launched a company-sized attack on his position with heavy automatic weapons fire and grenades. Reacting instantly, he quickly briefed his squad leaders and directed his platoon's fire upon the enemy while exposing himself consistently to the intense fire. Displaying exceptional leadership and initiative, he moved from position to position shouting encouragement and rallying his men. When the enemy approached to within 50 meters to attempt suicide attacks, Second Lieutenant Richwine courageously braved hostile fire to lead his men in repulsing the fierce charge. As the platoon began to run short of ammunition, he personally redistributed it to those who needed it most. His outstanding leadership served as an inspiring example to his men and was a significant factor in successfully repelling the attack which resulted in 32 enemy dead. By his exceptional courage, initiative, and unfaltering dedication to duty, Second Lieutenant Richwine upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."


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