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U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve


U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve

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2000 Opelousas Ave., New Orleans, LA 70114
Commanding Officer, Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 4 Lieutenant Colonel Paul J. Marko

LtCol Marko is a native of Seaford, New York.  He graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in August 2000 through the Officer Candidate Course program. Following The Basic School, LtCol Marko reported to Pensacola, Florida for primary flight training.  He was designated a Naval Aviator in December 2002 and reported to Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron (HMM)-164 to be qualified as a CH-46E helicopter pilot.

Upon completion of flight training, he was assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 166 where he served in the squadron’s maintenance and safety departments. From 2004 to 2005, he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) based in Al Anbar Province, and in 2006 he deployed in support of 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit operations aboard the USS Peleliu. After his tour with HMM-166, LtCol Marko attended Tactical Air Control Party School and reported to 2d Marine Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment to serve as a forward air controller.  In 2007, he deployed with the battalion to Ramadi, Iraq in support of OIF II counter-insurgency operations.  Upon his redeployment, he was assigned to MCAS Miramar to be the Marine Aircraft Group 11 Helicopter Current Operations Officer.   

In June 2008, LtCol Marko reported to Naval Postgraduate School where he earned a master’s degree in business administration with a focus in defense financial management.  Following graduation, he assumed the duties of Head, Aviation Financial Management Branch under the Assistant Chief of Staff G-8 at U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command (MARFORCOM).  In 2011, he stepped away from those duties for one year to serve as aide-de-camp to LtGen Hejlik, Commander MARFORCOM/MARFOREUR. 

LtCol Marko ended his active duty service in June 2013 and the following month he joined Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU)-4 as a reservist.  In 2014, he attended Unmanned Aircraft Commander training at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.  After training, he served as VMU-4’s Executive Officer for three years and then assumed command of the “Evil Eyes” in May of 2017.

LtCol Marko’s personal decorations include the Air Medal with three strike/flight awards, two Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal.