Richard I. Neal

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Richard I. Neal
Richard I Neal.jpg
General Richard Irving Neal
Born(1942-06-20)June 20, 1942
Hull, Massachusetts
DiedJune 17, 2022(2022-06-17) (aged 79)
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corps
Years of service1965–1998
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held2nd Marine Division
Battles/warsVietnam War
Other workMilitary Officers Association of America, Chairman

Richard Irving "Butch" Neal (June 20, 1942 – June 17, 2022) was a United States Marine Corps four-star general who served as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps (ACMC) from 1996 to 1998.


Richard I. Neal born on June 20, 1942, in Hull, Massachusetts.[1] He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps upon graduation in 1965 from Northeastern University, where he received a B.S. degree in History and Education. He later earned a Master of Arts degree in Education from Tulane University[2] (1973).

Following completion of The Basic School and subsequently the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Neal was assigned to the 3rd Marine Division in Republic of Vietnam, where he served as a Forward Observer with the 3rd Battalion 9th Marines. He returned to Vietnam in January 1970, where he was assigned as an Infantry Battalion Advisor to the Vietnamese Marine Corps. Upon his return he attended Amphibious Warfare School.

In 1973, he served as the Commanding Officer of the 2d 155 Howitzer Battery, 2d Field Artillery Group at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Following a tour as head of the Company Grade Assignment Section at Headquarters Marine Corps, he attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. He served on the Air-Ground Exchange Program as S-3, Marine Aircraft Group 36, on Okinawa. Upon return from overseas, General Neal was assigned as the Head, Operations Division, Amphibious Warfare School, Quantico. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1981.

In 1982, he was selected to attend the National War College in Washington, D.C. Upon completion of school, he returned to Camp Lejeune to command the 5th Battalion, 10th Marines. Neal was promoted to colonel in 1985 and was assigned to the United States Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, as the Chief of Policy/Strategy Division and later as the Chief of the Special Projects Division in the J-5 Directorate.

Neal was assigned duty as Director, Amphibious Warfare School, Quantico in August 1988. While serving in this capacity he was selected for promotion to brigadier general in December 1989.

In July 1990, Neal was advanced to brigadier general and assigned duty as the Director, Manpower Plans and Policy Division, Manpower and Reserve Affairs Department. He served in this capacity until May 1992. From September 1990 to April 1991, he was assigned temporary duty as the Deputy for Operations at U.S. Central Command for Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

Neal was assigned as the Deputy Commanding General, II MEF in June 1992. From June 1992 - August 1992, he served as Commanding General, Joint Task Force for Operations GITMO, a humanitarian relief effort for Haitian migrants at Guantanamo Naval Base, Cuba.

Neal was advanced to major general in April 1993, and assigned as the Commanding General of the 2nd Marine Division. In August 1994, he was assigned as the Deputy Commander in Chief/Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, and advanced to lieutenant general in October 1994.

Neal was promoted to four-star rank on September 19, 1996 and assumed duties as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps on September 27, 1996.[1] He retired on November 1, 1998.

After retiring from the Marine Corps, Neal served on various corporate boards and was associated with intellectual property rights in the private sector and defense-related companies.[3]


His personal decorations include:

Gold star
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st Row Defense Distinguished Service Medal Silver Star w/ 1 award star Defense Superior Service Medal w/ 1 oak leaf cluster Bronze Star w/ valor device
2nd Row Purple Heart Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal Combat Action Ribbon
3rd Row Navy Presidential Unit Citation Joint Meritorious Unit Award w/ 2 oak leaf clusters Navy Unit Commendation w/ 2 service stars Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
4th Row National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star Vietnam Service Medal w/ 6 service stars Southwest Asia Service Medal w/ 3 service stars Humanitarian Service Medal
5th Row Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 3 service stars Arctic Service Ribbon Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal Vietnam Gallantry Cross unit citation
6th Row Vietnam Civil Actions unit citation Vietnam Campaign Medal Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Neal holds the Expert Rifle badge and the Pistol Sharpshooter badge.

Personal life and death[edit]

In 1967, he married Kathy McCann; they would later have three children.

Neal died of complications from multiple strokes on June 17, 2022, three days before his 80th birthday.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b "General Officer Announcement, No. 161-96" (Press release). U.S. Department of Defense. March 27, 1996.
  2. ^ "Board of Directors: Gen Richard I. Neal, USMC-Ret". Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). Archived from the original on 3 April 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
  3. ^ "General Richard Neal, Former U.S. Marine Corps Asst Commandant, Named as Director of Humanetics Corporation" (Available from Business Wire) (Press release). Humanetics Corporation. January 12, 2006. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
  4. ^ Richard Neal obituary
  5. ^ Lyon, Karen. "General Richard "Butch" Neal, a Humble Powerhouse, Dies at 79". HillRag. Retrieved 23 June 2022.

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

External links[edit]