Office of Veterans Business Development | Leadership
Rhett Jeppson's wide range experience includes extensive military service, small business management, and directing a state’s procurement activities. As a result, he was appointed as the Associate Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development in April of 2012.
In 1988, Mr. Jeppson completed the Basic Officer Course and The Infantry Officer Course and then reported to the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California where he served as a Rifle Platoon Officer, a Company Executive Officer, and a principal Battalion Staff officer. During this time, Rhett first experienced combat with 3rd Battalion 9th Marines during Operation Desert Storm.
Following Desert Storm, Rhett left active duty with the Marine Corps to return to Florida in 1991 and tend to his family and father's business while his father underwent a bone marrow transplant for Leukemia. While running the family business, Rhett learned first-hand the rewards and challenges of managing a small business.
Four years later, Rhett returned to active service with Special Operations Command Central. The position honed his skills as a leader and, in 1999, lead him to an opportunity with the State of Florida's Department of Business and Professional Regulation, first as the Deputy Director of Pari-Mutuel Wagering and then as the Special Assistant to the Secretary. In 2000, Rhett became the Director of State Purchasing, overseeing the execution of all state contracts and statewide procurement vehicles.
In the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks, Rhett was recalled to service and reported to U.S. Marine Forces Europe. Later he joined the U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida, with subsequent assignments with the U.S. Forces Afghanistan, and the U.S. European Command.
Rhett is a graduate of the University of Florida, and a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserve.