Lieutenant Colonel Rico Acosta was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Texas - El Paso and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in 2003. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2006.
He first served at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, where he was assigned as legal assistance attorney and defense counsel from 2007 to 2010. In 2010, he deployed with 3d Battalion, 5th Marines to the Sangin District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM 10.2. Upon redeployment in 2011, he was assigned as Senior Trial Counsel, Legal Team Delta, Legal Services Support Section - Camp Pendleton.
In 2012, Lieutenant Colonel Acosta was transferred to Judge Advocate Division, Headquarters Marine Corps Pentagon. While working on the SJA to CMC’s Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Acosta was assigned as operational law attorney and occupational field sponsor. In 2014, Lieutenant Colonel Acosta was selected by the Commandant’s Professional Intermediate-Level School to attend Georgetown University School of Law. He graduated from Georgetown in 2015 with a Masters of Law in National Security Studies.
He was assigned as Staff Judge Advocate, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2015. In 2016, Lieutenant Colonel Acosta deployed with Amphibious Ready Group 5/11th MEU in support of Western Pacific Deployment 16.2. After returning to the United States, Lieutenant Colonel Acosta was transferred to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and assigned as Senior Defense Counsel, Defense Services Organization - Miramar.
In 2019, Lieutenant Colonel Acosta assumed the billet of Regional Defense Counsel - West. His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy‐Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal.