Maj Gen (Ret) Richard Comer entered the USAF with a commission from the Air Force Academy in 1973. He went straight to Helicopter Flight School and earned pilot wings in 1974. Assigned to H-53s, he flew various versions of that helicopter for his entire flying career, last flying it on his fini-flight as the AFSOC Vice-Commander in September of 2002 when he last left AFSOC. Between 1974 and 2002, he flew with Air Rescue first in SEA and then in Europe. He joined AFSOC in 1987 with an assignment to Hurlburt Field. He commanded the 20th SOS from 1990-92, which included Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. He commanded the Hurlburt Operations Group and the Wing in the 1990s with two assignments to JSOC in between the Hurlburt postings. Other staff assignments in his career included Associate Professor of English at the AF Academy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for SO/LIC, Director of Policy and Planning at US NORTHCOM, and Director of the Coalition Coordination Center at US CENTCOM. After retirement from active duty in 2005, he worked as a defense consultant until fully retiring in 2017. Today, he serves on a several boards of non-profit organizations. Comer is married to Stephanie, and they are the parents of Warren and Melanie.