Col Stephen J. Lightfoot
Colonel Stephen Lightfoot attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA on an NROTC scholarship, commissioned as a 2ndLt, USMC upon graduation in May 1994, and reported to Delta Company, The Basic School, Quantico, VA for active duty.
Following The Basic School, he returned to his alma mater (CMU) for duty as the NROTC Assistant Marine Officer Instructor, teaching Amphibious Warfare. He was then assigned to Naval Air Stations Pensacola, FL and Corpus Christi, TX for flight training in the T-34C and TH-57B/C and was designated a Naval Aviator in January 1997. He then reported to HMT-303, MCAS Camp Pendleton,
CA for training in the AH-1W Super Cobra.
His first Fleet assignment was with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 (HMLA-367) "Scarface", MCAS Camp Pendleton, CA from 1997 to 2001. During this period, he deployed with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 Reinforced (HMM-163) "Evil Eyes", MCAS El Toro, CA as part of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Special Operations Capable (SOC) in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH; and again with HMLA-367 as part of the Unit Deployment Program (UDP) to Okinawa, Japan. Col Lightfoot served in multiple
billets within the Operations and Maintenance Departments, and graduated from the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) in Yuma, AZ.
From August 2001 to July 2005, Col Lightfoot was selected to serve with Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) in Quantico, VA where he flew the President, Vice-President, and foreign Heads of State in the VH-3D, VH-60N, and CH-53E aircraft. During this tour, he was assigned to the Operations Department, served as a White House Liaison Officer (WHLO), and deployed to numerous presidential trip sites across the globe.
From August 2005 to June 2006, Col Lightfoot was selected to attend Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University, Quantico, VA and earned a Master's Degree in Military Strategy and Studies.
In July 2006, Col Lightfoot reported to Marine Aircraft Group 39 (MAG-39), MCAS Camp Pendleton, CA assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369 (HMLA-369) "Gunfighters." In April 2007, he served as the Tactics Officer during the squadron deployment to Al Taqaddum (TQ) and Al Qaim (AQ), Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF). After returning home in November 2007, he assumed Department Head duties as the Maintenance Officer and in October 2008 deployed back to Al Taqaddum, Iraq in support of OIF as the HMLA-369 Detachment Officer-In-Charge for Forward Operating Base Sahl Sinjar, Iraq, along the Syrian border.
Upon return from deployment in May 2009, Col Lightfoot was selected to serve as the Executive Officer of The Basic School (TBS), Quantico, VA during the Marine Corps End Strength Increase from 175,000 to 202,000 Marines.
In July 2010, Col Lightfoot returned to MAG-39, MCAS Camp Pendleton to assume command of HMLA-469, "Vengeance" and deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF).
Upon return from deployment, Col Lightfoot was selected to attend Top Level School (TLS) at the Naval War College in Newport, RI from February 2013 to March 2014 and earned a Master's Degree in National and Strategic Studies.
In March 2014, Col Lightfoot was selected to serve as the Aviation Section Head for Manpower Management Officer Assignments (MMOA-2, M&RA, HQMC) as the Aviation Lieutenant Colonels Monitor and subsequently as the Aviation Colonels Monitor.
In April 2017, Col Lightfoot was selected to deploy to Afghanistan with Special Operations Joint Task Force - Afghanistan / NATO Special Operations Component Command - Afghanistan (SOJTF-A/NSOCC-A) in support of Operation FREEDOM'S SENTINEL (OFS) and the RESOLUTE SUPPORT Mission.
Col Lightfoot has flown 3600+ hours in various aircraft with 900+ hours in support of combat operations and 800+ hours on night vision devices. His personal decorations include the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.