Chief of Staff

United States European Command CJTF-HOA Chief of Staff Biography

Captain Richard Rodriguez is the Chief of Staff, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti.  In this position, he supports the CJTF-HOA Commander to counter violent extremist organizations in East Africa, foster regional security cooperation, strengthen partner nation security capability, and build and maintain U.S. strategic access to the region.  Captain Rodriguez is also responsible for overseeing the CJTF Headquarters Staff and J-Code Directors.

Prior to assuming his current position, Captain Rodriguez served on the Staff of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Special Operations & Low-intensity Conflict – Counter Terrorism Directorate.

Captain Rodriguez is a native of California and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD.  He began his military career as a graduate assistant football coach for the Naval Academy prior to reporting to Basic Underwater Demolition School BUD/S.

A career Naval Special Warfare Officer (SEAL), upon graduating from BUD/S with Class 161, he was assigned to Seal Team ONE.  He completed deployments as a platoon assistant officer (Desert Shield/Storm) and Platoon Officer in Charge as well as a tour as the SEAL Team ONE Operations Officer.  After an operations tour at Naval Special Warfare Group ONE, he mobilized as the N35 to Commander Naval Forces Europe in London, United Kingdom.  His O-5 Commanding Officer tours include NR Naval Special Warfare Unit 10 (Rota, Spain) and NR Naval Special Warfare Special Boat Team 20 (Norfolk, Va.).  In 2009, he deployed to Iraq with Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Arabian Peninsula, Task Force West.

His Major Command tours include NR Naval Special Warfare HQ CMD, Naval Special Warfare GRP THREE – UNDERSEA and US Delegation to the NATO Military Committee.  His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint and Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “Valor” distinguishing device, Combat Action Ribbon, and numerous other personal awards and decorations.

Captain Rodriguez holds a Master of Business Administration from Xavier University, Certifications from Columbia Business School and is a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College.  In his civilian career, he is a senior executive in the construction and development field and has led some of the world’s largest and most iconic projects.

(Current as of November 2016)


Leadership Chief of Staff

We suggest

USAFE-AFAFRICA commander visits Airmen in Djibouti

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – Airmen serving in the Horn of Africa had the opportunity to meet the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA) Commander, Gen. Tod D. Wolters during his visit to Camp Lemonnier Feb. 1-2, 2017. Wolters interacted with forward deployed Airmen assigned to the installation, and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.

Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa leadership meets with international partners in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU – Members of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) leadership traveled to Mogadishu, Somalia, to meet with international partners, Nov. 2, 2016. The trip included individual, face-to-face discussions with key players in the Somalian defense sector and a group Defense Steering Committee meeting.

Developing the force: U.S. Army Soldiers train, mentor Rwandan NCOs

U.S. Army Soldiers from Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa recently conducted a 10-day NCO Leadership Training course observation with the Rwandan Defense Force at the Rwandan Military Academy, Rwanda, Sept. 9, 2016.

U.S., Burundi share communications hardware best practices

Members of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa communications team recently worked with Burundian National Defense Force’s communications unit to share best practices for installing, operating, and maintaining their newly refurbished African Data Sharing Network Satellite Terminal June 8-17, 2016, at Bujumbura, Burundi.

Regional Senior Mission Leaders Course in Kenya concludes 13th iteration

Military, government and police officials from 13 countries gathered for the 13th Regional Senior Mission Leaders Course at the International Peace Support Training Centre in Karen, Kenya, Feb. 15-26, 2016.