Marine Air Support Squadron 2
Major Stephen C. Mercer

Stephen C. Mercer was born in Savannah, Georgia in June of 1983. As an Army son, he moved around the world with his family while growing up. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2002 following the September, 2001 attacks on the United States. Enlisting as an infantry Marine, he served two years in Marine Corps Security Force Company Europe (Rota, Spain) from 2003 to 2005 first as a rifleman, and later team leader and designated marksman. His second duty station was with V33 in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii from 2005-2008. There, he deployed to Iraq as an infantry squad leader in 2006. During this time, Sergeant Mercer applied for, and was accepted into the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program.

Sergeant Mercer attended the University of Texas at Austin for his undergraduate degree. During that time he served as the NROTC Battalion Sergeant Major as well as OCS prep leader. He attended OCS in 2008 and in 2011 was the Dean's Distinguished History Graduate, commissioning as a 2ndLt in May, 2011.

In the summer of 2011 2ndLt Mercer attended TBS. He graduated with Fox Company, 6-11 in 2012 and briefly served in the Commandant's Legal Office (CL) before attending Air Support Control Officer's Course (ASCOC) in 2012. Following ASCOC, 2ndLt Mercer reported to Marine Air Support Squadron - 2 (MASS-2) in Okinawa, Japan.

At MASS-2, Stephen would earn his Tactical Air Director (TAD) and Helicopter Director (HD), and ASE OIC qualifications and Basic Instructor designation. He served as a platoon commander and executive officer in Air Support Company, as well as assistant operations officer for the squadron. Additionally he was the MACG-18 liaison to the 607th ASOG in Osan AB, ROK for seven months, as well as the ASE OIC to the MACG-18 MEU Detachment, deploying to Korea and Malaysia. Directly tasked by the CO of MASS-2 with developing a closer working relationship with the 3rd Marine Division, 1stLt Mercer began attending North Korean contingency planning meetings with the division staff as MACG-18's representative. Fully committed to accomplishing his commander's intent, he married a former 3rd Marine Division G-2 Intelligence Officer on October, 29th, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

In August of 2015, Captain Mercer reported to MASS-1 in Cherry Point, NC. There he served as the S-3A, planning and leading the first MACCS-unit MCCRE in over a decade, as well as serving as the working group-lead to complete the first TACSOP in the DASC community. He served as the Air Support Company Commander for one year, also earning his Senior Air Director, Senior Instructor and DASC-OIC qualifications.

Captain Mercer requested orders in 2017 to The Basic School, where he served for four years as a warfighting instructor, Staff Platoon Commander, Academics officer, Protocol Officer and Company Commander. In 2021 he was promoted to Major and selected to attend Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University. Graduating CSC in June, 2022, he accepted orders to return to MASS-2 in Okinawa, Japan. There, he serves as the Operations Officer and will move to Executive Officer in August, 2023.

Major Mercer's personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Two Gold Stars, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Three Gold Stars, Combat Action Ribbon, and Good Conduct Medal with bronze star.

He is married to J. Emma Stokien (DoD Policy, Space Policy Advisor), and she resides in Washington, D.C.