Major Richard Groves enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1975 at Royal Roads Military College in Victoria, BC. After graduation from Royal Military College Kingston in 1979 he served as a Signals Officer at Calgary, UNFICYUP Cyprus (Oct 81 to Apr 82), CFS Masset and CFS Alert (Jan to Jul 85).
Selected for the Military Dental Training Plan in 1985, Major Groves graduated from the University of Saskatchewan College of Dentistry in 1990, receiving a Doctor of Dental Medicine with Distinction. Of note, while he then began service as a Dental Officer, his former Champlain Flight classmates also later served as a Medical Officer (Mike Campbell) and Legal Officer (Randy Smith). Richard subsequently served as a line dental officer in Shilo, Cyprus (Oct 92 to Apr 93), Petawawa and Trenton.
After being promoted to Major in 2001, he was posted to CFB Borden as OC Treatment Company at CFDSS and then to the Directorate of Dental Services as the staff officer responsible for dental policy in 2003. While at the Directorate, Major Groves had a variety of interesting secondary duties, including the Forensic Odontology Advisor, the Editor of the Branch newsletter, the Directorate webmaster, the Liaison Officer to the Royal Canadian Dental Corps Association (RCDCA), and Project Director for CFHIS. He also produced a Dental Corps history book that was presented to the RCDC Colonel-in-Chief in 2006. Major Groves received the Director’s Commendations in 2005 for his efforts in updating and modernizing CFDOs and again in 2008 for his contribution to CFDS RESTORE.
He has been part of three W.R. Thompson Trophy winning teams. Each year, the W.R Thompson trophy is presented to a member or group to recognize the most significant contribution to the land, sea, or air operational role of the RCDC during the last calendar year, or over the past several years:
Operation Persistence - Swiss Air 111 Crash - CFDS Forensic Odontology in 1998 (Team also received Treasury Board and CDS Unit Commendations),
Project COURAGE DVI (Disaster Victim Identification) Haiti in 2010; and
First Air Crash DVI (Disaster Victim Identification) Resolute Bay in 2011. Richard participated by preparing ante-mortem record for the comparison team and by quickly training other dental officers to join the team.
In 2014, Major Groves was appointed as the new President of the Royal Canadian Dental Corps Association and has served in that capacity since then. In 2018, he received the CDS Commendation “For Outstanding Dedication as the author and graphic designer of the 2015 RCDC Centennial book entitled “The History of the Royal Canadian Dental Corps: A Century of Military Dental Service”