Rick enlisted in the United States Air Force after high school graduation in Cincinnati, Ohio, and continued active service until retiring as a Colonel 31 years later. Serving initially as altitude chamber physiological training instructor, Rick completed his bachelor degree and was selected for commissioning through Officer Training School.
After a short assignment as a disaster preparedness officer, Rick was selected for pilot training, and after earning his wings he flew all over the world supporting missions as an air refueling pilot in the KC-135 and KC-10. His staff tours were focused on personnel assignments and leader professional development.
Following his Air Force career, Rick moved with his family to Colorado Springs, and applied his military experience to defense contractor positions with NORAD and US Northern Command, and the Missile Defense Agency.