After graduating from the Naval Academy in 2003 and completing The Basic School in February 2004, LtCol Gallagher completed flight training at Vance Air Force Base, and NAS Corpus Christi before being designated a Naval Aviator in August 2005. He reported to VMGRT-253 at MCAS Cherry Point for training as a KC-130 pilot. In October of 2006, LtCol Gallagher was assigned to VMGR-352 “The Raiders” aboard MCAS Miramar, where he served as the S-2, Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection Officer, Flight Duty Officer, and Quality Assurance Officer. He deployed to Al Asad, Iraq from July 2007 to February 2008 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom while assigned to VMGR-352.
In March of 2009, LtCol Gallagher was selected as an Olmsted Scholar and assigned to Paris, France. He attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey in February 2010 completed his Master’s degree in International Security at the Paris Institute of Political Science (Sciences Po) in 2012. During his time at Sciences Po, LtCol Gallagher also completed an internship at the French Army’s Center for Doctrine and Military Studies (CDEF).
LtCol Gallagher then reported to VMGR-352 where he served as the Director of Safety and Standardization (DSS) and Assistant Operations Officer from August 2012 to November 2015. He completed the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course in the spring of 2013 before deploying with Marine Air Group-Afghanistan (MAG-A) from January to July 2014 where he served as the MAG’s Future Operations Officer. He also deployed with Special Purpose Marine Air and Ground Task Force Crisis Response Central Command as the VMGR Executive Officer from April 2015 to August 2015 in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
In 2015, LtCol Gallagher attended France’s L’Ecole de Guerre where he completed the French Army’s Combined Arms Course and the French Command and Staff Course. Following his graduation, LtCol Gallagher again reported to VMGR-352, where he served as the squadron’s Operations Officer from 2018 to 2019.
Ordered to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) staff in July of 2019, LtCol Gallagher served as the KC-130 Requirements Officer until his selection and assignment to command of Marine Aircraft Group 49 Det B in 2021.
His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (2nd award), Air Medal with bronze numeral 4, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2nd award), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal