Born in 1952, Richard grew up in a military family in Japan, Germany, and multiple western states. As a young man he served as a representative for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Germany. He married Melody Anne Foulk in 1975. They have four children.
Richard served in the U.S. Army during 1976-1981 and 1984-2004, retiring as a chief warrant officer (CW3). He is a Russian and German linguist, signals intelligence specialist, and human intelligence/interrogation technician. He was on the front lines of the Cold War in Berlin, and later served assignments in many domestic and foreign locations, including Germany, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, and Iraq.
In 2003 Richard deployed with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment to Iraq, where he established, conducted, and supervised the regiment’s interrogation operations. For his service he received the Bronze Star Medal. He has also received the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and other awards and recognitions.
In 2015 Richard retired from a civilian career in community and economic development with the U.S. Department of Commerce. He has served as a volunteer in many capacities, including president of the Colorado Saints Chorale and founding president of the Ensign Symphony & Chorus in Seattle.