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

Lieutenant Colonel Rob Guyette was commissioned from the United States Naval Academy in May 2004 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering. He graduated from The Basic School with Company D-04, then reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL for flight training in January 2005. After designation as a Naval Aviator in October 2006 in Kingsville, TX, he reported to the VFA-106 Gladiators in Naval Air Station, Oceana, VA for initial training in the F/A-18 Hornet.

In November 2007 First Lieutenant Guyette reported to the VMFA (AW)-224 Fighting Bengals at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, SC, deploying twice in the F/A-18 to the western Pacific in 2008 and 2010 as part of the Unit Deployment Program.  At the conclusion of this tour, Captain Guyette was selected for transition to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

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

Captain Guyette then 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.  In December 2012, he became the first operational pilot qualified to fly the F-35, training with VMFAT-501 at Eglin Air Force Base.  During this time, Captain Guyette was also selected to attend the United States Naval Test Pilot School, Class 148 in Patuxent River, Maryland.

Following USNTPS, Major Guyette was assigned to the Salty Dogs of VX-23, and the 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, Major Guyette provided engineering technical support and operational perspective to multiple advanced technology DARPA projects.

Major 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, Major 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, re-establishing aircraft carrier based fighter aviation within the Japanese Self Defense Force.  

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 of 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