Mr. Richard (Rich) O. Wightman Jr. is the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. He serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense with responsibility for policy, oversight and supervision of the seven Reserve Components and the 1.1 million service members assigned to the Guard and Reserve. Through policy and legislative development, he ensures operational and strategic Reserve Components that are seamlessly integrated with the Total Force while supporting national security at home and abroad.
Mr. Wightman was selected for Senior Executive Service in March 2010 after retiring from the Army as a Major General. Initially serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Materiel and Facilities within Reserve Affairs, he was responsible for all matters pertaining to the equipping and basing of the Reserve Components. In May 2012, Mr. Wightman was promoted to the position of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.
The son of an Army officer, Mr. Wightman enlisted in the Airborne Infantry in July 1968. He commissioned as a combat engineer in the Corps of Engineers in August 1969, and served for 41 years in all three components of the Army (Active, Guard and Reserve). He has lived and served across the globe in places like Germany, France, Vietnam, Turkey, Korea, Egypt, Kuwait, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mr. Wightman served in five 2-star assignments, including Commanding General & Senior Military Representative at NATO Headquarters-Sarajevo; Deputy Commander of the Joint Warfighting Center; Military Executive to the Reserve Forces Policy Board; and Commanding General of the 143rd Transportation Command in Orlando, Florida.
Mr. Wightman holds a Bachelor of Arts from Framingham State College, a Master's degree in Military Arts and Science, 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; three Defense Superior Service Medals; two Legion of Merit awards; the Bronze Star with "V" Device for valor in Vietnam; the Purple Heart, and four Meritorious Service Medals. He has been inducted into the Engineer Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame, received AUSA's MG Earl Rudder Award (2009), and was inducted into the Senior Army Reserve Commander’s Association Hall of Fame in 2010.