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Training Command


Training Command

Quantico, Virginia

Col Ralph J. Rizzo Commanding Officer, Fort Leonard Wood Detachment

Colonel Rizzo was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, March 14, 1967 to the late Ralph J. and the late Elena M. Rizzo.  He graduated from Western New England College in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in Criminal Justice, subsequently enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, and graduated from MCRD Parris Island in 1990.  He completed Recruit Training as a PFC and reported to the School Of Infantry where he attained the MOS of 0341 Mortarman.

In January 1991 he received orders to Marine Barracks Ground Defense Force, Subic Bay, Philippines where he participated in Operation Fiery Vigil in June 1991.  Upon the deactivation of MarBks, Subic Bay he received orders to the 1st Marine Divisions, 3rd Battalion 9th Marines, Camp Pendleton, California, as an 81 MM Mortar Platoon Section Leader in 1992.  He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 1993 and reenlisted in June of 1994. 

In August 1994 he was accepted for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and reported to Officer Candidate School, Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia where he graduated as a Second Lieutenant USMCR in December of 1994.  After graduating in the top 10% of his class at The Basic School he reported to Infantry Officers School where he graduated in 1995 receiving the MOS of 0302.  Upon completion of IOC he received orders to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii where he completed two unit deployments and held the billets of Infantry Platoon Commander, 81 MM Mortar Platoon Commander, Weapons Company Executive Officer, and Weapons Company Commanding Officer from January 1996 through November 1998. 

Colonel Rizzo accepted augmentation in November 1998 in conjunction with the supplementary MOS program, he reported to Logistics Officer School, Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools, Camp Johnson, North Carolina.  He was promoted to the rank of Captain in January 1999.  Upon Completion of LOS he received the MOS of 0402 and reported for duty as the Camp Johnson Area/MCCSSS S-4 Officer from March 1999 through March 2002.  He received orders to 2nd Maintenance Battalion, 2nd Force Service Support Group, in March 2002 and assumed duty as Company Commander for Forward Maintenance Company Bravo in July 2002.  He deployed his Company to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

In July 2004 Colonel Rizzo was deployed to Afghanistan and assigned as the Battle Major/Senior Watch Officer for Combined Joint Task Force 76 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and was promoted to Major on October 1st, 2004.  In June 2006 Colonel Rizzo was selected to command Recruiting Station Detroit, MI where he completed a 3 year tour as the RS Commanding Officer.  In 2010 he attended the United States Naval War College where he received a Master Degree in National Strategic Studies.  Colonel Rizzo was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 1 October 2010 and took Command of Combat Logistics Battalion-6, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  Upon returning with CLB-6 from Afghanistan (OEF 11.2) he was assigned to the Marine Corps War College for duty as a student in July 2012 where he attained his 2nd Master’s Degree in Military Strategic Studies.  In 2013 he reported as a Program Analyst, in the Joint Fires Div., J6, CJCS where he completed a 3 year tour.  In June 2016 he was assigned to HQMC, PP&O, POC/F as the Future Ops Officer, promoted to his current rank in June 2017 and deployed as the CJ4, CJTF-HOA returning in May 2018.  He assumed his current duties as the Commanding Officer, MARDET, Fort Leonard Wood, MO in July 2018

Colonel Rizzo’s personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star (w/1 gold star), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (w/3 gold stars), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (w/2 gold stars), Good Conduct Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (w/4 bronze stars).