LtCol Gibbons graduated from Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, with a degree in finance, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 6 December 1996. In July 1999, he was designated a Naval Aviator.
Following initial CH-46E training, LtCol Gibbons was assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 364, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 39, Camp Pendleton, California. He served as the squadron S-5 Officer, current operations officer, flight scheduler, flight officer, future operations officer, and NATOPS officer. During this tour, the squadron deployed to South Korea in support of Operation Foal Eagle 2002, and to Iraq in 2003 in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.
In January 2004, LtCol Gibbons was assigned to 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, as a Forward Air Controller. He deployed again to Iraq, as part of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). During this deployment, LtCol Gibbons participated in extensive ground combat operations, which included the coordination of numerous fixed and rotary wing air strikes, and close air support missions during the 2004 Battle of Najaf.
After completing his FAC tour, LtCol Gibbons received orders to Pensacola, Florida, for duty as an instructor pilot. He was initially assigned as the Enlisted Aircrew Training Division OIC of Aviation Maintenance Squadron 1. LtCol Gibbons then completed TH-57B/C instructor pilot training and was assigned to Helicopter Training Squadron (HT) 18. In the spring of 2007, he had the privilege of serving as the first operations officer of HT-28, “The Hellions”
In May 2008, following CH-46E refresher training, LtCol Gibbons was assigned to HMM-262, MAG-36, Okinawa, Japan. He served as the logistics officer, aircraft maintenance officer. He participated in squadron deployments in support of Exercises Talon Vision ’09 (Philippines), Cobra Gold ’09 and ’10 (Thailand), Balikatan ’09 (Philippines), and Talisman Saber ’09 (Australia).
In July 2010, LtCol Gibbons deployed to Zamboanga, Republic of the Philippines, to join Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines (JSOTF-P), ISO Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines. As the Rotary Wing Advisor to the Philippine Air Force, LtCol Gibbons traveled throughout the country, advising and assisting UH-1H and MG-520 helicopter squadron personnel on the conduct of training, mission planning, and contingency operations.
LtCol Gibbons returned to Okinawa in November 2010, and joined MAG-36 headquarters, as the headquarters squadron executive officer. As the XO, LtCol Gibbons deployed the headquarters element to Thailand for Exercise Cobra Gold ’11. Immediately following Cobra Gold, he again deployed the MAG headquarters to mainland Japan to conduct earthquake and tsunami relief in support of Operations Tomodachi.