Courtesy of the U.S. Navy
Rear Admiral Richard B. Schiff

Jewish Generals and Admirals in America's Military

Rear Admiral Richard B. Schiff:
Assistant Judge Advocate General

by Seymour “Sy” Brody

Rear Admiral Richard B. Schiff was a lawyer who served the Navy as a Judge Advocate General lawyer and as a judge.

He was born on September 14, 1944, in Joliet, Illinois. His parents were Harriet (Stern) and Leonard L. Schiff. The family was constantly moving around and he found himself going to many different elementary schools in different states.

He received a B.A. degree from the University of Michigan, in 1966, a JD degree from George Washington University, 1969, and a L.L.M. degree from the University of Virginia, in 1980.

He entered the U. S. Navy in October 1969, as a “direct commission” judge Advocate and with a commission as a Lieutenant. Through the years, he went through the ranks: Lieutenant Commander, 1975, Commander, 1981, Captain, 1988 and hen he retired in December 1997, he was promoted to Rear Admiral.

His Navy assignments:
● General attorney First Naval District, Boston, Massachusetts, 1979-1972
● Assigned to the Commander of the Amphibious Force, Pacific Fleet, 1972-1975
● Military Judge, Transatlantic Judicial Circuit, Naples, Italy, which included traveling through Europe, the Mediterranean, Middle East North Africa and Marine Corps special court-marital, 1975-1979
● Base lawyer, Naval Station, Keflavik, Iceland, 1980-1981
● Legal Advisor to Commander of the Iceland Defense Force, 1981-1982
● Executive Officer, Naval Legal Service Office, Pensacola, Florida.1981-1985
● Office of Ocean Policy, Navy staff in the pentagon. This assignment involved Schiff with the “Black Sea bumping,” 1985-1988
● Commanding Officer, Navy Legal Service Office, in Naples, Italy, 1988-
● Staff Commanding Officer, Naval Legal Service Office, Italy and supported U.S. personnel during Desert Storm, 1988-1991
● Staff judge advocate for Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Commander, U.S. Atlantic Command and Supreme Allied Command, Atlantic, in Norfolk, Virginia, 1991-1994
● Assistant Judge Advocate General (civil law), 1994-1997
● Served six months as Chief Judge, Navy Marine Corps Trial Judiciary, 1997

Military Awards:
• Defense Superior Service Medal
• Legion of Merit (twice)
• Meritorious Service Medal
• Joint Commendation Medal
• Navy Commendation Medal

After his retirement, Schiff went to work for the National Indian Gaming Commission, After 9/11, he went back to the Department of Defense as a civilian lawyer.

Rear Admiral Richard is married to Judi (Weil), of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. They have two children, Karen and Daniel and they are currently living in Virginia.

Return to Table of Contents