Brigadier General Zilmer was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve following his graduation from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania 1974 where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education.
Following completion of The Basic School, Brigadier General Zilmer reported to the 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa and served as a Rifle Platoon Commander with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines. In June 1976, Brigadier General Zilmer reported to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, SC, where he served as a Series Commander and Company Executive Officer. He reported to the 2nd Marine Division in 1980 and served as Assistant Operations Officer and Rifle Company Commander with 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines.
In August and September 1982, Brigadier General Zilmer participated in peacekeeping operations in Beirut, Lebanon. Returning to the United States in November 1982, Brigadier General Zilmer was ordered to Marine Barracks, Washington DC for assignment and duty with Security Company located at Camp David, MD.
From July 1985 until June 1987, Brigadier General Zilmer was assigned to The Basic School in Quantico, VA, where he served as Tactics Assistant Group Chief and Company Commander of two student companies. In June 1988, Brigadier General Zilmer was assigned to the 1st Marine Division, serving initially as Operations Officer and later as Executive Officer of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines and Operations Officer for Task Force Ripper during Operations Desert Shield/Storm in 1990 and 1991.
Following the Gulf War, Brigadier General Zilmer was reassigned to Headquarters Marine Corps where he served as Section Head of Ground Officer Assignments. In 1993, Brigadier General Zilmer was again assigned to 1st Marine Division as Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion, 1st Marines and subsequently deployed to Okinawa, Japan as the Ground Combat Element of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (Specials Operations Capable). Following a brief assignment as Executive Officer of 1st Marines, Brigadier General Zilmer was next assigned in 1995 to the Joint Warfare Staff in Poole, England where he served as the Senior US Marine Exchange Officer to the Royal Marines. In July 1997, Brigadier General Zilmer reported to I Marine Expeditionary Force for duty as Commanding Officer, 15th MEU (SOC). In July 2000, Brigadier General Zilmer was assigned to the United States European Command in Stuttgart, Germany where he served as the Deputy Director of Operations and the Director of Operations and the Director, Counter Terrorism Joint Planning Group.
In June 2002, Brigadier General Zilmer reported to his present assignment as Director, Strategy and Plans Division, Plans, Policies and Operations Department at Headquarters, US Marine Corps, Washington, DC.
This biography was adapted from "Brigadier General Richard C. Zilmer, Director, Strategy and Plans" bio, from the US Marine Corps Historical section website: www.usmc.mil.
The link above no longer works and cannot find this bio on line anymore.
R. Hulver to review later - do not post. D. Elliott 12172015