Sgt. Maj. Richard Thresher, U.S. Marine Corps
Command Senior Enlisted Leader
Sgt. Maj. Richard Thresher assumed duties as U.S. Africa Command's command senior enlisted leader Feb. 28, 2020. Prior to joining U.S. Africa Command, he served as the II Marine Expeditionary Force sergeant major.
Thresher enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1990 and became an artilleryman. He is a graduate of the Marine Corps Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and the Joint Forces Staff College, and has completed other professional military courses. He holds a bachelor's and master's degree from American Military University and a graduate-level certificate from East Carolina University.
Thresher has served at various levels in the Marine Corps, including: sergeant major, 2nd Radio Battalion (Signals Intelligence); sergeant major, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marine Division; sergeant major, Headquarters Battalion, 3d Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force; sergeant major installations, Camp Courtney and McTureous, Marine Corps Bases in Okinawa, Japan; sergeant major, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force; and sergeant major, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. He also served as a drill instructor and senior drill instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California, and as a sergeant instructor and first sergeant at the Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia.
His deployments include: Desert Shield/Saber/Storm 1990-91 (Kuwait); Operation Sea Angel 1990 (Bangladesh); Joint Task Force-6 Counter Narcotics-Santa Monica, California, in 1992 and Texas in 1993; Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003 / OIF 04-06, 2005 / OIF 5-7/681, 2006-07; Combined Arms Exercise (x5) Twenty-nine Palms; Unit Deployment 1992 (Okinawa, Japan); Bridgeport (Cold Weather x2 California); Maritime Combined Operations Training 1997 (Nova Scotia / New Foundland; Battle Griffin 1997(Norway); Jungle Training 2008 (Brunei); Balikitan 2011 (Philippines); Ulchi Freedom Guardian-UFG (x3) 2010-2012 (Okinawa); Dawn Blitz, 2nd MEB, Camp Pendleton, California (2013); Non-Commissioned Officer Development 2014 (Taiwan); MEFEX 1 MEF (2015); MEFEX, 11 MEF (2015); WINGEX (2015); Navy Large Scale Exercise, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (2017); and Trident Juncture, NATO Exercise, Norway (2018).
Thresher has been awarded the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (x4), Navy and Marine Commendation Medal (x4), the Navy and Marine Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.