Colonel Christopher M. Murray
MAG-36 Commanding Officer

Col Murray was born in Huntsville, AL in July 1974. The son of a Marine Officer, he spent his childhood years in Virginia, Arizona, California, Hawaii and Okinawa, where he graduated from Kubasaki High School in 1992. He then attended Florida State University, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering in 1997. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant through the Platoon Leaders Course in May of 1997. Upon completion of The Basic School in January of 1998, Second Lieutenant Murray reported to Marine Aviation Training Support Group 21, Pensacola, Florida, for Flight School. He was designated a Naval Aviator in November 1999 and subsequently reported to HMMT-164, MCAS Camp Pendleton, California, for training in the CH-46E Sea Knight.

In May 2000, First Lieutenant Murray reported to Marine Aircraft Group 36 at Marine Corp Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan. Assigned to HMM-265 he initially served as the Adjutant and Legal Officer. Upon returning from a deployment aboard the USS Essex (LHD-2) as part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, he took over as the Flightline Officer and held that position from February 2002 to February 2003. In the fall of 2002 Capt Murray attended the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, after which he served as the Weapons and Tactics Instructor and Assistant Operations Officer for HMM-265. During his tour with HMM-265 he made numerous deployments with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit throughout Southeast Asia. He deployed twice in support of Humanitarian Operations in East Timor and supported numerous exercises in Thailand, Australia, Korea and the Philippines.

In July 2004, Captain Murray was transferred to Marine Aviation Training Support Group 22, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas where he was assigned as an instructor pilot for VT-28. While assigned to VT-28 he served as a Basic Formation and Cruise Formation Standardization Instructor, Contact Standardization Instructor, Instrument Instructor, and Instructor Under Training (IUT) Standardization Instructor.

Captain Murray was selected for MV-22 Osprey transition training, and from July 2006 through December 2006 he underwent training as an MV-22 copilot while preparing to deploy with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In January 2007 he was assigned to the Future Operations section of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Forward at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. From January 2007 until July 2007 Captain Murray worked in the Tactical Air Command Center as the lead Air Tasking Order developer, VIP/RIP coordinator and a special projects officer. In August 2007 Captain Murray was reassigned to VMMT-204 where he served as the Current Operations Officer while completing his training as an MV-22 Osprey copilot.

In February 2008, Major Murray was transferred to VMM-266, where he served as the Quality Assurance Officer. In September 2008, he deployed with VMM-266 to Al Asad Air Base in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In March 2009 he assumed duties as the Assistant Maintenance Officer. Between April and May 2009 the squadron returned from Iraq to North Carolina via transcontinental MV-22 flights and a transit of the Mediterranean and Atlantic aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1). In June 2009 Major Murray assumed the billet of Maintenance Officer for VMM-266 (Rein). In August 2010 he deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit supporting operations in the Horn of Africa, Arabian Sea, Afghanistan and Libya.

In July 2011 he became the Medium Lift Requirements Officer for Headquarters Marine Corps Aviation tasked with managing program requirements for the MV-22B and CH-46E.

In May 2014 LtCol Murray assumed the duties of commanding officer for VMM-265 at MCAS Futenma in Okinawa, Japan. From May 2014 to May 2015, while assigned to MAG-36, the squadron supported numerous exercises throughout the PACOM AOR, to include POTUS support in Brisbane, Australia. From May 2015 to May 2016, while assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, VMM-265 (REIN) deployed twice to support operations in PACOM to include humanitarian assistance missions in Saipan and mainland Japan.

From August of 2016 to June 2017, LtCol Murray attended the National War College, at Ft. McNair in Washington D.C. where he earned a master’s degree in National Security Strategy.

After completing studies at the National War College, LtCol Murray was assigned to Marine Corps Base Quantico. From June 2017 to June 2019 LtCol Murray served as the Aviation LtCols Monitor.

Col Murray was then assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, Land Forces Division where he became a joint qualified officer. He is married to his wife Julie. They have two children, Brendan 18 and Justin 16.

Col Murray has logged 3400 military flight hours, including 1300 hours in the MV-22. His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three gold stars, Air Medal with numeral “four”, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star, and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal.