Marine Naval Aviator – LtCol. Michael A. Spears, USMC


LtCol Spears, born in Champaign, IL, attended Dover High School in Delaware graduating in 1994. He graduated Delaware Technical and Community College in 1996 with an AAS in Engineering Technology and graduated the University of Delaware with a BAS Engineering in 1999. LtCol Spears received his MBA, Finance from Touro University in 2009.

LtCol Spears enlisted in the US Marines Reserves in May, 1995, attended recruit training at MCRD Parris Island graduating as the honor graduate in August 1996 and then attended the School of Infantry and Light Armed Vehicle Crewman Course at Camp Pendleton, CA. LtCol Spears served in B Co 4th LAR, FT Dietrick, MD as a LAR Crewman from January 1997 to May 1999. He then transferred to A CO 4th Bulk Fuel CO, Newark, DE between May 1998 to January 1999. LtCol Spears attended Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA graduating August 1998.

LtCol Spears, completed Charlie Co, TBS in October 1999, reported to Vance AFB, OK. He completed Primary Flight Training in the T-37 with 8th FTS then continued to VT-7 with the T-2B and VT-9 with the T-45C earning his naval aviator wings on 14 September 2001. LtCol Spears completed FRS training with VMFAT-101 in December 2002.

LtCol Spears checked into VMFA(AW)-332 “Moonlighters” at MCAS Beaufort in January 2003. With the Moonlighters, LtCol Spears served as a Schedules Officer, Flight Officer, Aviation Safety Officer, and Powerline Officer. He completed a Western Pacific Unit Deployment Program and a combat tour in support of OIF 04-06.2.

LtCol Spears reported to Commander Naval Air Forces, NAS North Island in 2006 and served as the TACAIR Integration Officer and a Marine Liaison between COMNAVAIRFOR and HQMC APP. He advised Commander Naval Air Forces on all Marine and TACAIR related issues.

In July 2008, LtCol Spears deployed as an Individual Augment and served as a MEF Future Operations Planner in support of OIF 08.2. As a planner, LtCol Spears led and developed operational planning teams in support of the Iraqi National Elections.

LtCol Spears was assigned to VMAF(AW)-121 during February 12, 2009 where he served as the Administration Officer and Pilot Training Officer. LtCol Spears completed a WestPac UDP with the Green Knights in 2010.

In April 2011, LtCol Spears was assigned to VMGR-352 and served as a Fire Control Officer and KC-130J Harvest HAWK Lead. He deployed with the second-ever operational Harvest HAWK to Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan and served as the Detachment Officer-in-Charge in support of OEF 11.1. He again deployed to Kandahar Airfield and Camp Bastion, Afghanistan with the Harvest HAWK in support of OEF 12.1 and 12.2 as the Detachment Executive Officer. In February 2013, LtCol Spears was assigned to VMFA-314 and served as the Director of Safety and Standardization, Pilot Training Officer, Assistant Operations Officer, Aircraft Maintenance Officer and Executive Officer. During this tour, he deployed in support of RFF 1200 14.2 and support Operation Enduring Freedom.

In July 2015, LtCol Spears was assigned to the Commander Naval Air Forces, NAS North Island and served as the TACAIR Integration/ USMC Readiness Officer. LtCol Spears took command of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Miramar on 21 July 2016.

LtCol Spears’ designations include F/A-18 Weapons Tactics Instructor, Mission Commander, Flight Lead Standardization Evaluator, Division Lead, Forward Air Controller (Airborne), Low Altitude Tactics Standardization Instructor, Air Combat Tactics Instructor, KC-130J Fire Control Officer Instructor, UC-12W Aircraft Commander and UC-35D Transport Second Pilot.

LtCol Spears’ personal decorations include Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal Individual Action Gold Star in Lieu of second award, Air Medal Strike Flight Numeral Twenty-Three, Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal with 4 Gold Stars in Lieu of fifth award, and a Certificate of Commendation. LtCol Spears is married to former Kelly S. Haggerty and they have five children Patrick (12), Caleb (10), Felyce (7), Samuel (4) and Maximilian (3 months).


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