Brig. Gen. Richard Ellis, a 1978 University of Nevada, Reno and ROTC program graduate, was inducted into the campus' ROTC Hall of Fame Sept. 21. The 11 a.m. ceremony in Cain Hall was attended by nearly 20 ROTC cadets, Ellis' wife, Meri, and several of his former classmates and instructors.
Ellis was commissioned in 1978 as a second lieutenant in military intelligence through the Nevada Army ROTC Wolf Pack Battalion program. He graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in international relations.
The University ROTC program began commissioning officers in 1888 and Ellis is the 14th member to be enshrined into the hall.
"Individuals in our Hall of Fame are passionate about service, passionate about our state and passionate about defending our country," said Lt. Col. Scott Maryott, a military sciences professor at the University. "Becoming a one-star general is very competitive and this is a big thing for our University."
Ellis was introduced and inducted by his former professor of military science, Col. Richard Iori. "It is a tremendous accomplishment to make brigadier general in intelligence and special forces and I'm truly honored to be able to induct Richard Ellis."
Proudly wearing his one-star rank insignia on his uniform, Ellis casually spoke to those assembled in recognition of his awards and achievements.
"Today's obviously a great honor," he said. "Everybody who serves does something for their country. Choosing to make a difference makes you a better person; a better man or woman."
Turning to his wife, Ellis said, "Anybody who has reached any sort of rank in the Army would not be up here without the support of family. This is a team sport."
Meri Ellis said of her husband's induction, "I'm very proud of him. He's worked very hard. He's also very proud of having graduated from the University."
Ellis received a Wolf Pack ROTC shirt and the ROTC leadership excellence patch, which included the University's Battalion coin. He also joined the cadets for their battalion formation outside Cain Hall.
Ellis is the director of intelligence for U.S. Southern Command in Miami, where he and his wife have been stationed for a year. He was stationed in Fort Bragg, N.C., for the majority of his career.
Ellis' military education includes the military intelligence officer's basic and advanced courses, and studies at the U.S. Army Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the National War College, where he received a masters of science degree in national security and strategic studies.
He has commanded at every level and has held a variety of staff positions in intelligence with both conventional and special operations units. His commands include Charlie Company, 313th Military Intelligence Battalion, Fort Bragg, N.C; the 319th Military Intelligence Battalion [OPS], 525th Military Intelligence Brigade, Fort Bragg; and the 650th Military Intelligence Group, Shape, Belgium. He has served multiple tours at Fort Bragg, along with overseas tours in Japan, Korea, Panama, Bosnia, Europe, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Ellis' awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (Third Oak Leaf Cluster), the Meritorious Service Medal (Second Oak Leaf Cluster), the Joint Service Commendation Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), the Army Commendation Medal (Second Oak Leaf Cluster), the Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Army Achievement Medal. He is authorized to wear the Special Forces Tab, the Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Badge and the Honduran Parachute Badge.