Lieutenant Colonel James R. Compton
Lieutenant Colonel James R. Compton is a native of Havre, Montana. In 1995 after graduating from Havre Public High School, he was appointed to the United States Naval Academy Class of 1999. After graduating with Merit from the Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering, Second Lieutenant Compton was commissioned in the United States Marine Corps and completed The Basic School in March 2000.
Second Lieutenant Compton was selected to be a Naval Flight Officer and reported for flight training to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. In October 2001, Lieutenant Compton received his wings and orders to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. After Fleet Replacement Squadron training he transferred to Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 121, Marine Aircraft Group 11, Third Marine Aircraft Wing for his first fleet assignment in September 2002. While assigned to the Green Knights, he completed one combat deployment to Al Jaber, Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom I and one deployment to Iwakuni, Japan as part of the Unit Deployment Program, and was promoted to Captain.
In April of 2006, Captain Compton transferred to Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, Marine Aircraft Group 11 where he deployed to Al Asad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 05-07 as the Intelligence Officer.
In April 2007, Captain Compton reported to the 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division as the Air Officer and was quickly reassigned to Regimental Combat Team One (RCT-1)to serve as the Assistant Air Officer--deploying to Camp Fallujah, Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08.
After returning to California for 30 days, in May 2008 Captain Compton rejoined Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, now part of Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Iwakuni, Japan. While assigned to the "Bats," Captain Compton graduated from the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course, was promoted to Major and served as the Assistant Aircraft Maintenance Officer, WSO Training Officer, and Operations Officer.
In June 2011, Major Compton reported to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1). While assigned to MAWTS-1, Major Compton served as the F/A-18 Division Head and Director of Safety and Standardization as well as the subject matter expert (SME) for Close Air Support (CAS), AIM-9M/X, and Forward Air Controller (Airborne).
In June 2014, Major Compton was assigned to Headquarters, US Marine Corps, Aviation to serve as an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) requirements officer and Aide-de-Camp to the Deputy Commandant for Aviation. While assigned to the Pentagon, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and selected for command.
In August 2017, Lieutenant Colonel Compton and family returned to Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing to serve as the Commanding Officer, Personnel Support Detachment and as the Plans Officer, while awaiting Command of Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 in May 2018.
Lieutenant Colonel Compton's personal awards include eleven Strike/Flight Air Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals while amassing over 2,700 mishap free flight hours in the F/A-18D.