LtCol Schaafsma is a native of Alaska. He graduated from Western Michigan University in December, 2001 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in February 2002. Upon completion of The Basic School, he was assigned to flight training at NAS Pensacola, FL.
After Primary Flight Training with VT-3, he reported to VT-9 at NAS Meridian, MS for Advanced Strike Flight Training. He was designated a Naval Aviator on 1 April 2005 and reported to VMAT-203 at MCAS Cherry Point for training in the AV-8B.
1stLt Schaafsma reported aboard MAG-13 at MCAS Yuma, AZ in June 2006 for duty with VMA-311. He immediately deployed in support of the Unit Deployment Program to Japan. In 2008, he deployed again with the Tomcats in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2009, Capt Schaafsma executed orders to MCAS Cherry Point for duty as a Fleet Replacement Squadron instructor with VMAT-203.
Capt Schaafsma deployed with 2nd Marine Division to Camp Leatherneck in 2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
In 2012, Capt Schaafsma joined VMA-542 aboard MCAS Cherry Point and deployed with the 24th MEU in support of 5th and 6th Fleet operations.
Maj Schaafsma completed the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course in 2013 and was subsequently assigned as the MAG-14 AV-8B WTI and Flight Leadership Standardization Evaluator at Marine Aviation Training System Site Cherry Point.
In 2014, Maj Schaafsma reported for duty as an AV-8B instructor at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One. He served as the AV-8B Division Head and the Aviation Development Tactics and Evaluation Fixed-Wing Offensive Air Specialist.
In 2017, Maj Schaafsma reported to MCAS Yuma where he served as the Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Executive Officer. Beginning in January 2019, LtCol Schaafsma assumed duties as the Director of Operations for MCAS Yuma.
LtCol Schaafsma reported to VMX-1 in August 2019 to serve as the Director of Science and Technology. In February 2020, LtCol Schaafsma assumed his current duties as the Executive Officer of VMX-1.
LtCol Schaafsma is a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School with a master’s degree in Human Systems Integration. He has over 2,500 flight hours in the AV-8B and UC-12F.