Lieutenant Colonel Tom Collins graduated from James Madison University in May 2004 with a BS in Integrated Science and Technology and was subsequently commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He completed The Basic School in March 2005 and attended follow-on training at Assault Amphibian School (AAS) as an Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Officer. Upon completion, he was assigned to 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion (AABn) in Camp Pendleton, CA.
In March 2006, he deployed to Al Qaim, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as AAV Platoon Commander, Task Force 1/7, leading his platoon in both provisional infantry missions and mechanized operations in and along the Euphrates River. In January 2008, he deployed on the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit as AAV Platoon Commander, Battalion Landing Team 2/4, participating in bilateral training exercises Balikatan and Cobra Gold. Upon his return, then Captain Collins transitioned from active service.
In May 2009, he affiliated with the Selected Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR), initially as the Company Executive Officer for Company A, 4th AABn in Little Creek, VA before assuming command of the company in December 2009 through November 2011.
In December 2011, he mobilized and deployed with Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) Africa 12.2. Serving as the Communications Officer, he supported and participated in theater security cooperation missions throughout the continent.
Demobilizing in January 2013, he was assigned to the Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) Detachment at Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC), Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4) in Washington D.C. At HQMC C4, he served as the lead Marine Corps planner for the Joint User Interoperability Communication Exercise (JUICE).
In January 2016, then Major Collins returned to the SMCR and 4th AABn to command newly established Company D in Tampa, FL. Serving as the unit’s first Company Commander, he took the company from its Initial Operating Capability to a competently trained, fully mission-capable unit.
In June 2018, he transferred to Marine Wing Communications Squadron 48 (MWCS-48), in Great Lakes, IL to serve as the Operations Officer. At MWCS-48, Major Collins planned the support of 17 unit, service-level and joint exercises, personally serving as the MWCS-48 Detachment Officer-in-Charge for Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course 2-20. In July 2020, he transferred to AAS Bn where he researched and presented signature management topics and served as a liaison for SMCR students.
Lieutenant Colonel Collins holds an MS in Telecommunications from the University of Maryland, College Park. He has completed the Advanced Communications Officer’s Course, Expeditionary Warfare School, and Marine Corps Command and Staff College. His personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (x4) and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (x2). In his civilian career, he works at Naval Information Warfare Center – Pacific as a Principal Investigator for 5G experimentation.