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Cmdr. Mark Rittenhouse is the son of a retired Navy Chief and is from Hawai’i. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2004. Upon earning his degree Rittenhouse enlisted in the United States Navy in December 2006 and following Boot Camp in Great Lakes, Illinois, he attended “A” school. Upon graduation from “A” school, he reported to the USS Jarrett (FFG 33) in San Diego, California, where he served as an Operation Specialist.
Upon completion of his first enlisted tour, Rittenhouse was selected for OCS. Upon graduating, he earned his commission as an Officer in the United States Navy and was service selected as a Surface Warfare Officer.
At sea, he completed his first Division Officer tour aboard USS Lake Erie (CG 70) as the Electrical Officer/ACE/Assistant Weapons Officer. In February 2011, he reported to USS O’Kane (DDG 77) as the Training Officer and filled the billet as the Operations Officer during the ship’s deployment to 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation (AORs). During his Department Head tours, Cmdr. Rittenhouse served as the Weapons Officer and Combat Systems Officer onboard USS Lake Erie (CG 70) from August 2016 to July 2019. He deployed to the 5th and 7th Fleet AORs in support of the Nimitz Strike Group, Joint Task Force-President of the United States Ballistic Missile Defense Operations, and Humanitarian Aid/Disaster Relief in Sri Lanka.
Ashore, Cmdr. Rittenhouse was assigned to The Citadel’s Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps in Charleston, South Carolina from 2012 to 2015. He served as an Adjunct Professor and Naval Science Instructor where he trained, educated, and commissioned over 200 students. Cmdr. Rittenhouse is a distinguished graduate from The Citadel where he earned his Master of Arts in Social Sciences. His previous overseas assignment, he served as the Flag Aide to Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet, Commander Naval Striking / Support Forces NATO, and Deputy Commander, NAVEUR – NAVAF in Naples, Italy. In addition, served as the Flag Aide to Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Development (N7) at the Pentagon. His last shore assignment was on the Joint Staff as a Political Military Planner for Russia-Ukraine in the J5. Currently, Cmdr. Rittenhouse is assigned as the Executive Officer for Navy Talent Acquisition Group Northern Plains.
Personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 Gold Stars), the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal (Gold Star) and various other unit and campaign awards.
He has three children Keaolani (19), Keolakai (15), and Keanuwai (12).