Donald A. Rickards
Colonel Donald Alfred Rickards’s military service began on 7 February 1952 when he enlisted as a Private in the U.S. Army. On 20 February 1953, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant from Officer Candidate School and assigned as an Infantry Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer and commanded three Infantry companies in Korea, United States and Europe. In 1950 Colonel Rickards was integrated into the Regular Army as a Military Police Officer and commanded an MP Company at Fort Riley, KS. He later branch transferred back to Infantry. During 1963 he served his first tour in Vietnam as Special Forces Officer and later returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to serve with the Special Forces Operational Division. From 1968 to 1971, Colonel Rickards was stationed in Hawaii where he served as a staff officer in the J3 Division of CINPAC. Returning to Vietnam in 1971, he served as the Brigade Executive Officer of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). In 1972 Colonel Rickards returned to the States and served at Fort Dix as the Brigade Executive Officer of the 3d Training Brigade and later was selected to command the 4th Battalion of the 2d Basic Training Brigade. He served for a short time as the Brigade Commander of the 2d Brigade and again Executive Officer of the 3d Basic Training Brigade. He was selected to attend the Army War College in 1974 as a student. From 1975 to 1978 he served in senior staff positions in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as Chief, and later as Team Chief, Command Center Operations J3 at the alternate National Military Command Center. 1 August 1978, Colonel Rickards was assigned as the Senior Army Advisor to the Adjutant General, Pennsylvania Army National Guard and served in that position until his retirement on 31 August 1979. | His military education and training includes: Basic Infantry Course; Airborne School; MP Officer Career Course; Civil Affairs Basic Course; Special Warfare School; Special Warfare Counterinsurgency School; Command and General Staff College; Army War College. He holds a BA from Benedictine College from Shippensburg State College, MS & MS. | Colonel Rickards distinguished himself throughout an exceptionally meritorious career, spanning more than 27 years of service. His military awards and decorations include: Vietnam Campaign Medal; United Nations Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Good Conduct Medal; Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster; Parachutist Badge; Senior Parachutist Badge; Master Parachutist Badge; Expert Infantryman Badge; Combat Infantryman Badge.