Rear Admiral Richard J. Knapp, USCG, Comptroller of the Coast Guard was born and received his early education in Passaic, N.J. A 1951 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy he spent the first part of his career in Alameda, Calif., first on the cutters Escanaba and Gresham and then in 1954 as Commanding Officer of Ship Training Detachment No. 5.
In the spring of 1957 he returned to the east coast for a tour on board Spencer berthed at Staten Island and later at the New York Marine Inspection Office as Hull Inspector until June 1959. Before reporting to George Washington University, where he earned a Masters Degree in Business Administration in June 1962, he spent two years as Commanding Officer of the New London based Yeaton.
Following three years as Staff Assistant to the Comptroller at Headquarters, then LCDR Knapp, served from May 1965 to March 1966 in Vietnam. He was assigned first to Coast Guard Squadron One as Chief Staff Officer during its development. Then subsequent to its deployment he commanded Division 12, based at Danang, and served as Commander, Task Group 115.3 where he coordinated training and logistics as well as the use of Coast Guard cutters and Navy PCF's developing tactics that made full use of both types. For his efforts, he was presented the Legion of Merit with Combat Distinguished Device.
On his return from Southeast Asia, he took command of Acushnet homeported in Portland, Maine. He remained there for two years before returning to Headquarters as Chief, Coast Analysis Branch, Budge Division where he earned a Coast Guard Commendation Medal for his achievements.
The next two years, from the summer of 1972 to 1974, he saw service out of Baltimore, first as Commanding Officer of Southwind for six months and then in command of Edisto. Following these assignments he returned once again to Headquarters, this time as Chief, Ocean Operations Division. For his accomplishments in that position he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal before reporting for duty as Deputy Chief, Office of Personnel. It was while at that post in Washington that he was nominated for promotion to flag rank in February 1978. Following approval by the Senate the new Rear Admiral assumed the responsibilities of his present position in July 1978.
Admiral Knapp and his wife Pamela are the parents of one daughter and three sons.