Lieutenant Colonel Dax R. Mclendon is a native of Savannah, Georgia and graduated from Georgia State University in 2001, with a degree in business administration. He completed The Basic School in Quantico, VA in 2002 and reported to NAS Pensacola for flight training. After completing primary flight training with VT-2 at NAS Whiting Field, and advanced multi-engine training with VT-31 at NAS Corpus Christi, he was designated a Naval Aviator in February of 2004. Shortly thereafter he reported to VMGRT-253 for training as a KC-130F/R/T copilot and in March 2005, he was assigned to VMGR-152 in Okinawa, Japan. While at VMGR-152 he served as the Aircrew Training Officer, Future Operations Planner, and Quality Assurance Officer. After completing the KC-130J transition in 2008 he was designated as an Aircraft Commander.
In August 2008, he reported to VMU-2 in Cherry Point, NC. After completing training he was designated as an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Mission Commander. He then attended the Naval Aviation Safety Officer course and was designated as the Aviation Safety Officer for VMU-2. In April 2009, he deployed to the Southern Helmand province, Afghanistan for seven months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as the VMU-2 Current Operations Officer. After returning from deployment, LtCol Mclendon was designated as the Marine Corps UAS NATOPS Evaluator and was involved with the development and production of the Joint UAS Tactics Techniques and Procedures manual.
In the summer of 2010, he reported to VMGR-452 in Newburgh, NY, and assumed the duties of Aviation Safety Officer. He completed the KC-130T transition and was designated an Aircraft Commander. In April of 2011, he was attached to VMGR-686 and deployed to Romania in support of the Black Sea Rotational Force to complete bilateral training with the Romanian, Georgian and Ukrainian militaries. In 2012, LtCol Mclendon completed the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Instructor course and assumed the duties of Aircrew Training Officer at VMGR-452. In 2013, he deployed to NAS Sigonella in support of a SPMAGTF. In 2014, he was the Officer in Charge of a three plane, 55 Marine detachment to Bahrain in support of MAG-50 combat operations.
In 2015, LtCol Mclendon was selected to attend the Naval War College at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, where he completed resident PME. He was awarded a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.
In July of 2016, he was assigned back to VMGR-452, where he assumed the duties of Operations Officer. In May of 2017, he left Active Duty and transitioned to the United States Marine Corps Reserve, assuming the billet of Executive Officer for VMGR-452. In 2018, he was the Officer in Charge of a three plane detachment in support of SPMAGTF-CR-AF 19.1 at Moron Air Base, Spain.
His personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with gold star) and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (with gold star). He has over 2,700 pilot-hours in the KC-130T, and over 4,000 total hours. He is a graduate of the Army Unmanned Aircraft Systems Course, the Navy Crew Resource Management Instructor course and Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) School.