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Command Biography
VMFA-115 Commanding Officer
Lieutenant Colonel Shannon. M. Waller

Lieutenant Colonel Waller grew up in Portland, Oregon and graduated with honors from Portland State University in 2002 with bachelor’s degrees in Business Management and Human Resource Management. On 26 March 2004 he was commissioned a Marine Second Lieutenant, subsequently completing the Basic School (C-04) and ordered to Naval Air Station Pensacola for training as a naval flight officer.

At Sherman Field, Second Lieutenant Waller was assigned to primary and intermediate flight training in VT-4 and advanced flight training in VT-86.  On 24 March 2006 he earned his wings of gold and received orders to VMFAT-101 at MCAS Miramar, CA for training as an F/A-18 Weapons Systems Operator.  

In June 2007, First Lieutenant Waller was ordered to MAG-31, MCAS Beaufort, SC, and assigned to VMFA(AW)-533.  As a “Hawk”, Lieutenant and then Captain Waller completed two deployments under the Unit Deployment Program (UDP) to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan (2008, 2009).  During his first fleet tour he served as the squadron Classified Materials Custodian, Assistant Administration Officer, Assistant Logistics Officer, and Powerline Officer in Charge. 

In September 2010, Captain Waller was ordered to 2d Marine Division, MCB Camp Lejeune for duty as Company K Forward Air Controller and subsequently Battalion Air Officer of 3d Battalion, 2d Marines.  As a “Betio Bastard” he completed training at Enhanced Mojave Viper and then deployed under RCT-8 to Northern Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  From February to September 2011 he supported Marine ground combat operations in Musa Qa’la and Now Zad Districts.

In October 2011, Captain Waller was ordered back to MAG-31 and again assigned to VMFA(AW)-533.  He then deployed in support of two additional UDPs to MCAS Iwakuni (2013, 2014).  From April to October 2016, he again deployed, this time to Sheik Isa Airbase, Bahrain in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, supporting counter ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria.  Billets during this tour included Airframes Officer in Charge, Flight Officer, Logistics Officer, Quality Assurance Officer and Aircrew Training Officer.   He also served as the MAG-31 Current Operations Officer and Group WTI.

In June 2017, Major Waller was ordered to 2d Marine Division for duty as Air Officer, 10th Marine Regiment.  In November 2017, he was selected to serve as the Air Officer of Task Force Southwest 18.1, Afghanistan in support of The Resolute Support Mission and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.  While deployed to Camp Shorab, from January through October 2018, he supported the USMC and USA 6-1 SFAB training and advisor mission in Helmand and Nimroz Provinces, assisting Afghan ground combat forces with joint, coalition, and contract aviation assets; including work with the USMC MQ-9 and F-35B on their first combat deployments.  

In April 2019, Major Waller was ordered back to MAG-31 and assigned to VMFA-251.  As the “Thunderbolt’s” Executive Officer he deployed from January to March 2020, as part of the first ever TACAIR Dynamic Force Employment while conducting flight operations in Operations Inherent Resolve, Freedom’s Sentinel, and Spartan Shield from Sheik Isa Airbase, Bahrain.
In May 2020, after the sundown of VMFA-251, Major Waller was reassigned to Aircrew Training Detachment Beaufort, serving as the Officer in Charge of FA-18 standardization through June 2021. In January 2021, Lieutenant Colonel Waller was concurrently assigned as the MAG-31 Operations Officer, relinquishing his duties in March 2022.

Lieutenant Colonel Waller has logged over 2000 flight hours in the F/A-18 and over 1500 controls as a FAC/JTAC.   He is a graduate of the Marine Division Tactics Instructor Course and the MAWTS-1 Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course as both an F/A-18 WSO and an Air Officer.  His personal decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal (w/ strike numeral 6), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (w/ three gold stars), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (w/ gold star), and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (w/ one silver and one bronze star).

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing