Lieutenant Colonel Jordan Vannatter was born in San Antonio, Texas. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves in 1996 and served four years as a Machine Gunner with Weapons Company 1/23. In December 2000, he graduated from Texas State University and was commissioned via the Platoon Leaders Course program.
Following completion of The Basic School and flight training, he was designated a Naval Aviator in May 2003 and was assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron 164 (HMMT-164), Camp Pendleton, to fly the CH-46E.
In December 2003, 1stLt Vannatter reported to HMM-261, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, where he served as the S-5 officer, Schedule Writer, Flight Line Officer in Charge, and Aviation Safety Officer. He first deployed with the “Raging Bulls” to support Operation Iraqi Freedom from Al Asad, Iraq. Capt Vannatter deployed again with HMM-261 (REIN) as part of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Special Operations Capable (SOC) aboard the USS Nassau, participating again in Operation Iraqi Freedom from Al Asad.
In October 2006, Captain Vannatter reported to the II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) (Fwd) staff where he served as a Future Operations Planner. He deployed to Camp Fallujah, Iraq from January 2007 to February 2008. During this deployment, Captain Vannatter planned named operations and special projects for II MEF (Fwd) units and augmented several deployed HMM squadrons.
In May 2008, Captain Vannatter was assigned to Primary Training Squadron 27 (VT-27), Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. There, he instructed both Student Aviators and Instructor Pilots in flying the T-34. During his time with the “Boomers”, he served as the Formation Standardization Officer and Fixed Wing Training Unit Operations Officer. In June of 2011, he was selected to attend the Army Command and Staff War College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Major Vannatter reported to Marine Aircraft Group 39 (MAG-39), Camp Pendleton, in July 2012, and immediately deployed to Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. He served as the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW) (Fwd) Air Tasking Order (ATO) Development Officer in Charge and led a multi-national staff of 12 in producing the ATO for all aviation assets in Regional Command Southwest. Upon his return to MAG-39, Major Vannatter refreshed in the CH-46E and reported to HMM-364 to serve as the Operations Officer for the world famous “Purple Foxes”. During this tour he was selected for transition to the MV-22B Osprey.
In November 2013, Major Vannatter attended transition training at Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 (VMMT-204), and was subsequently assigned to VMM-268, MAG-16, at MCAS Miramar. While assigned to the “Red Dragons”, Major Vannatter served as the Director of Safety and Standardization and Aircraft Maintenance Officer. He deployed with the squadron in support of Operation Inherent Resolve as part of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF), Central Command (CENTCOM) 16.1. In June 2016, he led the re-location of the squadron to MAG-24 in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, where he served as the Executive Officer.
In December of 2016, Major Vannatter was selected by MAG-24 to serve as the Officer in Charge of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D), Aviation Combat Element. In this billet, he led a composite unit of 240 Marines and 14 aircraft, attached from five different squadrons, to train and operate from Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, Australia.
LtCol Vannatter transferred to 3d Marine Regiment, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, in November 2017. During this tour with “Bougainville,” he served as Future Operations Officer, Operations Officer and MAGTF-3 Executive Officer. In December of 2018, he transferred to MAG-36 for his current assignment.
LtCol Vannatter’s personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal with numeral six, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two gold stars.