Colonel Joseph R. Clearfield was born in Bethesda, Maryland. He graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York, with a Bachelor of Arts in history and was commissioned in 1993.
Colonel Clearfield’s past assignments include: Platoon Commander and Executive Officer, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines during Operation Uphold/ Restore Democracy in Haiti and Operation Assured Response in Liberia attached to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable); Commanding Officer, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines attached to11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) during Operation Enduring Freedom and Regimental Combat Team 1 during Operation Iraqi Freedom; Operations Officer, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines during Operation Iraqi Freedom II including Operation Vigilant Resolve in Fallujah, Iraq; Commanding Officer, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit where he served as Mission Commander for recapture of the M/V Magellan Star; Operations Officer, Command Element 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Bahrain.
His staff assignments include: Operations Officer and Executive Officer, Recruiting Station Baltimore, Maryland; Head Coach, Naval Academy Sprint Football Team in addition to instructing midshipmen in combatives and ethics; Current Operations Group Section Head, Plans, Policies, and Operations, Headquarters Marine Corps; Military assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian Pacific Security Affairs in OSD-Policy.
Colonel Clearfield attended Command & Staff College, Amphibious Warfare School, Airborne School (Honor Graduate), Naval Senior Officers Legal Course, and Recruiting Management Course. He also earned a Master’s of Science in Resource Strategy at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (Distinguished Graduate) and a Master’s of Science from Duquesne University in Organizational Leadership.