The 2009 Major General James Earl Rudder Medal was awarded to Major General Richard O. Wightman, Jr., United States Army, Retired, for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of the Association of the United States Army’s goal of a seamless and component-integrated Army.
With more than 39 years of distinguished service to the nation in the active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve, Major General Richard Wightman has been a steadfast proponent of America’s Army as a totally integrated force that is well trained, well led and well equipped in an expanding and necessary joint-service environment.
During his time as a Reserve officer, successful accomplishments in assignments of increasing and diverse responsibility, combined with his dynamic and exceptional leadership qualities, led to his assignment as the commander of the Army Reserve’s 143d Transportation Command in Orlando, Florida.
Called to active duty in early 2001, he served in three consecutive active duty assignments—as Military Executive and Military Advisor to the Chairman of the Reserve Forces Policy Board, the principal policy advisory body to the Secretary of Defense on reserve component matters; as Deputy Commander, Joint Warfighting Center, and Deputy Joint Force Trainer, J-7, United States Joint Forces Command, Norfolk, Virginia; and in a key role as NATO’s Commander and Senior Military Representative, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Headquarters, Sarajevo. In this last assignment he exemplified the highest ideals of the Total Army as an expeditionary force, resulting in the restructuring of the armed forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina. For this remarkable achievement, he was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal.
In each of this duty positions, he has been a strong supporter and proud representative of the U.S. Army, exemplifying the utmost commitment to accomplishing the goal of a seamless and component-integrated force.
In appreciation of his outstanding, innovative and dedicated service to our nation, our allies and the Total Force Army, the Association of the United States Army proudly presented the Major General James Earl Rudder Medal to Major General Richard O. Wightman, Jr., on the fifth day of October, two thousand nine.