Robert Allen “Rob” Riggle, Jr. (born April 21, 1970) is an American actor, comedian and retired U.S. Marine officer. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but his family moved to Overland Park, Kansas when he was two years old. He attended Shawnee Mission South High School, where he was involved in the school’s radio and TV stations. He was voted the most humorous and graduated in 1988. Riggle later graduated from the University of Kansas, in 1992, with a B.A. in Theater and Film, while attending the university he also made time to get his pilot’s license, and became a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. He went on to earn a Master of Public Administration degree from Webster University in 1997.
He joined the Marines on April 25, 1990, after getting his pilot’s license, intending to become a Naval Aviator, he was able to get a guaranteed flight contract. When he was in flight school he was faced with making a difficult decision. He could continue flying and earn his flight wings, but if he did that he wouldn’t have time to pursue his comedy career. So he decided to pursue his comedy and acting career.
He then had his flight contract changed to a ground contract and became a Public Affairs Officer. He served for nine years on active duty before going into the reserves. As a Public Affairs Officer, he was usually attached to command elements and he served with a number of different units including: 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines; 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines; 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable); 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing; U.S. Central Command and 5th Special Forces Group. While serving, he visited Liberia, Kosovo, Albania, and Afghanistan. His military education includes The Basic School, Aviation Indoctrination, Primary Flight Training, Intermediate Flight Training, Defense Information School, The Warfighting Course, Amphibious Warfare School and Command & Staff College.
His military decorations include: Meritorious Service Medal (2); Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal; Joint Service Achievement Medal; Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2); Combat Action Ribbon; National Defense Service Medal (2); Kosovo Campaign Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; Armed Forces Reserve Medal; and NATO Medal.
Many celebrity vets leave the service behind once they make it in Hollywood, but Rob was still a Marine and he managed to put in the required time for the Corps. while his career in Hollywood was gaining traction. On January 1, 2013, Rob retired from the Marine Corps Reserves, as a Lieutenant Colonel, after 23 years of service.