Richard Anderson graduated from Virginia Tech in 1979 and immediately after, he joined the United States Air Force and was stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita County, Texas. During Operation Uphold Democracy, Richard Anderson was stationed at the U.S. Atlantic Command Headquarters in Norfolk, VA and was assigned to the J-5 directory, which focused on strategic plans and policies. Ultimately, Richard Anderson was in a planning cell working on the Initial Invasion Plan, which was never used going into Haiti. Later in the conflict, Richard Anderson did go into Haiti with his boss, the Director of Strategic Plans and Policy. In February of 1991, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haitian president at the time, was overthrown by the dissatisfied army and their leader, General Raoul Cedras. Haitian officials agreed to a peaceful transition of government and in October of 1994, the restoration of a democratic government began.
Later in Anderson’s Air Force career, he worked for the Commander in Chief of the United States Atlantic Command, running a division of the Commander in Chief as a special assistant. After being a special assistant, Anderson spent a year at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base and specialized in military matters in Asia and the Pacific. He moved to the United States Pacific Command and oversaw military to military relationships in South Asia. After he was finished in the U.S. Pacific Command in 2001, he came to Washington D.C. for a Pentagon assignment and remained at the Pentagon for 8 years. While in his time at the Pentagon, the attack on 9/11 occurred however fortunately Anderson was not in the building at the time as he was attending an off site meeting. His first assignment was working as the Chief of Staff Action Group in International Affairs. His second assignment was Chief of Asia Pacific division. Anderson finished his 30 year career as a military assistant in the office of Secretary of Defense.
After Anderson retired, he won the Virginia House of Delegates 51st district in the 2009 election. He ran unopposed in 2011, won the 2013 election, and and ran unopposed in 2015 for his fourth term in office. Since he was the Chairman of the Military and Veterans Caucus, he is still very much involved in military communities in Virginia.
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