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15th Marine Expeditionary Unit


15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

America's Vanguard Force

Camp Pendleton, CA
Previous Commanders
Col. V.L. Cryer 2014-2016

Col Cryer graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington and was commissioned in May 1991. He completed AV-8B FRS naval aviation training September 1995 and reported to the FMF at VMA-211, MCAS Yuma, Az.

Upon completing the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course he was assigned to several critical billets including tours as an Assistant Operations Officer, Pilot Training Officer, and Squadron Weapons and Tactics Officer. Additionally, he has served as a Squadron Executive Officer, MEU AV-8B Detachment OIC, and Marine Air Group Operations Officer.

Col Cryer served as a Tornado F3 exchange pilot with 56R and 111F squadrons for the Royal Air Force in the UK at RAF Conningsby and RAF Leuchars respectively from 2001-2004.

In the summer of 2008, Col Cryer took command of Marine Attack Squadron 211 and immediately deployed to Iwakuni, Japan in support of Marine Air Group 12, the 31st MEU and the USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group.

After graduating from the National War College in 2011, he reported to USNORTHCOM J3 as the Executive Assistant for the J3 and Current Operations Division officer. Col Cryer reported next to HQMC Dept. of Aviation where he served as the deputy branch head for HQMC Aviation Programs & Weapons.

2014-2015 Col Cryer served as Commanding Officer or the 15th Marine Expeditionary at the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and deployed on a rotational deployment to support CTF-76 / 7th Fleet, PACOM, CTF-51 / 5th Fleet, CENTCOM and CTF-68 / AFRICOM along with PHIBRON-3 and the USS Essex ARG.

In May 2016, Col Cryer reported as the Marine Military Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy.

Col Cryer is currently serving as the Chief of Staff at Marine Corps Combat Development Command and as the Executive Assistant to CD&I.

Col Cryer has deployed to the Arabian Gulf on six rotations since 1996 and has conducted both air to ground and air to air combat missions in support of Naval, Joint and Combined operations. Col Cryer has flown over 2,300 hrs in tactical jet aircraft and has held all instructor qualifications within the AV-8B T&R.

Col Cryer’s operational experience includes Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003, 2004, 2005, Operation Southern Watch 1997, Operation Resinate 2002, Operation Telic 2003, and six ARG/MEU rotational deployments 1996,1999, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2014.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the University of Texas at Arlington class of 1991 and a Masters of Science in National Strategic Studies from the National War College, National Defense University class of 2011.