Commanding Officer
Lieutenant Colonel Joe A. Whitefield Jr

Lieutenant Colonel Whitefield is a native of Colorado Springs, CO.  He enlisted into the United States Marine Corps in 1994 and graduated from Recruit Training at MCRD, San Diego in December of that year.  After completing the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton, CA, he completed Security Guard training in Chesapeake, VA and was subsequently assigned to the Marine Corps Security Force Company, Naval Submarine Base Bangor, WA.  In May 1999, Sergeant Whitefield was accepted to the Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training (BOOST) program in Newport, RI.

Upon completion of the BOOST program, Sergeant Whitefield reported to the University of Idaho for completion of the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program where he received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education.  Following graduation in May 2004, Staff Sergeant Whitefield was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and reported to Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA for The Basic School (TBS).  Upon completion of TBS, Second Lieutenant Whitefield reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL for flight training, and was designated a Naval Aviator in April 2007.  Subsequently, First Lieutenant Whitefield reported to Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron 164, aboard Camp Pendleton, CA for replacement aircrew training in the CH-46E.

In October 2007, First Lieutenant Whitefield reported to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, CA where he served as Ground Training Officer, and Schedule Writer.  In February 2009, Captain Whitefield transferred to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 166 and served as Schedule Writer, Flight Officer and Current Operations Officer.  While at HMM-166, Capt Whitefield deployed with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in 2009.  Post deployment, Captain Whitefield was selected for transition to the MV-22B.

Captain Whitefield reported to MCAS New River, NC in January 2008 with orders to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 for transition training on the MV-22B.  Captain Whitefield subsequently returned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 (VMM-166) that same year where he served as Assistant Logistics Officer, Airframes Division Officer, Pilot Training Officer, Weapons and Tactics Instructor, Future Operations Officer, and Assistant Operations Officer.  In September 2014, he deployed with the 13th MEU.  He was promoted in September 2014 and a month later joined Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163 Reinforced on deployment with the 15th MEU.  Major Whitefield returned to VMM-166 in December 2014 to serve as the Assistant Operations Officer.  In February 2015 he moved to the Aircraft Maintenance Officer billet and deployed with the 13th MEU in February 2016.   

In November of 2016, Major Whitefield executed orders to Camp Lejeune, NC for assignment as the Air Officer for Expeditionary Operations Training Group (EOTG), II Marine Expeditionary Force.  During his tenure at EOTG, Major Whitefield was responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating all aviation aspects of the Pre-Deployment Training Program (PTP) for two Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Forces (SPMAGTFs) and three MEUs.

In May of 2018, Maj Whitefield joined the “Fighting Griffins” of VMM-266 and assumed the duties of Operations Officer.  Following a fast paced PTP, Maj Whitefield deployed in October 2019 in support of the SPMAGTF-CR-AF-19.1.  Upon return from deployment in April 2019, Maj Whitefield assumed the billet of Executive Officer for the remainder of his time with the Griffins.

In August of 2020, Major Whitefield was selected for Command of VMM-363 and subsequently reassigned to MAG-24 aboard MCAS Kaneohe Bay, HI where he served as the Operations Officer.  He was promoted to his current rank in October of 2021 and on 7 April 2021, Lieutenant Colonel Whitfield assumed Command of the “Lucky Red Lions” of VMM-363.      

Lieutenant Colonel Whitefield has logged over 3000 military flight hours, including over 2100 hours in the MV-22B. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

Lieutenant Colonel Whitefield is married to Tiffany Whitefield and has six children: Joe 23, Jessey 22, Jayden 17, Masen 13, Addysen 11, and Tristen 5.