Following his retirement from the Marines, he attended George Washington University Law School and practiced in Annandale.
After his graduation he was commissioned as a Marine officer His pre-war assignments included the command of the Marine detachment on the aircraft carrier United States Ship Lexington as well as a tour at Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. Following the war, he trained Army units in amphibious tactics and served tours in Japan and China. He also served at the Pentagon for the Navy Inspector General.
He died at his home in Reston, Virginia on February 1, 2001 of a heart attack and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
The NAVY CROSS is presented to
RALPH L. HOUSER
LIEUTENANT COLONEL, United States. MARINE CORPS
for extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of the Third Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the assault on enemy-held Guam, Marianas Islands, 21 through July 23, 1944. After successfully leading his Battalion in the seizure of Chonito Cliff and observing that the left flank of his Battalion was being held up by strong Japanese resistance from Adelup Point, he proceeded to his leading elements despite wounds received in the previous action and, organizing a tank-infantry fighting group, led an assault on the hostile strong point.
While exposed to enemy rifle, machine-gun, mortar and artillery fire, he maintained an aggressive attack until this strategic point was completely taken by his Battalion. By his forcefulness, leadership and outstanding courage in the face of strong hostile resistance, he served as an example to his officers and men and was primarily responsible for clearing the Japanese forces from his sector.
His unswerving devotion to duty throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Always cool and resourceful, Lieutenant Colonel Houser brilliantly led his men throughout this period until seriously wounded on July 23, while assaulting a particularly well dug-in and defended strong point holding up the advance.