Lieutenant Colonel Stafford enlisted in the Air Force in January of 2002. Upon completion of the USAF Basic Military Training Course and the Tactical Air Command and Control Apprentice Course, he was assigned to the 25th Air Support Operations Squadron in Hawaii. He participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom II attached to the 1st Battalion/ 27th Infantry Regiment of the 25th Infantry Division.
Following his enlisted service he attended Officer Candidates School and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in March of 2006. Upon graduation from The Basic School in October 2006, he reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida for initial flight training. Lieutenant Colonel Stafford was designated a Naval Aviator in January 2009 and reported to HMHT-302 for initial training in the CH-53E.
Following completion of initial CH-53E training, Lieutenant Colonel Stafford reported to HMH-465 in September of 2009. While in HMH-465, he served as the Ground Safety Officer and SACO. In August of 2010, Lieutenant Colonel Stafford checked in to HMM-163(REIN) where he deployed in support of the 13th MEU. While in HMM-163(REIN), he served as the Phase Maintenance OIC. After his return from the 13th MEU in October of 2011, Lieutenant Colonel Stafford checked back into HMH-465 and served as the Logistics Officer. Seven months later, Lieutenant Colonel Stafford volunteered to cross deck to HMH-361 to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 12.2. While with the Flying Tigers, he served as the Assistant Logistics Officer and accumulated more than 140 combat hours.
Following his return from OEF, Lieutenant Colonel Stafford transferred to the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion (AITB) in Camp Geiger, North Carolina, in July of 2013. While at AITB, he served as Air Officer, Assistant Operations Officer, and Infantry Unit Leaders Training Company Executive Officer. While at AITB, Lieutenant Colonel Stafford successfully completed the TACP course at Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Atlantic and earned the additional MOS of 7502.
Following his tenure at AITB, Lieutenant Colonel Stafford transferred to MAG-36 in Okinawa in July of 2016. While in MAG-36 he served as the Future Operations Officer. In May of 2017, Lieutenant Colonel Stafford was selected to serve as the MWSS-172 Executive Officer. Following a successful tour as MWSS-172 Executive Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Stafford was selected to serve as Executive Officer of VMM-262 (REIN) in May 2018. While attached to the 31st MEU, Lieutenant Colonel Stafford deployed on the 18.2 and 19.1 patrols. In July of 2019, Lieutenant Colonel Stafford was then transferred to HQMC CD&I where he served as the CH-53/MV-22/ VH-92 Capabilities Integration Officer.
Following completion of his tour at HQMC CD&I, Lieutenant Colonel Stafford assumed his current duties as the Executive Officer of the 15th MEU.
Lieutenant Colonel Stafford’s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (second award), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and a Humanitarian Service Medal.
Lieutenant Colonel Stafford holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Trine University, an Associate’s Degree in Information Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force, and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from New England College.