Richard J. Findlay, Colonel USMC (Ret)
Director Maritime Component Commander Flag Courses
College of Operational and Strategic Leadership | Operational Level Programs
Professor Richard Findlay serves as the Director of Operational Level Programs and Course Director of the
United States Navy’s Maritime Component Commander Flag Officer Course at the Naval War College in
Newport, Rhode Island. A native of Oneida County in upstate New York, he received his commission in June 1978 from the US Naval Academy and reported to The Basic School in July 1978.
As Director, Operational Level Programs, Professor Findlay directs several courses and activities focused at
directly supporting fleet level needs. These include the Maritime Staff Operators Course (MSOC), the Assist
and Assess Team (AAT), the Executive Level Operational Level of War Course (ELOC), the Maritime
Operational Planners Course (MOPC), multiple research efforts, participation in Maritime Operations Centers’ future groups, the Combined Force Maritime Component Commander (CFMCC) Course and the Joint Force Maritime Component Commander (JFMCC) Course.
In 2004, while on the JMO faculty, Col Findlay was directed by PNWC to establish the CNO-mandated
JFMCC Course. The inaugural course occurred in August 2005. The following year international attendee
CFMCC Courses conducted at fleet headquarters began. Simultaneously, a deployable team – AAT—was
established to provide onsite assistance to fleet headquarters. Retiring from active duty to become a NWC
professor, the standup of MSOC began to see significant personnel growth of the Operational Level Programs organization. Follow on efforts to more fully support fleet requirements continue. Currently, over
approximately 70 commissioned officers, chiefs, civilians, staff members and contractors support OLP. Evans
Hall (named after CDR Earnest Evans) is the home of OLP in Newport.
While on active duty, initially was designated a Naval Flight Officer in 1979 and then reported to the Marine
Corps Intruder Replacement Air Group VMAT-202 for A6-E transition. Throughout the 1980’s, he flew A-
6E Intruders with All Weather Attack Squadron 533, completing deployments to Iwakuni, Japan and to the
Mediterranean on board USS Saratoga (CV-60) and USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67). From March 1990 to
March 1991, he made a ‘round the world’ deployment beginning with a 9-month stay to Iwakuni and then to
Bahrain for the duration of deployment, flying missions in support of Operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm.
Upon return to the United States, he transitioned to the F/A-18 Hornet, participating in the stand up of All
Weather Fighter Attack Squadrons 533 and 225, which included flying support missions in Operation Deny
Flight/Provide Promise over Bosnia Herzegovina. From 1996 and 1998, he had the privilege to serve as
Commanding Officer of the “Moonlighters,” All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 332. From 1999 to 2001
he served at Headquarters, US Marine Corps as Section Head of Aviation Officer Assignments.
While on active duty, Col Findlay was a faculty member at the Marine Corps’ Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Academy in Quantico, VA and the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI. He also served as a Senior Fellow with the Chief of Naval Operation’s Strategic Studies Group XXI. He is a 1987 graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School, a 1996 graduate of Air Command and Staff College and a 1999 graduate of the Naval War College. He has over 3800 flight hours and 300 carrier arrested landings.
His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Star and Numeral 5, Navy
Commendation Medals, and Navy Achievement Medal.