Hamilton Alumni Review
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The Alumni

Commanding the Naval Reserve Air Program

Rear Adm. Richard Wallace '75 this spring assumed command of the U.S. Naval Reserve Air Systems Program. As director of the reserve component of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), he also serves as its deputy assistant commander.

NAVAIR supports the Navy/Marine Corps team by providing readiness and combat power. The reserve component offers civilian and military experience in support of research and development, engineering, logistics and industrial capability activities.

"We have a rare opportunity to start with a new canvas and paint our own picture of what the Naval Reserve Air Systems Program should look like in the future by seeking out ways to better align the program with the active-duty component, reducing the cost of doing business and delivering value-added products and services to NAVAIR customers and our war fighters," Wallace said at the change-of-command ceremony in June.

One year after earning his degree in physics from Hamilton, Wallace completed Aviation Officer Candidate School. Earning his Wings of Gold in 1977, he was assigned to a fleet training squadron and later to an attack squadron deployed aboard the USS Nimitz for Mediterranean and Indian Ocean cruises. The Ohio native later attended the Naval Postgraduate School, earning both a master of science and a degree in aeronautical engineering. In 1983 he joined Fleet Composite Squadron 8 as a fleet "adversary" pilot. Over his career he has accumulated more than 3,600 flight hours.

Wallace left active duty in 1985 and accepted a commission in the Naval Reserve. He was initially assigned to a Naval Air Logistics Unit and later served as the commanding officer of four Air Systems Program reserve units. He was promoted to rear admiral in February 2003.

In civilian life, Wallace served as assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for full spectrum dominance and is currently chief scientist for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in Charleston, S.C. He also earned a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1991.

-- Excerpted from an article by Lt. Mike Randazzo, USNR