1st Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion
Major Douglas A Columbus

Major Douglas Columbus assumed his current duties as Executive Officer, 1st LAAD Bn on 22 June 2023.  A native of Hawthorn Woods, IL he accepted an appointment to the Naval Academy in 2004.  Graduating in 2008, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.  After graduating from The Basic School, he completed Primary MOS School at Fort Bliss, TX as a Low Altitude Air Defense Officer.  

Major Columbus was first assigned to 2d LAAD Bn where he served as the MCAS Cherry Point Tax Center OIC, Platoon Commander, and Battery XO.  He was also assigned to the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit as the LAAD Detachment OIC.  During this deployment he supported Operation Unified Protector, a NATO operation to impose the United Nations no fly zone over Libya. 

Major Columbus was then selected to attend the Naval Postgraduate School and complete a master’s program in Electrical Engineering.  Upon completion, he reported to Marine Corps Systems Command to serve as an acquisitions engineer on the Ground Based Air Defense / Ground Air Task Oriented Radar program under Program Executive Office Land Systems.   

Major Columbus returned to 2d LAAD Bn where he served as Battery Commander and Operations Officer.  During this tour he also deployed as an individual augment to the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa in support of Operation New Dawn.  During this deployment he served as the contingency operations planner for the east African AOR. 

Major Columbus’ most recent assignment was as the LAAD Occupational Field Manager and Fleet advocate under the Deputy Commandant for Aviation.  During this tour he shepherded the numerous Force Design 2030 changes to the LAAD community encompassing 600% structure increase and four major acquisitions programs. 

Major Columbus is a graduate of The Basic School, LAAD Enhanced Training Instructor Course, Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, Expeditionary Warfare School, Naval War College Command and Staff, and the Army’s Command and General Staff College.  He holds a BS in Applied Mathematics from the United States Naval Academy, MS in Electrical Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School, and a Masters of Operational Studies from Command and General Staff College. 

Major Columbus’ personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with gold star in lieu of second award.  He is also the recipient of the John McReynolds Wozencraft award for excellence in Electrical and Computer Engineering due to his thesis titled “Design and Optimization of Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS), Thin Film Solar Cells for Lightweight Battlefield Application.” 

Major Columbus is married to the former Carlee Harrell of Swansboro, NC.  They have twin sons; Benjamin (8) and William (8).