Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268
Major Chad S. Kelling

Major Chad Kelling is a native of Milwaukee, WI. He attended and completed his undergraduate education at the United States Naval Academy in 2009, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in History. Following graduation from USNA, Major Kelling commissioned in the Marine Corps in May 2009 and subsequently attended The Basic School in Quantico, VA. Following graduation from TBS, Major Kelling served as an Assistant Staff Platoon Commander for the Naval Academy Marine Summer Training Program from June - July 2010. Immediately after this assignment, Major Kelling attended the Center for Advanced Culture Learning (CAOCL) language course, studying Modern Standard Arabic from July - December 2010.

Upon completion of the language studies, Major Kelling reported to NAS Pensacola for flight training in December 2011. He received his wings and designation as a naval aviator in September 2012, and reported to the MV-22 Fleet Replacement Squadron (VMMT-204) for follow on training.

After finishing the MV-22 FRS flight training, Major Kelling reported to VMM-263 as the Aviation Life Support System OIC in March 2013. He deployed with the 22d MEU with the Bataan Amphibious Readiness Group to the 6th and 5th Fleet AORs from February to October 2014. During this deployment, Major Kelling participated in multiple exercises in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE. Returning from the MEU, Major Kelling was subsequently assigned as the Current Operations Officer and deployed to Special Purpose MAGTF - Crisis Response Africa (SPMAGTF-CR AF) 16.1 from January 2016- August 2016. After returning from deployment, Major Kelling attended Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course 1-17 and was assigned as the Pilot Training Officer. In March 2018, Major Kelling deployed again with VMM-263 to SPMAGTF-CR AF 18.2 as the Assistant Operations Officer and Quality Assurance Officer, supporting diplomatic and military operations in the EUCOM and AFRICOM AO.

In July 2018 Major Kelling reported to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1), Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona. While with MAWTS-1 he served as an MV-22 instructor pilot, assistant academics officer, and MV-22 division head. He supported five WTI courses as an instructor pilot. At the end of his tour at MAWTS-1, Major Kelling was selected for command of Recruiting Station Raleigh. While serving as the commanding officer from June 2021 – June 2023, the Marines of Recruiting Station Raleigh earned the Commandant’s Superior Achiever Award for recruiting performance for FY21, FY22, and FY23. At the completion of this command, Major Kelling was assigned to the Red Dragons of VMM-268, serving as the Operations Officer and Executive Officer.

Major Kelling has logged over 1700 mishap-free flight hours, including over 1500 hours in the MV-22. His military education includes the Basic School, Naval Flight Training, MV-22 Flight Training, the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, the Expeditionary Warfare School and Marine Corps Command and Staff College Distance Education Programs, and the Air Command and Staff College Distance Education Program, where he earned a master’s degree in Military Operational Art. His personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two gold stars in lieu of third award), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Major Kelling is married to Kathryn (Lovering) Kelling of Milwaukee WI, and they have three children.

1st Marine Aircraft Wing