Major Houghton enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in August of 1998 and completed boot camp with Co H, 2nd RTB, MCRD San Diego. In January of 1999, following completion of the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton, CA, he was assigned to Co G, 2D Bn 23D Marine Regiment at Los Alamitos, CA. During this tour, he served as a SMAW Team leader.
Major Houghton graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 2002 through the PLC commissioning program. Upon completion of the Basic School in June 2003, Second Lieutenant Houghton reported to flight training at NAS Pensacola, and was designated a Naval Aviator in January 2005.
After receiving his wings, First Lieutenant Houghton reported to HMT-302 for initial training in the CH-53E, and in July 2005 reported to HMH-461 where he completed three deployments. He completed his first deployment to Djibouti, Africa in support of Combined Joint Task Force HOA, were he served as the Air Frames Division officer. After that deployment, Captain Houghton attended the Aviation Safety Officer and Crew Resource Management Instructor course in Pensacola, FL. In August 2007, Captain Houghton chopped to HMM-365 (REIN) with the 24th MEU and deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan where he served as the ASO and NATOPS officer. Following that deployment, he supported EOTG RUT for the 22nd MEU, then reported to MAG-40 and deployed to Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan with 2D MEB and served as the MAG ASO.
In May 2010, Captain Houghton departed HMH-461 and reported to MATSG-21 Pensacola, FL. He was sent to HT-8 where he served as the Flight Operations Officer, and then TRAWING-5 were he was the Helicopter Standardization Officer and TH-57 Assistant NATOPS Evaluator He was also an adjunct instructor at the School of Aviation Safety and attended the Maintenance Officer Course and the Joint Air Operations Command and Control Course at Hurlbert AFB. Captain Houghton was promoted to the rank of Major in July 2013.
In August 2013, Major Houghton received orders to the 26th MEU Command Element and in October 2013 attended the Tactical Air Control Party course at EWTGLANT and received the 7502 MOS as a Forward Air Controller. In February of 2014, he attended the Joint Personal Recovery Course for Operational Planners. In July 2014, Major Houghton deployed to Moron, Spain with SPMAGTF-CR-AF where he served as the Assistant Air Officer, Personal Recovery Officer, and European Bi-Lateral Training Officer. During this deployment he participated in Operation OAKEN LOTUS and Operation UNITED ASSISTANCE. He also served as the Marine Corps LNO to US Army Africa in Vicenza, Italy and US Air Forces Europe in Ramstein, Germany. Major Houghton was transferred to Marine Aircraft Group 29 in July, 2015 where he served as the MAG SWO during ITX 5-15 and MAG LNO for 2D MEB’s Large Scale Exercise during July and August, 2015. Maj Houghton checked into HMH-461 in September, 2015 as the Director of Safety and Standardization and assumed his current duties as Executive Officer of HMH-461 in July, 2016.
Major Houghton is a graduate of the Expeditionary Warfare School and Command and Staff College non-resident courses. He has over 2,300 mishap free flight hours. His personal decorations include the Air Medal Strike/Flight with numeral 3, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with one Gold Star, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal.