Marine Aviation Leadership
Marine Aviation leaders page
VMX-1 Commanding Officer
Colonel Byron D. Sullivan

Colonel Byron D. Sullivan was commissioned via the Platoon Leaders Course in 1996 after graduating from East Carolina University where he earned a BS in Marketing. He was designated a Naval Aviator in January 2000 and was assigned to VFA-125, NAS Lemoore, CA for conversion training in the F/A-18 Hornet.

In January 2001, Col Sullivan reported to VMFA-232, MCAS Miramar, CA where he made one deployment to the Western Pacific in 2001 in support of the Unit Deployment Program (UDP) during which time he supported OPERATION NOBLE EAGLE flying from Andersen AFB, Guam. In 2003, he deployed to Al Asad Airbase, Kuwait in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM and OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. During this tour, he graduated from the Aviation Safety Officers Course and Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN).

In March 2005, Col Sullivan transferred to 3d Bn, 7th Marines, 1st MarDiv, 29 Palms, CA for service as an Air Officer and Forward Air Controller where he deployed to Ramadi, Iraq in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.

In June 2006, Col Sullivan reported to VMFA-314 for service as Operations Officer, Maintenance Officer, and Director of Safety and Standardization. During this tour, he deployed to the Western Pacific in support of the UDP and to Al Jaber Airbase, Iraq in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.

In January 2010, Col Sullivan reported to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One to serve as the Air Officer Department Head. While at MAWTS-1, he augmented VMFT-401 as an aggressor pilot flying the F-5 Tiger II.

Col Sullivan assumed command of VMFA-232 on 7 December 2012 and completed a deployment to the Western Pacific area of responsibility in support of the UDP.

In June 2014, Col Sullivan reported to National War College at Fort McNair, Washington D.C. where he earned a Master’s Degree in National Security Strategy.

In June 2015, Col Sullivan reported to Joint Staff J6 to stand up the Joint Fires Division, Joint Close Air Support, Pentagon Branch ensuring standard Close Air Support procedures amongst 23 Coalition members as well as furthering Digitally Aided Close Air Support across the Joint Force.

In February 2018, Col Sullivan assumed duties as Director, Commandant of Marine Corps Safety Division.

In July 2019, Col Sullivan reported to VMFAT-501 for conversion training in the F-35B.

Col Sullivan has accumulated over 2800 flight hours. His flight designations include Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor, Mission Commander, FAC(A), LAT(I), NSI(LO), ACTI, and PMCF.

Col Sullivan’s personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with one gold star, the Air Medal-Individual Action with Combat Distinguishing device and Air Medal-Strike/Flight Award Numeral 8, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device and one gold star, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars, and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Marine Aviation