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Col. Richard McNorton

Portrait of Col. Richard McNorton, Commandant

Colonel Richard McNorton became the Commandant of the Defense Information School at Fort Meade, Maryland in June of 2022.
Colonel McNorton is from North Hollywood, California, graduated from the California Military Academy and commissioned as an Infantry Officer.
After completing the Armor Officer Advanced Course, he became an Armor Officer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Long Beach State University and a Master of Arts in Strategic Security Studies from the National Defense University. He also completed the Senior Executive Fellows program at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government.


Colonel McNorton held several assignments in the Army, Army Reserve and California Army National Guard to include Mortar Platoon Leader, Scout Platoon Leader, Tank Company Commander, OCS Company Commander, Mobile Public Affairs Detachment Commander, Director of the Army Public Affairs Center, and Director of Strategy and Plans at the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs. His most recent assignment was the Director of Communications for Training and Doctrine Command.

Colonel McNorton has deployed on multiple combat operations. He served as a MPAD commander in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM in 2005-2006. He also deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan 2010-2011 and 2012-2013 as an Afghan Hand in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. He then served as the Director of Strategic Communication for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from May 2013 to May 2014. He then served as the Resolute Support Director of Strategic Communication in Afghanistan from May 2018 to May 2019.


His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (with “C” device and two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Bronze Star (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Achievement Medal (with four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with 3 Bronze Stars), the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the NATO Service Medal.