Col Gregory Raths
ColRathsis a combat veteran of the USMarine Corps.He is running for United StatesHouse of Representativesin the state ofCA.Active Status:Retired
The Combat Veterans For Congress PAC is endorsing Col Gregory G. Raths, USMC (Ret) of Mission Viejo, California to run for Congress in 2022. Col Raths was previously endorsed as the 85th of 143 endorsed Combat Veteran For Congress in 13 years, the link to his campaign website is listed below this endorsement. Col Raths is a fiscally conservative candidate who believes in a smaller, leaner federal government, lower taxes, a strong national defense, and he will work to rein in the out of control spending by reckless members of Congress. Col Raths is an independent thinking Republican, will champion Veterans rights, and will work with the Republican leadership to secure the wide open Southern Border to stem the flow of drugs, MS-13 gang members, human traffickers, and terrorist from illegally entering the United States. Col Raths is running for the new Congressional seat in the 40th Congressional District of California which is an open seat after redistricting.
Gregory Raths was born to Viola and John Raths on September 12, 1953 in Phoenix, AZ. Greg comes from a large family of four brothers and three sisters; Greg’s father was a World War II decorated Combat Attack Pilot in the European Theatre from 1944-1945. Greg attended local Catholic schools through high school and excelled in math and science; he became an Eagle Scout. Greg was active in student government leading his freshman and senior classes as their president, and also participated in football and baseball.
Greg graduated from Bourgade Catholic High School in Phoenix, AZ in May 1971. In September 1973, Greg received an Associate Degree in General Studies, from Phoenix College in Phoenix, AZ. He was then accepted as a business student at Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe, Arizona. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business in May 1975 from ASU. In August 1995, Col Raths attended the National Defense University at Fort Leslie McNair, Washington, DC and earned a Master of Science Degree in National Resource Strategy in June 1996. In September 2011 Greg was accepted at California State University in Fullerton and obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History with a minor in Political Science in May 2013.
While at Phoenix College, Greg joined the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate Program on August 12, 1972 in Phoenix, AZ, going thru summer training during his college summer breaks in July of 1973 and July of 1974 at the US Marine Corps Base, Quantico, VA. Following graduation from ASU, Greg was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps on May 24, 1975 and reported to Quantico Marine Corps Base for The Basic School; he completed his training on January 15, 1976.
2nd Lt Raths was medically qualified for flight training and reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL for basic flight training in February 1976 and reported for primary flight training in March 1976. In June 1976, 2nd Lt Raths reported to Naval Air Station, Meridian, Mississippi for advance jet training; he was promoted to First Lieutenant on June 1, 1977 and received his Wings of Gold on June 24, 1977, graduating with honors. Greg’s father, a World War II Combat Decorated Attack A-20 Pilot, had the honor of pinning First Lieutenant Raths’ wings on him.
First Lieutenant Raths’ first assignment as a military pilot was at the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) in El Toro, California where he joined the Third Marine Aircraft Wing in August of 1977, and was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 11. He flew the RF-4B Phantom II with Marine Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron 3 and deployed with Carrier Air Wing Five on the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CV-41) for deployment to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea in February 1979; he returned to CONUS in September 1979. On August 1, 1980, 1st LT Raths was promoted to Captain; and in November 1980 he departed on his second deployment to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea again on the USS Midway (CV-41); he returned to CONUS in June 1981. On July 1, 1986, Captain Raths was promoted to Major and in that same month he was selected to Command the Marine Corps Recruiting Station in Detroit, Michigan. He turned a failing recruiting station into a recruiting powerhouse.
After his successful command tour he transitioned to the F/A-18 Hornet in 1989 and returned to MAG 11 MCAS El Toro in April 1990 to Command a Marine Headquarters Squadron. He flew the F/A-18 Hornet with VMFA-314, the Black Knights Squadron. On January 17, 1991 Major Raths deployed as the Combat Operations Center Officer for Marine Aircraft Group 11 based at Sheikh Isa Air Base in Bahrain in support of Operation Desert Storm. He flew 45 combat missions in the F/A-18D during the conflict and was awarded the Air Medal (with bronze star and Combat “V”), the Strike Air Medal (3 awards) the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with Combat “V”), the Navy/Marine Corps Medal, and various Service and Campaign Medals. Maj Raths returned to CONUS on May 17, 1991 and was assigned as Executive Officer of Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314) flying F/A-18 aircraft.
Maj Raths was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on May 1, 1992, and in April 1993, Lt Col Raths was selected to command his squadron, VMFA-314. Lt Col Raths again deployed, in support of Operations Southern Watch, to the Arabian Sea in Command of his Squadron embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) on July 24, 1993. He flew combat missions over Iraq enforcing the Southern No-fly Zone. On October 8, 1993 Lt Col Raths’ Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron 314 flew in support of Operation Continue Hope off the shore of Somalia providing close air support for Task Force Ranger of Special Operations Forces after two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down and a pilot, CW4 Michael J. Durant, USA, was taken prisoner. During those two operations, Lt Col Raths flew 30 combat missions in the F/A-18 Hornet. Lt Col Raths had accumulated 331 carrier landings on his aircraft carrier deployments. During his cruise on the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), he was awarded the Strike Medal (6th award), the Meritorious Service Medal, and various Service and Campaign Medals; he returned to CONUS on December 15, 1993.
