Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 242
Major Joshua A. Elwell

Major Joshua A. Elwell was born in Olean, NY and grew up in Fillmore, NY.  He graduated High School in 2002 and enlisted in the Marine Corps that same year. After completing recruit training aboard Marine Recruit Depot Parris Island, he was trained as a CH-53E Crew Chief. He was assigned to HMX-1 from 2003 to 2007, serving as Marine One Crew Chief for President George W. Bush from 2006-2007 on the VH-60N presidential helicopter.


In 2007 Maj Elwell was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps and continued with his education at Binghamton University in New York while working at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation as a Manufacturing Engineer. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science and Technology with a focus in Aviation Maintenance Technology in 2010.


Following graduation, Maj Elwell attended Marine Corps OCS in Quantico, VA and earned his commission as a Second Lieutenant in December of 2010. Immediately following OCS, he reported to training at The Basic School (TBS).  Maj Elwell then reported to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, FL for Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API).  He was then transferred to NAS Milton, FL with Training Squadron VT-3 to begin flight training.  He selected Rotary Wing and continued his training in Milton, FL earning his Naval Aviator Wings in May of 2014.


Maj Elwell was assigned to AH-1Z Cobra Helicopters in Camp Pendleton, CA, completing the training in late 2014 and was assigned to HMLA-369 “Gunfighters” in Camp Pendleton. Maj Elwell deployed on the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (attached to VMM-163) in 2016. Upon his return, he was assigned to HMLA-469 “Vengeance” in Camp Pendleton. He deployed twice with HMLA-469 to Okinawa Japan for the Unit Deployment Program in 2018 and 2020, his second deployment as the senior Company Grade pilot and Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI).


Maj Elwell applied for transition from Rotary Wing to Strike in 2020 and was selected for the program while still deployed to Okinawa. Upon his return, he was transferred to NAS Corpus Christi, TX for the Fixed-Wing refresher syllabus in the T-6B. He completed this training in April 2021 and reported to NAS Kingsville, TX to begin training in June 2021. Maj Elwell completed intermediate and advanced flight training in the T-45C Goshawk in August of 2022 and was selected for F-35B training at VMFAT-501 in Beaufort, SC.


Following transition training at VMFAT-501 in 2024, Maj Elwell received orders to VMFA-242 at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. Supported by his loving wife Melissa and his two children Michael and Clara, he is now privileged to serve as the Executive Officer of the ‘Bats’.

1st Marine Aircraft Wing