Major Joel M. Katz is a native of Houston, TX. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He completed The Basic School with Fox Company in January 2009.
Major Katz reported to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, FL for Aviation Preflight Indoctrination followed by primary flight training with VT-6 and advanced helicopter training with HT-8 at NAS Whiting Field, FL. Major Katz was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2011 and completed initial qualification in the AH-1Z with HMLA/T-303 at Camp Pendleton, CA.
In September 2011, Major Katz reported to HMLA-367 “Scarface” and deployed from September 2012 to May 2013 with the H-1 detachment to HMH-364 “Purple Foxes” on the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Upon return from deployment, Maj Katz reported to 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) Battalion in Twenty-Nine Palms, CA where he served as the Air Officer and Fire Support Coordinator from March 2014 to March 2015.
Upon completion of his duties at 3rdLAR, Major Katz reported to HMLA-267 “Stingers” where he served as the Aviation Safety Officer during the squadron’s deployment to Okinawa, Japan from November 2016 to May 2017. Upon return from deployment, Major Katz reported to the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA and completed a Master of Science in Information Warfare Systems Engineering.
In June 2019, Major Katz reported to III MEF in Okinawa, Japan to serve as the Technical Information Operations Officer and Nonlethal Targeting Officer. Upon completion of his duties at III MEF, Maj Katz reported to MAG-29 where he served as the Director of Safety and Standardization from July 2021 to August 2022 before assignment to HMLA-167 “Warriors.”
Major Katz’s personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Gold Star in lieu of 2nd Award.