Executive Officer
Maj Thomas K. Whitesel

 

Major Whitesel hails from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and attended

Officer Candidates School through the Platoon Leaders Class during the

summers of 2006 and 2007.  He received his commission as a Second Lieutenant

after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Temple University in

June 2008.

 

After commissioning, Lieutenant Whitesel served at the Officer Selection

Office Philadelphia prior to attending The Basic School.  Following

graduation with Bravo Company in June of 2009, he was enrolled in the

Introductory Flight Screening program at Manassas, Virginia.  Upon

completion, he and his family transferred to Marine Aviation Training

Support Group 21 (MATSG-21) to begin flight training in Pensacola, Florida.

 

While at MATSG-21, Lieutenant Whitesel attended the Aviation Maintenance

Officer Course at Whiting Field, and became a 6002 prior to flight training.

Lieutenant Whitesel completed flight training at VT-6 and VT-7, conducting

carrier qualification aboard the USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN-77). Lieutenant

Whitesel was designated a Naval Aviator in February of 2012, and transferred

to Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia for F/A-18 training.  Captain Whitesel

completed the Fleet Replacement Squadron syllabus at VFA-106 by conducting

carrier qualification again aboard the USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN-77).  Upon

graduation, Captain Whitesel received orders to the "Thunderbolts" of

VMFA-251 in Beaufort, South Carolina in the summer of 2013.

 

While a "Thunderbolt", Captain Whitesel served as a Schedules Officer,

Logistics Officer, Quality Assurance Officer, and Landing Signals Officer.

Captain Whitesel completed a full set of work-ups and a combat deployment

with VMFA-251, attached to Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1), aboard the USS

THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71).  The "Thunderbolts" and CVW-1 flew in support

of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE in Iraq and Syria, and conducted a

circumnavigation of the globe prior to returning home. 

 

Upon return from cruise, Captain Whitesel attended Tactical Air Control

Party School, and transferred to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in the summer

of 2016.  Captain Whitesel reported to Second Reconnaissance Battalion, and

served as the Force Reconnaissance Company Air Officer until the summer of

2017.  Captain Whitesel and his family then transferred back to Beaufort,

South Carolina for duty with the "Silver Eagles" of VMFA-115.

 

While a "Silver Eagle", Captain Whitesel served as the Director of Safety

and Standardization and Adjutant.  The Silver Eagles supported an Integrated

Training Exercise (ITX) for pre-deployment work-up, and deployed to Sheikh

Isa Air Base, Bahrain in April of 2018.  Major Whitesel and the "Silver

Eagles" flew in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE in Iraq and Syria.

Major Whitesel was selected for F-35B conversion, and returned to Beaufort

for training at the "Warlords" of VMFAT-501 in September of 2018.

 

While at VMFAT-501, Major Whitesel completed the F-35B conversion syllabus,

renewed his legacy flight leadership designations, and completed the Fleet

Replacement Squadron Instructor (FRSI) syllabus prior to beginning duty as

an FRSI.  Major Whitesel served as the Logistics and Communication Officer,

Powerline Officer, and Assistant Operations Officer.  While a "Warlord",

Major Whitesel completed the F-35 Instructor Pilot qualification and Mission

Commander designation, and ultimately contributed to the training of over

150 F-35 pilots.  Major Whitesel and his family then transferred to Iwakuni,

Japan for duty with the "Green Knights" of VMFA-121 in the summer of 2022.

Upon arrival, Major Whitesel returned to the states to attend the Weapons

and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course, and graduated with Class 1-23.

 

As a "Green Knight", Major Whitesel serves as the Executive Officer, and

looks forward to flying the F-35B underway.  He has accrued over 1,500

flight hours and 130 carrier arrested landings.  He is married to the former

Nora Harris of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and they have four sons

together named Collin James, Caleb Monitor, Charles Richard, and Clark

William.