Public Relations Officer
Colonel R.T. “Riccoh” Player was born in Cleveland, Ohio and is a graduate of Ithaca College. He graduated from boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina in 1989 and after completing the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, North Carolina he reported to Marine Barracks 8th & I where he served in Bravo Company as a Physical Training NCO, Ceremonial Drill Instructor and Platoon Sergeant.
In December 1990, Lance Corporal Player deployed with 2d Marine Division and participated in Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM.
In June 1991, Corporal Player was commissioned through the Enlisted Commissioning Program. After graduating from the Basic School and Infantry Officer Course he served as an Infantry Platoon Commander and Company Commander with Company L, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
In May 1996, First Lieutenant Player accepted augmentation and changed MOS’s. He completed Defense Information School in Ft. Meade, Maryland, then reported to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and served as Operations and Media Officer, as well as Director of Consolidated Public Affairs. Also during this tour he earned his master’s in Public Administration from Webster University.
In June 1998, Captain Player served with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Special Operations Capable, as the Public Affairs Officer during Operation ALLIED FORCE in Kosovo.
In June 2000, Captain Player reported to the Department of Defense Public Affairs, Washington, DC, serving as Military Assistant for Assistant Secretary of Defense, Public Affairs, Torie Clarke and PAO for International Travel for Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. On September 11, 2001; within hours of the attack on the Pentagon, Player setup a fully operational alternate press center at Henderson Hall ensuring communication continuity for the Department of Defense.
In June 2003, Major Player was selected as a Commandant of the Marine Corps National Fellow with the Tribune Company, Chicago, Illinois. As a CMC fellow he studied newspaper, radio, television and internet production and transformation.
In June 2004, Major Player served as Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Public Affairs Officer and deployed as Deputy Director I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) to participate in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in Iraq.
In June 2007, Major Player reported to Defense Information School and served as Marine Detachment Commander.
In October 2009, Lieutenant Colonel Player was selected as a Congressional Fellow and served with the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
In December 2010, Lieutenant Colonel Player reported to II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and deployed as the Public Affairs Director for Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan.
In December 2011, Lieutenant Colonel Player was selected to attend the United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.
In July 2013, Lieutenant Colonel Player assumed command of Headquarters and Support Battalion, School of Infantry East.
With selection to Colonel on the FY15 selection board, Lieutenant Colonel Player relinquished command of H&S Bn on July 11, 2014 and reported to MARFORCOM as the Public Affairs Director on July 14, 2014.
Colonel Player’s personal decorations include: Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and Combat Action Ribbon.