Richard A. Stansfield

  • Colonel
  • Vietnam


Richard A. Stansfield was a native of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He was born on 10 December 1941 to Clifford and Velma Stansfield. He was a 1959 graduate of Tolman High School, Pawtucket, where he was a member of the cross country team, the National Ski Patrol and the Rhode Island Honor Society. Dick entered the University of Rhode Island in September 1959 with the class of 1963. He was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity and participated in the Army ROTC program for 4 years. He was a member of the Scabbard and Blade Military Honor Society. Dick earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in electrical engineering and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, Engineer Corps.

He entered active duty in January 1964. Upon completion of the Engineer Officer Basic Course, Fort Belvoir, VA, he served as a platoon leader with Company B and executive officer, Headquarters Company, 127th Engineer Battalion, 11th Air Assault Division, Fort Benning, Georgia. In August 1965, LT Stansfield was assigned as Executive Officer and subsequently Company Commander, Headquarters Company 8th Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), An Khe, Vietnam.

The area around An Khe was infested with enemy soldiers (Viet Cong). LT Stansfield was responsible for establishing the security around the base camp. He established the perimeter, machine gun fields of fire, preplanned motor/artillery fire and established a combat patrol schedule outside the perimeter. All duties were performed in an outstanding manner.

1LT Stansfield left active duty in May 1966 and was assigned as Company Commander, A Company, 104th Engineer Battalion, 50th Armored Division, New Jersey Army National Guard. LT Stansfield and his soldiers found themselves in the middle of the riot, with bullets flying over their heads. LT Stansfield led his company with valor and courage during the 1967 Newark riots.

In November 1974, Captain Stansfield rejoined the U.S. Army Reserve as an engineer staff officer, 77th U.S. Army Regional Readiness Command, Fort Totten, New York. He served in various staff positions as a Captain and Major: Engineer Staff Officer, Recruiting and Retention Officer, Environmental Control Officer and Facilities Engineer Officer.

Upon promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, he was assigned as Operations Officer (S3) 411th Engineer Brigade, Floyd Bennett Field, New York, with primary responsibility to develop a command energy conservation program. LTC Stansfield took an existing, but marginal, energy program and developed it into a viable command program now in use throughout the Brigade which resulted in direct cost savings to the government.

In September 1985, LTC Stansfield was assigned as the Civil Engineer, 353rd Civil Affairs Command where he was responsible for directing and operating Civil Affairs functions pertaining to environmental health and engineering in foreign countries where Civil Affairs operations are conducted. During this assignment, LTC Stansfield became fluent in German and made seven training trips to Germany. He received many accolades from senior officers concerning his knowledge, professionalism and commitment to the mission.

In June 1990, he was assigned to the 353rd Civil Affairs Command, Bronx, New York, as the Deputy Chief Staff, Resource Management. Colonel Stansfield developed and implemented a computer program to monitor, allocate and disburse budgets to all subordinates, monitor progress and track goals. Colonel Stansfield’s personal involvement in support of the Joint United States/Republic of Cameroon Military Medical and Civil Affairs Exercise resulted in the accomplishment of all goals of the joint United States/Republic of Cameroon exercise.

Colonel Stansfield retired from the U.S. Army Reserve on 31 March 1995. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his thirty-two years of distinguished service to our country. His other awards include the Meritorious Service Medal; Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster; Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with 2d oak leaf clusters; National Defense Service Medal; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal; Army service Ribbon and the New Jersey Military Award with 2d oak leaf cluster.

Colonel Stansfield was a graduate of the Engineer Officer Basic Course, the Engineer Officer Advanced Course, the Civil Affairs Advanced Course, and the Command and General Staff College. He was a true leader and extremely active in his community volunteering countless hours to numerous programs. He served on the Pequannock Township Board of Education and the Morris County Juvenile Conference Committee. Dick spent his civilian working life with the Brooklyn Union Gas Company. At the end of his career he was Director, Central Stores with an inventory valued in the tens of millions.

Colonel Richard A. Stansfield died on 26 February 2015 and was survived by his wife Ruth. He was buried at Laurel Grove Cemetery, Totowa, New Jersey with full military honors.

Colonel Stansfield was involved with the University of Rhode Island since his graduation. He was a member of the URI Alumni Association and a strong contributor to the URI Foundation providing financial support to the College of Engineering and Sigma Chi Fraternity. He served his country, community and the University of Rhode Island in both peace and war in “The One Army Concept” with dedication and professionalism.