Senior Fellow Bios

Neal, Richard "Butch" - Gen, USMC (Ret)

Butch Neal is employed as a Senior Fellow for the National Defense University in support of the Pinnacle, Capstone, and Keystone programs.

Upon graduation from Northeastern University, Boston, Ma where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in History/Education, General Neal was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He was assigned to the 3d Marine Division, Republic of Vietnam, where he served as a Forward Observer with the 3d Battalion, 9th Marines, followed by an assignment as an Infantry Battalion Advisor to the Vietnamese Marine Corps.  He then served as the Commanding Officer of the 2nd 155 Howitzer Battery, 2d Field Artillery Group at Camp Lejeune, N.C.  Following a tour as head of the Company Grade Assignment Section at Headquarters Marine Corps, he served on the Air-Group Exchange Program as S-3, Marine Aircraft Group 36, on Okinawa.

Upon return from overseas, General Neal was assigned as the Head, Operations Division, Amphibious Warfare School, Quantico from which he returned to Camp Lejeune to command the 5th Battalion, 10th Marines.  He was then assigned to the U.S. Central Command, MacDill, AFB, FL., as the Chief of Policy/Strategy Division and later as the Chief of the Special Projects Division in the J-5 Directorate, followed by a tour as Director, Amphibious Warfare School, Quantico.  While serving as Director, Manpower Plans and Policy Division, Manpower and Reserve Affairs Department he was assigned temporary duty as Deputy for Operations, U. S. Central Command for Operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM.

General Neal was then assigned as Deputy Commanding General, II MEF where he also served as Commanding General, Joint Task Force for Operations GITMO.  He served as Commanding General of the 2d Marine Division with a following tour as Deputy Commander in Chief/Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command, MacDill AFB.  In 1996, he was promoted to General and assumed the duties of Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.

His military education includes the National War College, Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course.  He also holds a Master’s Degree from Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.

His awards and decorations include:  Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star with gold star, Defense Superior Medal with palm, Bronze Star with Combat V, Purple Heart, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.