Lieutenant Colonel Thomas J. Cleaver graduated from the United States Naval Academy, earning a Bachelors of Science degree in History in 1998. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in May 1998.
Upon completion of The Basic School and the Communication Information Systems Officer Course, he reported to Marine Wing Communication Squadron 28. He served as a Platoon Commander, Company Executive Officer, and Company Commander. He also served as the MAGTF ACE S-6 during several exercises and supported two Weapons and Training Instructor (WTI) courses. Additionally, he attended WTI as a student and also served as a guest instructor.
Lieutenant Colonel Cleaver reported to Quantico, Virginia in 2002 and served as an instructor at Communication Information Systems Officer Course. In October 2004 he was assigned as the Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General, Training and Education Command. Following this tour, he attended the Expeditionary Warfare School.
In June 2006, Lieutenant Colonel Cleaver proceeded to 8th Communication Battalion where he served as a Company Operations and Executive Officer. He also served as the Operations Officer for the MAGTF Communications Detachment in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM 06-08. Upon return from deployment, he was assigned as the Battalion Operations Officer.
In May 2009, Lieutenant Colonel Cleaver proceeded to Recruiting Station Detroit, Michigan and assumed duties as the Commanding Officer. Following a 38 month tour on recruiting duty, he reported to the Naval War College and attended the College of Naval Command and Staff. Concurrently, he attended the Maritime Advanced Warfighting School (MAWS).
In September 2013, Lieutenant Colonel Cleaver reported to 3d Marine Division and served as the Division Plans Officer. In June 2015, Lieutenant Colonel Cleaver reported to MACG-18 to assume command of MWCS-18.
Lieutenant Colonel Cleaver is the recipient of the 2007 Alfred M. Gray Trophy for Outstanding Communications Leadership. He holds a Masters of Science degree in Computers and Information Systems from Boston University and a Masters of Arts degree from the College of Naval Command and Staff. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (with gold star in lieu of second award), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with gold star in lieu of second award), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.