Major General (Ret) USA, Richard (Rich) O. Wightman Jr. is the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. He is responsible for all matters of the Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs as they relate to the men and women of the Guard and Reserve. He serves as the key advisor to the Secretary of Defense for all Reserve Component matters, with specific responsibility for providing overall supervision of Department of Defense policies relating to the manning, training, equipping, and resourcing of the almost 1.1 million Service members assigned to the Guard and Reserve.
An "Army Brat," he enlisted Airborne Infantry in July 1968, was commissioned as a combat engineer in the Corps of Engineer in August 1969, and served for 41 years in all three components of the Army. He has lived in or worked/deployed to numerous countries including Germany, France, Vietnam, Turkey, Korea, Egypt, Kuwait, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Before retiring in 2009, Mr. Wightman served in five 2-star assignments, the last three in the Joint Community. His last posting was as the Commanding General & Senior Military Representative, NATO Headquarters-Sarajevo, Camp Butmir, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2006 - 2009), where he led Defense Reform and the transformation of the Bosnian Ministry of Defense and the restructure of the Bosnian Armed Forces into a modernized force, downsized the U.S. footprint in region, and headed a Combined Task Force of 7 NATO countries assigned the mission of apprehending and transporting Persons Indicted for War Crimes (PIFWCs) to the Hague. Prior to that, he served as the Deputy Commander, Joint Warfighting Center/Deputy Joint Force Trainer, J7, U.S. Joint Forces Command (2004 - 2006); Military Executive to the Reserve Forces Policy Board (RFPB) & Advisor to the Chairman, RFPB, Office of the Secretary of Defense, (2001 - 2004); Commanding General, 143rd Transportation Command, Orlando, FL (1999 - 2001); Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (Mobilization & Training), Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (DCSLOG), Department of the Army, (1998 - 1999); and Deputy Commanding General for Mobilization & Training, Headquarters Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) (1996 - 1998).
Mr. Wightman holds a Master's degree in Military Arts and Science (MMAS), a BA from Framingham State College, and is a resident graduate of the U.S. Army War College. He is the recipient of many awards and decorations including the Distinguished Service Medal; 3 awards of the Defense Superior Service Medal; 2 Legions of Merit awards; the Bronze Star with "V" Device; the Purple Heart, and 4 Meritorious Service Medals. He has been inducted into the Engineer OCS Hall of Fame, received AUSA's MG Earl Rudder Award (2009), and was inducted into the SARCA Hall of Fame 2010.