Colonel Richard A. Spaulding was born in Exeter and raised in the New Hampshire seacoast area. He attended Portsmouth High School and served as class president. He enrolled at the University of New Hampshire and participated in Army ROTC, where he served as Company Commander in the Corps, while simultaneously serving as a Master Sergeant in the Army National Guard. In addition, Col Spaulding was a two sport athlete participating in Wildcat football and track. Following graduation from the University of New Hampshire in 1957, he received his US Army Commission in the Infantry and attended the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course at Fort Benning, GA.
Col Spaulding’s initial duty was in Korea followed by reassignment to Fort Dix, NJ, where he commanded his first Infantry Company. Subsequently, he received a Regular Army Commission in the Military Police (MP) Corps and was reassigned to the 716th MP Battalion as an Operations Officer. From 1963-1966, Col Spaulding was assigned to US Army Alaska, where he commanded the 56th MP Company. During the Alaskan earthquake of 1964, Col Spaulding was assigned to Continental Army Command (CONAC), where he developed three separate training guides for company level commanders for Army-wide distribution.
In 1968, Col Spaulding deployed to the Republic of Vietnam where he was assigned as the Provost Marshal for the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. While serving in combat, Col Spaulding was awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, the Vietnam Civilian Action with Palm, the Vietnamese Honor Medal, and the Bronze Star Medal. From 1975-1977, he commanded a Military Police Battalion at Fort Riley, KS. Following Battalion Command, Col Spaulding was reassigned to the United States Army Criminal Investigations Command as the Director of Operations, exercising worldwide supervision and coordination. He retired in May 1981 after 30 years of dedicated service in the United States Army.
Col Spaulding’s awards and decorations also include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Parachutist Badge. His military education includes the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course, Military Police Advanced Course, the Command and General Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. In addition to his Bachelor’s Degree from UNH, he holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from The American University, Washington, DC.
Throughout retirement, Col Spaulding continued to support the University of New Hampshire and the local community. From 1982-1983, he was an assistant football coach at UNH, before moving to Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Dover, NH. While at Saint Thomas, he became the head football coach and served as athletic director. In those roles, he continued to develop future leaders, many of whom went on to serve in the Armed Forces. Col Spaulding has enjoyed his retirement, attending Wildcat sporting events and spending time with family, whose UNH academic ties transcend four generations.
For outstanding leadership and dedication to the United States Army and service to the State of New Hampshire, Colonel Richard A. Spaulding is inducted into the ROTC Hall of Fame.