Adm. Charles A. Richard

Fast Facts

  • Former commander, U.S. Strategic Command
  • Former commander, U.S. submarine forces
  • Former director of undersea warfare, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Expertise on nuclear warfare, submarine warfare, defense and security policy

Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • American Defense and Security
  • War and Terrorism
  • Governance
  • Leadership

USN Admiral (Retired) Charles A. (Chas) Richard is the Miller Center's James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor, having completed a distinguished career of more than 41 years in service to the nation. His final assignment was as commander of U.S. Strategic Command from November 2019 to December 2022, responsible for one of 11 unified commands under the Department of Defense.

At STRATCOM, Richard oversaw the global command and control of all the nation’s nuclear forces to achieve the national security objective of strategic deterrence. He was responsible for more than 150,000 people conducting strategic deterrence and nuclear operations, nuclear command and control, global strike, missile defense, electromagnetic spectrum operations, and analysis and targeting.

Richard has a unique breadth and depth of operational and policy experience in undersea and strategic warfare. His flag assignments included commander, submarine forces, Norfolk, Virginia; deputy commander, U.S. Strategic Command; director of undersea warfare (OPNAV N97) at the Pentagon; deputy commander of Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike at U.S. Strategic Command; and commander of Submarine Group 10, Kings Bay, Georgia.

His operational assignments were in submarines focusing on special missions, including command of USS Parche (SSN 683) and Submarine NR-1, then the U.S. Navy's only nuclear-powered, deep-submergence submarine. He also served aboard USS Portsmouth (SSN 707), USS Asheville (SSN 758), and USS Scranton (SSN 756).

Richard's staff assignments included service as the executive assistant and naval aide to the under secretary of the Navy; chief of staff, Submarine Force Atlantic; and command of Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 17, Bangor, Washington. Other staff assignments included director of resources on the staff of the under secretary of defense for policy; squadron engineer on the staff of SUBRON-8; and duty on the staff of the deputy chief of naval operations (submarine warfare). He has also served as a member of the Chief of Naval Operations' Strategic Studies Group XXVIII, studying the integration of unmanned systems into naval force structure.

Richard is a native of Decatur, Alabama, and a 1982 graduate with honors from the University of Alabama. He earned master's degrees with honors from the Catholic University of America and the Naval War College. He retired from active duty in January 2023.

Adm. Charles A. Richard News Feed

Retired U.S. Navy Admiral Charles Richard breaks down annual threat assessment.
Adm. Charles A. Richard 29 News
The 2024 Ambassador William C. Battle Symposium on American Diplomacy assesses U.S. deterrence posture in the aftermath of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and in the face of profound technological change.
Admiral Charles A. Richard, Mara Rudman, and Philip Potter Miller Center Presents
Admiral Charles Richard, the former Commander of U.S. Strategic Command, joins Miller Center Senior Faculty Fellow and Director of the National Security Policy Center Philip Potter to discuss nuclear strategic deterrence in the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the rise of China, and the particular risks associated with conflicts involving an authoritarian state. What is the state of U.S. readiness? How can we best prepare for and avoid a potential nuclear threat?
Admiral Charles Richard, Philip Potter Miller Center Presents
Retired U.S. Navy Adm. Charles A. Richard, the former commander of United States Strategic Command, and former U.S. diplomat and Middle East expert Mara Rudman have been appointed James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professors at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs.
Adm Charles A. Richard UVA Today