Lieutenant Colonel Kevin McDonald was commissioned a Second Lieutenant after receiving his Bachelors of Science degree from Florida State University in December 1996. After graduation from The Basic School in September 1997, Second Lieutenant McDonald reported to NAS Pensacola, Florida for Naval Aviation Flight Training. Upon completion of training in December 1999, First Lieutenant McDonald was awarded his Naval Aviator Wings and transferred to NAS Lemoore for F/A-18 training.
Upon completion of F/A-18 training in 2001, Captain McDonald reported to the “Black Knights” of VMFA-314 in San Diego, CA. While with the “Black Knights,” Captain McDonald completed two accelerated back to back deployments with Carrier Air Wing 9 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He held positions as Power Line Officer, Aviation Safety Officer, and Flight Officer.
In May 2004, Captain McDonald was transferred to VMFA-112 in Fort Worth, TX. He served as the active duty Operations Officer for the “Cowboys” during their first full deployment since WWII. In 2006 Captain McDonald was chosen to attend the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course, and graduated in October.
In December 2007, Major McDonald transferred to the Marine Corps Reserve. From December 2007 to August 2012, Major McDonald flew with the Cowboys while pursuing a career in tactical civilian aviation support to defense activities. During this 5 year period he participated in multiple squadron deployments, including a mobilization in support of OIF 9.2 in 2009. He held positions as Embarkation Officer, Logistics Officer, and Director of Safety and Standardization.
In August 2012, Major McDonald accepted an international Chief Pilot position with BAE Systems in Germany, and subsequently transferred to Marine Forces Europe/Africa IMA detachment. In 2013 Lieutenant Colonel McDonald volunteered for a one year mobilization where he served as the Future Operations Officer, Black Sea Rotational Forces Program Manager.
Following mobilization LtCol McDonald returned his family to the United States and began work with Insitu, Inc as a ScanEagle Site Lead/Mission Coordinator/UAS Operator supporting military operations in the CENTCOM AOR. In January 2016, Lieutenant Colonel McDonald transferred to NORAD/USNORTHCOM as the J55 Planner conducting crisis action planning with a multi-national staff to support contingency operations in the defense of North America.
In August 2018 he assumed his current position as the MAG-41 Executive Officer. He is currently employed with L3 Technologies as a Test Director/Subject Matter Expert for F/A-18 A-G simulators