Marine Aviation Leadership
MAD Patuxent River Executive Officer
Major William W. Cronkright

Major Cronkright is a native of Michigan.  He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 2001, mobilized and deployed in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM in 2003 as an 0331 Machine Gunner, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps in October 2004, having completed his undergraduate education in Mathematics at Spring Arbor University. 

Following the Basic School, Major Cronkright was redesignated from a ground officer to a Student Naval Aviator and attended flight training at VT-6, HT-8 and HMT-302 before arriving at his first fleet squadron, Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 362, in June of 2008.  During this tour, Major Cronkright served as the Adjutant, Flight Line Division Officer in Charge (OIC), Quality Assurance OIC, Assistant Aviation Maintenance Officer, and Squadron Weapons and Tactics Instructor, deploying in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM and thrice in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM.

In 2012, HMH-362 was retired from service and Major Cronkright was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 24(-) to serve as the Group Rotary-Wing Tasker. In 2013, Major Cronkright left MAG-24(-) and was reassigned to Heavy Lift Helicopter Program, PMA-261, Patuxent River, Maryland, as the Assistant Program Manager for Systems Engineering, H-53E, NAVAIR 4.1 where he served for three years.  During his time with PMA-261, Major Cronkright earned his Masters’ Degree in Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School where he distinguished himself with a 4.0 academic grade point average.

In January of 2016, Major Cronkright was assigned as the Class Leader for United States Naval Test Pilot School, Class 150, where he successfully completed the Rotary Wing syllabus and earned the Syd Sherby award for leadership.

In January of 2017, Major Cronkright reported to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two One (HX-21) for duty as a Developmental Test Pilot where he tested and evaluated the CH-53K King Stallion helicopter in preparation for introduction to the Fleet Marine Force.  There, Major Cronkright had the honor of being the first Aircraft Commander for the first CH-53K owned by the Marine Corps.

Major Cronkright’s current assignment as the Executive Officer for MAD Pax River began on February 1st, 2020 and continues to this day.

Major Cronkright’s personal decorations include the Air Medal/Strike Flight (8th award), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2nd Award), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2nd award).

Marine Aviation