Rear Admiral Richard "Rhett" Butler served for over 32 years as a Naval Aviator, retiring from the U.S. Navy in 2016. He most recently served as Commander, Carrier Strike Group FOUR (CSG-4). Other flag officer assignments included Head of Air Warfare Requirements for the Director of Air Warfare on the staff of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations and as the Commander of Joint Task Force-Guantanamo.

Rear Admiral Butler has a career total of over 5500 hours of tactical jet flight time and over 1000 carrier landings. His early career assignments included operational fighter squadrons and a Fleet Replacement Squadron tour flying the F-14 Tomcat. Following transition to the F/A-18 Hornet, he commanded Strike Fighter Squadron 25. He later commanded Carrier Air Wing 14 during which time he completed three deployments onboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).

Rear Admiral Butler has extensive training experience at the tactical and operational level. As Commander of CSG-4 he was responsible for the pre-deployment training, assessment and certification for Atlantic Fleet Carrier Strike Groups, Amphibious Readiness Groups and independently deploying ships. He twice served as an instructor at the Navy Fighter Weapons School as the TOPGUN Department Head and Operations Officer. Additionally, he was the STRIKE Department Head at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, responsible for integrated carrier air wing training.

Additional assignments included the Strategy Division of the J5 Directorate at the United States European Command in Stuttgart, Germany; Deputy Director at the Combined Air Operations Center, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar; and as the Chief of Staff for the Commander of Naval Air Forces.
Rear Admiral Butler holds a Bachelor's Degree in History from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Science Degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College.