Colonel Peter Gadd
Colonel Gadd is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1988, he enlisted in the Air National Guard and served in Strategic Air Command as a KC-135 Crew Chief. After an inter-service transfer to the Marine Corps Officer Candidate Program, he earned a Bachelors of Science degree from Slippery Rock University in December 1991 and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant.
Upon completion of The Basic School in 1992, 2ndLt Gadd reported to Naval Air Stations Pensacola and Corpus Christi for flight training, and earned his wings in November of 1994. Promoted to 1stLt, he transferred to Marine Corps Air Station Tustin, California for follow-on training in the CH-53D. He subsequently joined HMH-362, relocated to Marine Corps Base Hawaii in 1995 and served as the Logistics and Flight Line Officer. In 1997, then Captain Gadd, transferred to HMH-463, attached to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and embarked on the USS New Orleans (LPH-11) in support of Exercise Tandem Thrust, Australia. Upon return, he was assigned to HMT-301 as a CH-53D instructor pilot. During this period he earned a Masters of Aeronautical Science in Airport Operations from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
In 1999, Captain Gadd transferred to New River North Carolina, completed conversion training in the CH-53E and joined HMH-464. While assigned to the Condors, he served as the Maintenance Officer and participated in Operation Eastern Access with the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force –Vieques. Following the attacks on 9/11, he deployed with the 26th MEU, Special Operations Capable (SOC), conducting the initial invasion and follow-on operations in Afghanistan in direct support of Operations Swift Freedom and Enduring Freedom as part of Task Force (TF) 58 and also supported TF K-Bar and TF-11.
In June of 2002, Major Gadd was selected to HMX-1, and was transferred to Quantico Virginia, where he was assigned to the Maintenance and Operations Departments and later served as the senior White House Liaison Officer and Presidential Command Pilot for George W. Bush.
In 2006, Maj Gadd was transferred back to Hawaii and served as the Executive Officer of HMH-362 and deployed to Anbar Province for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) during the surge of 2007. Upon return, LtCol Gadd then served as the Marine Aircraft Group 24 Operations Officer, Naval Aviation Enterprise Current Readiness Action Officer and the CH-53D Senior Flight Leadership Standardization Evaluator.
In 2010, LtCol Gadd served as the Commanding Officer of HMH-463. During this period, the he served as the Air Combat Element (ACE) commander for RIMPAC 2010 and deployed on the USS Bon Homme Richard (LHD-6). In the spring of 2011, his squadron deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and participated in over 170 named operations. Upon his redeployment, LtCol Gadd became the Executive Officer of Marine Aircraft Group 24 where he was selected to the United States Army War College.
After graduation, Colonel Gadd received orders back Hawaii to United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) where he was assigned to the J3 Directorate as the Deputy Division Chief for Future Operations and Deployable Joint Task Force Augmentation Cell (DJTFAC) Division Chief. During this period, his team deployed to the Philippines in direct support of Joint Task Force 505, Operation DAMAYAN. The following year he performed the duties of the Deputy Chief of Staff.
Colonel Gadd’s personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with one Gold Star, the Air Medal with Valor and Strike/Flight numeral 14, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with one Gold Star, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two Gold Stars, and the Presidential Service Badge.