Colonel Michael P. Richard

Colonel Michael P. Richard is the Commander of the 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base, Japan. He commands a combat-ready F-16CM fighter wing composed of 3,000 personnel and sustains forces and facilities worth over two billion dollars.  Colonel Richard oversees an 11,000-person installation which supports eight associate units representing four U.S. military services (Air Force, Navy, Army and Space Force) and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

Colonel Richard received his commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Notre Dame in 2002. Colonel Richard has commanded at the squadron level. He is a command pilot with more than 2,300 hours in the F-16, and has over 400 combat hours in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, NEW DAWN, and UNIFIED PROTECTOR.

In addition to his flying and command experience, Colonel Richard is a graduate of the National War College. Colonel Richard also earned a Master of Public Administration degree at the Harvard Kennedy School as part of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force Scholar’s Program, and is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School. Prior to his current position, Colonel Richard was the 8th Fighter Wing Vice Commander at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea.

2002 Bachelor of Arts, Government, University of Notre Dame, In.
2009 Squadron Officers’ School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Al.
2009 United States Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2012 Master of Aeronautical Science, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Fl.
2014 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala., by correspondence
2014 Master of Public Administration, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, Ma.
2020 Master of National Security Strategy, National War College, Ft. McNair, Washington, D.C.

1. May 2002 – October 2002, Special Assistant to the Commander, AFROTC Det 225, University of Notre Dame
2. October 2002 – June 2003, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, 3rd Flying Training Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Ga
3. June 2003 – May 2004, Student, Undergraduate Pilot Training, 50th Flying Training Squadron, Columbus AFB, Miss
4. May 2004 – May 2005, Student, F-16 Initial Qualification Training, 308th Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.
5. May 2005 – January 2008, F-16 Pilot and Electronic Combat Pilot, 13th Fighter Squadron, Misawa Air Base, Japan
6. January 2008 – June 2009, F-16 Flight Evaluator and Director of Staff, 8th Fighter Wing, Kunsan AB, South Korea
7. June 2009 – December 2009, Student, United States Air Force Weapons School, 16th Fighter Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev
8. December 2009 – June 2013, F-16 Weapons Officer, Assistant Director of Operations, 55th Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C.
9. June 2013 – 20 June 2014, Student, Harvard Kennedy School, CSAF Scholar’s Program, Cambridge, Mass
10. June 2014 – June 2016, Chief, HQ USAFE-AFAFRICA Weapons and Tactics Branch, Ramstein AB, Germany
11. June 2016 – June 2017, Director of Operations, 480th Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
12. June 2017– July 2019, Commander, 480th Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
13. July 2019 – June 2020, Student, National War College, Ft. McNair, Washington, D.C.
14. June 2020 – May 2021, Deputy Chief of Combat Air Forces Division, Plans and Programs, Headquarters Air Force, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va.
15. June 2021 – June 2022, Vice Commander, 8th Fighter Wing, Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea
16. June 2022 – Present, Commander, 35th FW, Misawa Air Base, Japan


Rating: Command pilot
Flight hours: more than 2,300
Aircraft flown: T-6, T-38, and F-16CM/CJ


Meritorious Service Medal with Two Devices
Air Medal with Five Devices
Air Force Commendation Medal with Three Devices
Joint Service Achievement Medal


Second Lieutenant May 29, 2002
First Lieutenant May 29, 2004
Captain May 29, 2006
Major July 1, 2012
Lieutenant Colonel January 1, 2016
Colonel March 1, 2021

(Current as of April 2024)