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Steve Ritter (Born June 30, 1952) grew up in Coal City, West Virginia, a small coal-mining town in the southern part of the state. As a senior in high school, he received a four-year ROTC scholarship and entered Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia in 1970 and graduated as a second lieutenant in 1974 with a BA degree in elementary education.

After teaching elementary social studies in rural Lincoln county, West Virginia, for six months, he entered the United States Army as a second lieutenant. Upon completing the Adjutant General Officer Basic Course, Ritter was assigned to Fort Knox, Kentucky, as Chief of Personal Affairs, Receiving Branch and Testing Center. After a year and half at those duties, he became Deputy Chief of Staff for Recruiting. While assigned at Fort Knox, Ritter earned a master's degree in counseling from Western Kentucky University during his off-duty time.

In May 1978, he was assigned to the Cold Regions Test Center, Fort Greely, Alaska, as the Public Affairs/Protocol Officer, and he ran the Defense Departments largest photo/video facility. Following those assignments, Ritter attended the Adjutant General Officer Advanced Course and the Department of Defense Public Affairs Course at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.

In December of 1980, he became the Public Affairs Officer for the 24th Infantry Division Mechanized at Fort Stewart, Georgia. Following that assignment, he commanded the 24th Divisions Adjutant General replacement company for 18 months. Before leaving Fort Stewart Ritter served as Aide-de-Camp for the 24th Infantry Division Commander, Major General John R. Galvin. While serving in that job, he was selected by the Department of the Army to attend the Army's fully funded graduate degree program where he earned a second Masters Degree in Photo Journalism from West Virginia University in 1985.

Ritter served as a professor, at the Defense Information School for 17 months where he taught Defense Public Affairs Policy, Media Relations, Strategic Planning, Speech and News Briefings.
In 1986, he became the Public Affairs Officer for the United States Army Signal Center at Fort Gordon Georgia, a position Ritter held for three years.

In 1990, following graduation for from the Army's Command General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Ritter served as personnel/human resource director of the Second Infantry Division, a 17, 000-soldier division dispersed to 21 camps spread over 400 square miles along the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

Following that assignment he served as Chief of Media Relations and Strategic Planning of the Defense Department's largest combat command, Forces Command in Atlanta, Georgia. In that job, he served as Defense Department Spokesman in Florida, following Hurricane Andrew and in Somalia during Operation Restore Hope.

Ritter has appeared as a guest on Larry King Live, Good Morning America, the Today Show, CBS Morning show and numerous times on CNN and other international and local news networks around the world. He has served as speech writer and media coach for numerous generals and Defense Department Officials while serving his country. He has taught at the University of Alaska, Vincennes University, Central Texas College and been a guest speaker/subject matter expert on Media Ethics numerous times at West Virginia University and Indiana University Purdue.

Upon retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1995 Ritter founded and built a national known photography business for 15 years prior to coming to work as Military Education Director Nationwide for Park University/Essential Knowledge.
He is a published-award-winning photographer and journalist and a pioneer in the digital photography and imaging world. He has photographed collegiate bowls including the BSC Championship for four years, the men and women's NCAA Final Four, the Super Bowl, many PGA, LPGA and Senior PGA, and Celebrity Tour events, including the prestigious Masters and Women's US Open.

Upon being promoted to Vice President and later to Senior Vice President of Essential Knowledge Ritter pioneered a military educational resources concept responsible for assisting more than 250,000 members of the military community in understanding their hard-earned education benefits and educating them on how to use them wisely-- including how to select a good school. His supervisor efforts lead to connecting more than 25,000 members of the military community with quality Defense Department/Service Member Opportunity Colleges and Universities nation-wide.

Ritter and his wife of 38 years Connie live in Peachtree City Georgia. They have three grown children, Chad, Erin and Jana and identical twin grandsons, Sage and Sequoia.

Steve enjoys running, fishing, hunting and college sports.


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