Colonel William G. Heiken was born in Belleville, IL and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1993. Colonel Heiken served with the Marine Attack Squadron 311 on the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and again with 15th MEU WESTPAC participating in OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH in Kuwait. Discharged from active duty in 1997 and joined Bulk Fuel Company A, 6th Engineer Support Battalion, Tucson, AZ.
Colonel Heiken earned a Bachelor of Arts from Arizona State University and was commissioned through the Platoon Leaders Class program in Dec 1999. Colonel Heiken reported to MATSG-21, Pensacola, Florida and attended the Naval Aviation Aircraft Maintenance Officer Course, earning the 6002 MOS prior to initial flight training. He was designated a Naval Aviator in April of 2002 and reported to Marine Heavy Helicopter Training Squadron 301 aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, HI. for initial training in the CH-53D Sea Stallion.
Colonel Heiken joined the “Ugly Angels” of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 362, serving in the Administration, Operations and Maintenance Departments. Completed a unit deployment to Iwakuni, Japan in 2003-04 and again to Okinawa, Japan in 2005 with the 31st MEU. Colonel Heiken attended the MAWTS-1 Weapons and Tactics Course 01-07 and deployed in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM 06-08 as the Weapons and Tactics Officer. The “Ugly Angels” were recognized as the Marine Corps Aviation Association Heavy Helicopter Squadron of the Year for their performance during combat operations in OIF 6-08.
In June of 2008, Colonel Heiken reported to Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) in Quantico, VA. At HMX-1 he served a Schedule Writer, White House Liaison Officer, Flight Operations Officer, and Assistant Operations Officer. Colonel Heiken was designated a Presidential Command Pilot and Marine One Aircraft Commander, directly responsible for worldwide safe and timely helicopter transportation for President Barack Obama, logging 52 presidential flights aboard Marine One.
Colonel Heiken reported to MAG-24 and served as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer for HMH-463. In 2014 Colonel Heiken deployed for six months to Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, Australia as the first Aviation Combat Element Detachment Officer in Charge for Marine Rotational Force Darwin attached to 1st Battalion 5th Marines. Upon return from MRF-D he served as the HMH-463 Operations Officer and Executive Officer. Colonel Heiken reported to MAG-24 HQ and was reassigned as the Officer in Charge, Marine Aviation Training System Site, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
Colonel Heiken was appointed as the Commanding Officer of HMH-462 in January of 2018. The Heavy Haulers of HMH-462 supported numerous exercises culminating with a highly successful six-month deployment to Okinawa, Japan under the Unit Deployment Program 19.2. The squadron was the recipient of the Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award for 2019.
Colonel Heiken most recently served in joint billets as the Chief of Theater and Strategic Plans J56 and J5 Assistant Chief of Staff at Joint Interagency Task Force West, Indo-Pacific Command, Camp Smith, Hawaii.
Colonel Heiken is a graduate of United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College and National War College, earning a Master’s of Science in National Security Strategy
Colonel Heiken’s personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal w/ 2 Gold Stars, Air Medal w/ Strike/Flight Numeral 5, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ Gold Star, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal w/ 2 Gold Stars, he is authorized to wear the Presidential Service Badge. Colonel Heiken is qualified in the CH-53E, CH-53D, VH-3D, and VH-60N helicopters. Colonel Heiken was awarded the Sea Service Leadership award from Honolulu Navy League Council and the A. A. Cunningham Award from the Marine Corps Aviation Association as the Marine Aviator of the Year 2008.