In August 1995, Lieutenant Colonel Raths reported to the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., and earned a Master of Science Degree in National Resource Strategy upon graduation in June 1996. Following graduation, in June 1996, he was nominated and selected for the position of Assistant Chief of Staff of the White House Military Office. This prestigious position at the highest level of government enabled, Lt Col Raths, to view our government at the executive level. The military office ensures our Commander-in-Chief has the necessary military support to discharge his duties as President of the United States. Lt Col Raths traveled with the president aboard Air Force One on several national and international trips overseeing the president’s military support. On January 1, 1999, Lt Col Raths was promoted to Colonel and was transferred in February 1999 to MCAS Miramar, San Diego, CA. In June 1999, Colonel Raths assumed command of Marine Aircraft Group 46, a composite air group of both fixed wing and helicopters at MCAS Miramar in San Diego, CA. He became proficient in six different Marine Corps aircraft.
In July 2002, Colonel Raths was transferred to Headquarters, Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing at the Marine Corps Air Station in New Orleans, Louisiana and was assigned as Chief of Staff to the Commanding General. At one point during his tour in New Orleans, when the Commanding General was assigned to a forward assignment in the Middle East, Colonel Raths took command of the Air Wing, becoming the first USMC Colonel in 50 years to command a Marine Aircraft Wing. Col Raths was Honorably Discharged from the US Marine Corps on November 30, 2004; he is the recipient of the Defense Superior Medal, 2 Legion of Merit Medals, 2 Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Medal (with Bronze Star and Combat “V”), the Strike Air Medal (6th Award), 3 Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medals (one with Combat “V”), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and numerous Service and Campaign Medals.
After Col Raths retired from the US Marine Corps on November 30, 2004; he returned to Mission Viejo, CA. Greg flew for Jet Blue Airline in Long Beach, CA as a commercial pilot for three years from 2004 to 2007, before being recruited in 2008 to become President of Go Automotive, Inc. a local automobile parts distribution firm in Anaheim, CA; when the firm was sold in 2011, Greg became an author, and publisher his first book, “9 Lives of a fighter Pilot” in 2013 and is currently writing his second book, ”Havoc Going Down”.
From 2014 to present Greg served on CA Assemblyman Bill Brough Veterans Advisory Committee and as a Board member of Vanguard University Veterans Advisory Committee. From 2016 to present, Greg was appointed by Supervisor Lisa Bartlett to serve as Vice-Chairman of the Orange County Veterans Advisory Council. In 2014, Greg was elected as a Councilman in the City of Mission Viejo, the largest city in the new 40th Congressional District; he was re-elected as a City Councilman in 2018. In 2019, Greg was elected as Mayor of the City of Mission Viejo.
Col Raths has been endorsed by Cong Robert "Rob" Simmons, Col-USA/CIA (R-CT-Ret), Cong Paul Collins Broun, Cdr-USNR (MC) (R-GA-Ret), Cong Kerry Bentivolio, SFC/MI-ANG (R-MI-Ret), Lieutenant General Terry Robling, USMC (Ret.),Lieutenant General Keith Stalder, USMC (Ret.),Major General William Collins, USMC (Ret.), Major General Timothy Ghormley, USMC (Ret.), Brigadier General Mike Aguilar, USMC (Ret.), Brigadier General Guido Portante, USA (Ret.), Brigadier General David Shuter, USMC (Ret.), 5-time Mission Viejo Mayor and current Councilwoman Trish Kelley, by Mission Viejo Mayor Pro Tem Ed Sachs, by Orange County Tax Assessor Claude Parrish, by San Juan Capistrano Mayor Derek Reeve, by two time Mayor of Laguna Hills Barbara Kogerman, by Laguna Hills Mayor Dave Wheeler, by Laguna Niguel Councilman Fred Minagar, and the Combat Veterans For Congress PAC.
Greg is a member of the NRA, the Navy League, VFW, Marine Corps Aviation Association, Association of Naval Aviation, Rotary Club of Mission Viejo, the Elks Lodge of Mission Viejo, the Knights of Columbus, the Knights Templar, and the American Legion. Greg is the Marshall for the Knights Templar of The Military Order of Temple of Jerusalem of the Priory of our Savior.
Greg has been married for 40 years to the former Lucille Fanelli of Jeanette, Pennsylvania who is a retired educator of 40 years. They are proud parents of three children, Maj Michael Raths, USMCR a jet aviator age 45, and twin daughters Kristen and Kathryn age 38 who both have Masters Degrees and are educators teaching in the Irvine Unified School District in Irvine, California. Colonel Raths and his wife have 6 beautiful grandchildren. The Raths are active members of St. Kilian Catholic Church in Mission Viejo, CA.
The Combat Veterans For Congress PAC is pleased to endorse Col Gregory G. Raths, USMC (Ret) who will bring to Congress private sector skills and wisdom to better solve problems in government and represent the 40th Congressional District of California and the Republic. If you review Col Raths’ positions on his Web site, you would be pleased with his stands; they agree with the Combat Veterans For Congress Mission Statement. We look forward to working with Col Raths, and are pleased that a Combat Veteran of his caliber is running for Congress.
If you have friends, associates, or relatives who know voters in the 40th Congressional District of California, kindly pass this E-mail on to them, and ask them to support Col Raths by working in his campaign, providing financial support for his campaign in any amount, and/or by networking with others who would be willing to support his campaign. The military is one of the few remaining institutions producing the caliber of men and women needed to restore this nation to the greatness our Founding Fathers envisioned. We have endorsed another Combat Veteran For Congress that General George Washington would have approved of. He is a Veteran who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America” for an amount “up to and including his life.”