MCAS Miramar Staff
Col. John P. Farnam
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Col. Farnam received his Bachelor's degree from San Diego State University and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1990. He was designated a Naval Flight Officer in April, 1993.
Col. Farnam completed Fleet Replacement Squadron training for the F/A-18D Hornet at VMFAT-101, MCAS El Toro, CA, and reported to Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron VMFA(AW)-533 at MCAS Beaufort, S.C., in December 1994. While with the Hawks, he deployed twice to Aviano, Italy in support of Operations: DENY FLIGHT, DECISIVE ENDEAVOR, DELIBERATE FORCE and DELIBERATE GUARD.
While serving with the Hawks, Col. Farnam was designated a Mission Commander, Weapons and Tactics Instructor, Forward Air Controller (Airborne) Instructor, Tactical Air Coordinator (Airborne) Instructor, Air Combat Tactics Instructor and Night Systems Instructor.
In August 1998, Col. Farnam was ordered to instructor duty at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) in Yuma AZ. There he served as an F/A-18 Instructor WSO. In that same year, he was selected as the Marine Corps Naval Flight Officer of the Year.
In 1999, Col. Farnam augmented MAG-31 Forward and deployed to Taszar, Hungary in support of Operation: ALLIED FORCE, flying with VMFA (AW)-533.
Col. Farnam was again transferred to VMFA(AW)-533 at MCAS Beaufort from 2001 to 2004.There he served as the Operations Officer and the Aircraft Maintenance Officer. During this assignment, he deployed with the squadron to Ahmed Al-Jaber Air Base in support of Operations: SOUTHERN WATCH and IRAQI FREEDOM.
In July 2004, Col. Farnam reported to Aviation Weapons and Requirements divisions, Headquarters Marine Corps. There he served as the Aviation Requirements Officer for the F/A-18, Litening Targeting Pod, Aviation Training Systems and Aviation Flight Equipment programs.
Col. Farnam assumed command of VMFA(AW)-533 in April 2007. During his tenure, he led the Hawks in a Western Pacific deployment to Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
In 2009, Col. Farnam reported to the National War College in Washington, D.C. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the Joint Staff as the Branch Chief for Global Posture, Strategy and Plans, J8. In July 2011, he was assigned as the Deputy Division Chief for Forces Division, J8.
His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Air Medals (with combat "V") and the Strike Flight Award with Numeral 7.
Sgt. Maj. Richard M. Charron
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SgtMaj Charron hails from New Jersey and entered the Marine Corps in June 1986. He attended Boot Camp at 3rd Recruit Training Bn, India Company, Platoon 3074, MCRD, Parris Island SC. Upon graduation he attended his MOS training at NAS Meridian, Miss. and earned the MOS 6672 Aviation Supply and Logistics Marine. From 1987 to 1988 LCpl Charron served with Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 31, MCAS Beaufort, SC. in support of various F-4 and F-18 Squadrons both in CONUS and Overseas.
In July 1988 Cpl Charron was meritoriously promoted and received orders to Marine Embassy Security Group in Quantico VA. Cpl Charron served as a watch stander to the American Embassies in Geneva, Switzerland, Moscow, Russia, El Salvador, San Salvador, where he was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and as the Assistant Detachment Commander at the American Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia.
In June of 1992, Sgt Charron was assigned to Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station Hawaii, where he served with Marine Aviation & Logistics Squadron 24 as a parts expeditor for HMM-364 "Purple Foxes" both in Hawaii and Okinawa, and with HMH-463 "Pegasus" in support of the 15th MEU during Operation Restore Hope in Somalia.
In July of 1995, SSgt Charron was selected and given orders to HMX-1, Presidential Helicopter Squadron in Quantico, VA. While assigned to HMX-1, SSgt Charron earned his Naval Aircrew Wings on the CH53E Helicopter, and held various collateral duties in support of Presidential visits throughout the United States and Overseas.
In July of 1999 SSgt Charron served a one year unaccompanied tour at MCAS Iwakuni Japan, with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12. While assigned to MALS-12, SSgt Charron supported various rotor and fixed wing squadrons in mainland Japan, Korea and Australia.
In August of 2000, Gunnery Sergeant Charron received orders back to Marine Embassy Security Group, this time as a Detachment Commander, where he served at the American Embassies in Ankara, Turkey and Guatemala City, Guatemala. During both tours his detachments were selected as the "Detachment of the Year" for Alpha and Delta Company, MSG Bn. After completing a successful tour, GySgt Charron was selected as an Instructor Advisor for Marine Embassy Security Group School.
In February of 2005, GySgt Charron was promoted to 1stSgt and received orders to 3rd Radio Battalion, III MEF, MCB Kaneohe Bay HI. Where he served as the Alpha Company 1stSgt, during his tour he deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III, Fallujah from 2005-2006 and then as the Headquarters & Service Company 1stSgt upon his return from deployment.
