Brigadier General John B. Richardson IV, Class of 1987

  • BD Maclay School strives to have its students and graduates reach their full potential and be the best person they can be. Brigadier General John Richardson, Johnny as he is known to his classmates, exemplifies just that.  He attended Maclay from 2nd-12th grades, graduating in 1987. He was the captain of the varsity baseball team for three years, served on Student Council all through high school, and senior year was elected Student Body President. In the yearbook, the Class of ’87 said that Maclay School had never been the same since his arrival in 1976. “Whether he was changing his hair color or fashion, he never stood still long enough for us to get a good look at him. Known to be a little bit of a wild and crazy guy, he had never needed a reason to celebrate. He will be forever remembered as the one responsible for standing up for boys’ rights to wear shorts [at school]. How could the Board deny this angelic, smiling face? We will miss his corny jokes, great smile, and easy going personality. West Point will be lucky to have him.”


    After high school, Johnny attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  In 1991 he graduated from West Point, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, and married fellow Maclay alum Deanie Poitevent (’88).  BG Richardson is a highly decorated combat veteran with over 24 years of service in U.S. Army.  He has received numerous awards, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star for Valor, Purple Heart, three additional Bronze Star Medals, and a host of other decorations and honors.


    In May 2015, the President of the United States nominated Johnny for promotion and the Senate confirmed his nomination for promotion to Brigadier General.  In July, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Johnny’s longtime mentor, General Martin Dempsey with the assistance of Deanie and their two children Mary Alex and Johnny pinned the stars of a General on his uniform at a promotion ceremony in Washington DC.  Johnny became the first member of his West Point class to make General Officer with the added distinction of becoming the youngest General in the Army.  At the ceremony, he was surrounded by family and many Maclay friends, including his wife, Deanie ’88, sister-in-law Kate Poitevent Pararo ’98, cousins Lee Loucks ’87 and Michelle Loucks Ginn ’84, friends Barbara Cairns ’87, Tracy Fellenz Noelke ’87, and Katherine Moore Reed ’88.

    The Army sent Johnny to Harvard University where he studied Leadership & Management and along with a Masters degree in Leader Development from Long Island University, Johnny is best known in the Army for his ability to grow junior leaders and build high performing teams with positive work climates.  He focuses his time and energy on developing the next generation to lead the Armed Forces into the 21st century. He truly believes his passion for coaching, teaching, and mentoring stems from his early experience at Maclay, crediting his coaches and teachers who invested their time and energy into his growth and development. He directly attributes their role modeling to his success as a military leader today. 
     Brigadier General Richardson will be on campus Monday, October 26 following the Homecoming weekend to teach several history classes and have lunch with Upper School students who have an interest in learning more about the armed services. We look forward to welcoming Johnny back to the Maclay campus.