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Lieutenant Colonel Matthew T. Ritchie Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines
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Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie was born on 19 January 1979 in Charleston, South Carolina. He graduated from Elon University with a bachelor of arts in history in May 2001. He reported to Officer Candidate School on 7 October 2001 and was commissioned on 14 December 2001. He completed The Basic School in June 2002 and reported to the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course (FAOBC) at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in July 2002. Upon completion of FAOBC in January 2003 he reported to Battery R, 5th Battalion, 10th Marines and served as a forward observer from January to June 2003. During Operation Iraqi Freedom he was attached as a forward observer to Company D, 2nd Tank Battalion, Regimental Combat Team (RCT) - 5.                                                                                                           

From June 2003 to January 2005, Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie served as Guns Platoon Commander and Liaison Officer for Battery R, 5th Battalion, 10th Marines. During this period the battery participated in a Combined Arms Exercise in Twentynine Palms, CA and deployed to Okinawa, Japan as a part of the Unit Deployment Program from June to December 2005.

In January 2005 Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie was assigned to HQ Battery, and deployed with the command element of 5th Battalion, 10th Marines from March to October 2005 while the battalion staff served as the II MEF, Iraqi Security Force (ISF) Directorate. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was attached to RCT-8 and served as the ISF Training Officer / II MEF LNO. From November 2005 to June 2006 Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie served as HQ Battery XO and battalion AFSC.

Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie reported to Tactical Training Exercise Control Group (TTECG), in Twentynine Palms, CA to serve as a fire support instructor/evaluator from June 2006 to June 2008. While at TTECG he completed the Tactical Air Control Party course and the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) ground course. Upon completion of his tour at TTECG he was selected to attend Expeditionary Warfare School. He graduated in June 2009 and proceeded to OCS to serve as a summer augment prior to executing orders to 1st Battalion, 12th Marines.

In August 2009 Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie assumed the duties as the S-3A for 1st Battalion, 12th Marines. In May 2010 he took command of Battery E, 2nd Battalion, 12th Marines. Battery E deployed with 1st Battalion, 12th Marines to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from April to November 2011. While deployed to Afghanistan Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie was selected to attend the US Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie reported to CGSC in July 2012 and graduated with a Master of Military Art and Science with a focus in military history in June 2013. While attending CGSC Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie was selected to serve as the exchange officer to 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines.

From June 2013 to June 2016 Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie served as a future plans officer for 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines. From June 2016 to March 2017 Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie served as the operations officer for 2d Battalion, 11th Marines. In March of 2017 he was assigned to Task Force, Al Taqqadum as the fires and effects coordinator. He was deployed to Iraq with the task force from August 2017 to February 2018. After returning from deployment he assumed the duties of Executive Officer, 11th Marines from April 2018 until July 2019.

From July 2019 to May 2020 Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie served as the Officer Plans Section Head, Manpower Plans and Policies, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, in Quantico, VA.  On 12 June 2020 Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie assumed command of 1st Battalion, 11th Marines.

His personal decorations include: Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Meritorious Service Medal with Remote device, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2nd Award) with Combat Distinguishing Device and two Combat Action Ribbons.

Lieutenant Colonel Ritchie is married to the former Meredith Schmidt of Decatur, GA. Together they have a 12 year old son, Bennett, a 10 year old son John Oliver, an 8 year old daughter Martha Grace and a 4 year old daughter Mary Evelyn.

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