Commanding Officer, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One
Col. Steve E. Gillette

Colonel Gillette attended the University of Nebraska and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Economics, in May 1996.

Colonel Gillette attended The Basic School (TBS) in November 1996. Upon completion of TBS in May 1997, he underwent Naval aviation training in Pensacola, Florida and Kingsville, Texas, and was designated a Naval Aviator in May 1999. Colonel Gillette was assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron (VMFAT) 101 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California for F/A-18 fleet replacement training.

In September 2000, Captain Gillette reported to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 232 as an F/A-18 pilot. During this three year tour with the “Red Devils,” he deployed in support of the Unit Deployment Program and in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served as a Schedules Officer, Flight Officer, and Assistant Maintenance Officer. 

In August 2003, Captain Gillette reported to the Expeditionary Warfare School aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. 

In June 2004, Captain Gillette was assigned to Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 serving as the Pilot Training Officer. He deployed to Al Asad Airbase, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After returning from deployment, Captain Gillette attended the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course, and in July 2005, attended the Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN). 

In July 2006, Major Gillette reported to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One to serve as an F/A-18 instructor. During this tour, he held the billets of Assistant Operations Officer and F/A-18 Division Head. 

Major Gillette was selected to attend Marine Corps Command and Staff College located in Quantico, Virginia.  He earned a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies, and was a distinguished graduate. 

In July 2010, Major Gillette joined VMFAT-501 aboard Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. While assigned to the “Warlords,” he served as the Executive Officer. During this tour, Major Gillette completed his transition to the F-35B aircraft, and served as an F-35B instructor pilot.

In September 2013, Lieutenant Colonel Gillette assumed command of VMFA-121. During his tour with the “Green Knights,” VMFA-121 became the first USMC F-35B squadron to achieve Initial Operating Capability, and was named the USMC Fighter Squadron of the Year. In July 2015, Lieutenant Colonel Gillette assumed the duties of Marine Aircraft Group 13 Executive Officer, and was selected as the Marine Aviator of the Year. 

In August 2016, Lieutenant Colonel Gillette attended Top Level School at the National War College where he received a Master’s Degree in National Security Strategy.

In June 2017, Lieutenant Colonel Gillette was then assigned as the Military Assistant to the Executive Secretary, Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Colonel Gillette is currently serving as the Commanding Officer of Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One.

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms