Vance Richards, MOH, DSC, FC is a retired admiral, former chief of Confederation Intelligence.
He was the son of pilot Quentin Richards who was lost while flying. Vance graduaded top of his class in the Confederation Service Academy where in his plebe year found Winston Turner intimidating, until he figured out he was all right.
Around 2632 he even taught the cadets basic flight. He was infamous as an instructor eager to give the red check mark, grounding the dreams of fleggie pilots. By his 28th year, his hair was already graying and had wrinkles around his eyes.
Vance was one of the pilots who liked breaking security codes. When he graduated, Joshua Speedwell in Confed Intel was interested in getting him, and talked to Turner about it. At some point Vance cracked some fleet access codes and get into some singel A secured reports concerning the war between the Kilrathi and the Varni. After reading these reports, he formed the opinion that the future was held by the carriers, not the battlewagons or the heavy cruisers.
He often complained to his ship's exec regarding lack of spare parts. He went as far as to tell him suffering from "cranial-fundamental insertion syndrome".
In his younger days, Richards served as squadron leader and flew fighters, expecting to move up to Lieutenant Commander at a training wing, with an ipeccable report. He was surprised when he was ordered to report to Johnson Island on McAuliffe as soon as his carrier docks. When he heared that he had to pick up Ensign Geoffrey Tolwyn who had pissed Senator Jamison More, Richards started to guess that he also did something similar. Richards landed on Johnson Island on a Hurricane where Tolwyn was expecting him. They took their orders, which instructed them to wait to the base officer's club and wait for further orders. They were soon joined by Turner, who revealed to the pair that they are assigned to him for a secret operation.
In that operation with Geoff (which coincided with the beginning of the Kilrathi War), he served as Turner's pilot while Geoff as administrative assistant but the two boys showed a display of both wanting to be top dog tiring Turner. They followed Turner to the Hell Hole where they hired pilot Hans Kruger of the Lazarus to infiltrate Kilrathi space.
He is seen as something of a maverick himself and takes to heart the Salvor Hardin aphorism of never letting his morals stop him from doing what's right. He is instrumental in uncovering the Kilrathi duplicity during the armistice and their secret fleet, and helps Jason Bondarevsky talk Max Kruger into taking his fleet to save Earth.
After the war, he joins the Landreich and assists in their recovery of a lost Kilrathi carrier, and its use against a Kilrathi dreadnought refitted by an ambitious local warlord. He is believed to be dead in that battle, but later, he is said to be alive and well in the Landreich, lending his codebreaking and intelligence-gathering expertise to the cause of the Border Worlds.
After 39 years with the fleet, he wrote Point and Counterpoint—Intelligence and Counterintelligence in the War Against the Kilrathi his memoirs. He provided Wilhelm Schwarzmont with the text of his unpublished memoir along with declassified records, for his book.