SgtMaj Charron was selected to his present rank in Nov 07, and reported to 1st Marine Logistics Group, Combat Logistics Battalion-1, Camp Pendleton, CA. During his tour he deployed to Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 9.2. Upon return from deployment he assumed duties as the 7th Engineer Support Battalion SgtMaj, and deployed again to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 11.1.
From January 2012 to June 2013, SgtMaj Charron served as the Base SgtMaj for Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, CA.
SgtMaj Charron assumed duties as the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar SgtMaj on June 12, 2013.
SgtMaj Charron holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies; he is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School (by extension), The Command and Staff College (by extension), as well as the Joint Senior Enlisted Professional Military Education Course, and the Senior Enlisted Course SEPME.
SgtMaj Charron’s personal awards include, The Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3rd award), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3rd award), Combat Action Ribbon (2nd award), as well as numerous unit and service awards. SgtMaj Charron is authorized to wear the Presidential Service Badge and Naval Aircrewman Insignia.
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LtCol Szepesy was born in Manhattan, New York on 1 May 1969. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs Colorado in May of 1991 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. Upon completion of the Basic School in March of 1992, he reported to NAS Pensacola for flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in August of 1993.
After receiving his wings, 1stLt Szepesy reported to HMT-303 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton for initial training in the AH-1W. In June of 1993, 1stLt Szepesy reported to HMLA-169 where he served as Pilot Training Officer. In June of 1994, 1stLt Szepesy deployed aboard the USS NEW ORLEANS as part of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU(SOC)) with HMM-164(REIN). 1stLt Szepesy was promoted to Captain in August 1995. Returning to the Vipers, December of 1995 Capt Szepesy served as the Flight Equipment Officer.
In June 1996, he transferred to 1st Air, Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO) and served as a Supporting Arms Liaison Team leader and detachment OIC for the 15th MEU(SOC). Captain Szepesy deployed aboard the USS BOXER from September 1997 to March 1998.
Completing the the 15th MEU(SOC)deployment, Captain Szepesy reported to HMT-303 for refresher training in March 1998. He joined HMLA-267 April 1998 and assumed duties as Assistant Operations Officer. In August 1998, Captain Szepesy joined HMM-364(REIN), the Aviation Combat Element (ACE) to the 13th MEU(SOC) deploying on USS BOXER from December 1998 to June 1999. Returning to HMLA-267, Capt Szepesy attended the Weapons and Tactics Instructors course in September 1999.
In September 2000, Captain Szepesy reported to HMT-303 for duty as an AH-1W instructor pilot. There he served as the Quality Assurance Officer and Assistant Maintenance Officer. Captain Szepesy was promoted to Major in March 2001.
Major Szepesy reported to HMLA-169 in March 2002 and assumed duties of Assistant Operations Officer, MEU detachment Officer in Charge (OIC) and latter the Aircraft Maintenance Officer (AMO). He deployed to Kuwait and Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) from February through September 2003 where he also served as a combat Division Flight Leader.
In November 2003, Major Szepesy reported to the Future Operations section of 3D Marine Aircraft Wing (3D MAW) to assume duties as Air Tasking Order Development officer and Rotary Wing planning officer. He deployed to Iraq in support of OIF II from February through May 2004 where he also flew with HMLA-775.
Major Szepesy served as the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ Fellow to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, from June 2004 to July 2005. In July 2005, he returned to the operating forces to serve on the 3D MAW staff. In June 2006 he was frocked to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in preparation to assume the billet of Assistant Chief of Staff G-1 for 3D MAW.
LtCol Szepesy served as the Assistant Chief of Staff G-1 for 3D MAW until June 2008, when he assumed duties as the Staff Secretary, I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF). In September 2009, he transferred to the Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group (MCTOG) in 29 Palms, California for duties as the director for aviation integration. LtCol Szepesy transferred to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar in August 2011 where he assumed the duties of Airfield Operations Officer and later Station Operations Officer.
From the end of July through the middle of November 2012, LtCol Szepesy assumed responsibility as Officer In Charge of the United States Marine Corps Forces Central Command’s (MARCENT) UC-12W detachment supporting Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) while forward deployed to Afghanistan. Upon return to MCAS Miramar, LtCol Szepesy assumed responsibility as MCAS Miramar Chief Information Officer and S-6 department head until he assumed current responsibilities of Executive Officer in July 2013.
Lieutenant Colonel Szepesy’s combat experience includes tours of duty supporting OIF, OIF II, and OEF 12.2. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, two Air Medals with combat distinguishing devices, the Air Medal with 7 Strike Flights, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Gold Star and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal