Dick Gallagher is employed as a Highly Qualified Expert - Senior Mentor for the Joint Staff J7 in support of Combatant Command and Joint Task Force Operations and Exercises and as a Senior Fellow in support of the National Defense University’s Pinnacle, Capstone, and Keystone programs.
He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1976 and was designated a naval aviator in September 1977 at Chase Field in Beeville, Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in public administration from George Washington University, and attended the military’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
VADM Gallagher retired from the United States Navy in 2012 after 36 years of service. His final duty was in Brussels, Belgium as the U.S. military representative to the NATO Military Committee where he represented the CJCS in strategic planning, crisis response and financial management of the 27 member political-military alliance of NATO.
He previously served as the U.S. European Command’s director of the European Plans and Operations Center, and then remained in Germany to become the EUCOM deputy commander. In this capacity he was solely responsible for planning, coordination and execution of the U.S. military’s operations in 93 countries on 3 continents and he led the 100,000 military and civilian personnel in Europe through continual change involving base closures, mission increases, war initiation, personnel reductions and the creation of the U.S. Africa Command.
Previous flag officer assignments include Commander Carrier Group 4, which was re-designated Commander, Carrier Strike Force Training Atlantic, and head of Policy with NATO at SACLANT in Norfolk, Virginia.
VADM Gallagher also commanded the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, USS Inchon—the world’s only mine counter measures command and support ship, the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and Fighter Squadron 142 making two deployments aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower spanning Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Gallagher has logged more than 4,000 flight hours and 800 carrier landings while operating a number of different fighter aircraft, including the F-4, F-14, F/A-18 and F-16N.
He has received two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, two Defense Superior Service Medals, four Legions of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, and numerous other awards.
He was recently awarded the “Amicus Wimpina” medal by the good people of Bad Wimpfen, Germany, signifying their long relationship and mutual respect. He has also participated in two forums on Iran sponsored by the Hinckley Institute of Politics in Salt Lake City and UCLA, dealing with issues regarding the Iran-U.S. relationship, giving his expert opinion on the subject. Gallagher was recently elected to the board of and currently volunteers with the National Ability Center of Park City, Utah, helping those with disabilities learn adaptive skills through sports and recreation.