Marine Aviation Leadership
VMX-1 Chief Operational Test Director (COTD)
Lieutenant Colonel Robert F. Guyette

Lieutenant Colonel Guyette was commissioned from the United States Naval Academy in May 2004 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering. He reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL in 2005 to fly T-34Cs with the VT-6 Shooters at Naval Air Station, Whiting Field, FL, then T-45As with the VT-22 Golden Eagles at Naval Air Station, Kingsville, TX.  Designated a Naval Aviator in October 2006, he then reported to the VFA-106 Gladiators in Naval Air Station, Oceana, VA for replacement aircrew training in the F/A-18 Hornet.

In November 2007 Lieutenant Colonel Guyette reported to the VMFA (AW)-224 Fighting Bengals at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, SC, deploying twice to Iwakuni, Japan in 2008 and 2010 as part of the Unit Deployment Program.  Lieutenant Colonel Guyette was selected for transition to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program in 2010.

In February 2011, Lieutenant Colonel Guyette reported to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines as a Forward Air Controller, and deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan as part of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM.  Lieutenant Colonel Guyette was embedded at the squad and platoon levels, conducting infantry combat operations in the Marjeh, Sangin and Kajaki districts.

Lieutenant Colonel Guyette reported to Marine Aircraft Group-13 at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma in April 2012 to stand up the VMFA-121 Green Knights, the world’s first operational F-35 squadron.  Lieutenant Colonel Guyette became the first operational pilot qualified to fly the F-35 in December 2012, training with VMFAT-501 at Eglin Ari Force Base.  During this time, Lieutenant Colonel Guyette was selected to attend the United States Naval Test Pilot School, Class 148 in Patuxent River, Maryland.

Following the United States Naval Test Pilot School, Lieutenant Colonel Guyette was assigned to the VX-23 Salty Dogs, Patuxent River F-35 Integrated Test Force.  As a Salty Dog, he executed high-risk Developmental Test as the lead test pilot for multiple programs in the F-35A, B and C models, ashore and at sea aboard the USS AMERICA and the USS ESSEX.  Selected to serve as a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Service Chief Fellow during this tour, Lieutenant Colonel Guyette provided engineering technical support and operational perspective to multiple advanced technology Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency projects.

Lieutenant Colonel  Guyette then joined the VMFAT-501 Warlords in Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, SC in 2018, training new U.S. Marine, British and Italian F-35B pilots as an Instructor Pilot and the Executive Officer.  He also continued to contribute to the development of the F-35 high angle of attack flight control system and teamed with the U.S. Air Force to build the first FAA-certified F-35A and F-35B Level III flight demonstration profiles. 

In June 2020, Lieutenant Colonel Guyette reported to the VMFA-242 Bats in Iwakuni, Japan, serving as the Executive Officer for the team that transitioned the squadron from the F/A-18D to F-35B Initial Operational Capability.  In October 2021, he flew as lead test pilot for the F-35B demonstration team aboard the JS IZUMO, establishing aircraft carrier based fighter capability within the Japanese Self Defense Force.  In February 2022, Lieutenant Colonel Guyette conducted the F-35B Level III Flight Demonstration at the Singapore Air Show before receiving orders to return to Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, and Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1.

Reporting to VMX-1 in April 2022, Lieutenant Colonel Guyette serves as the Chief Operational Test Director and Chief Test Pilot for Operational Test and Evaluation for all U.S. Marine Corps Aviation platforms.

Lieutenant Colonel Guyette holds a Masters in Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has flown over thirty types of military airplanes and helicopters and was named the 2018 Marine Corps Aviation Association John Glenn Marine Test Pilot of the Year, and the 2018 Marine Corps Aviation Association Michael Hough Acquisition Officer of the Year.  His military awards include the Bronze Star with Combat Distinguishing Device, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal with two gold stars, and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Marine Aviation