Command Biographies
HMHT-302 Commanding Officer
Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Saddler

Lieutenant Colonel Michael J. Saddler graduated from Texas A&M University in 1998, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. He reported to Officer Candidate School in October 1999 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in December 1999. After graduating from The Basic School, Second Lieutenant Saddler reported to NAS Pensacola for flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in May of 2002. He reported to HMT-302 for training as a CH-53E pilot. 

In February of 2003, LtCol Saddler was assigned to HMH-361 where he served in numerous billets in Maintenance, Operations, and Administration. He completed a Unit Deployment Program (UDP) to Okinawa in 2003. After returning from Okinawa, LtCol Saddler attended back to back Combined Arms Exercises (CAX) and a Desert Talon training exercise. He was promoted to Captain in July 2004. LtCol Saddler completed three deployments to Al Asad Air Base in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom: OIF 2-2, 5-7, and 6-8.2. 

After a nearly six year fleet tour, LtCol Saddler reported to Marine Test and Evaluation Squadron 22 (VMX-22) as the Lead Operational Test Director (OTD) for the CH-53D, CH-53E, and CH-53K. While at VMX-22, LtCol Saddler was promoted to Major. His duties included the development, execution and reporting of results of test plans as well as the coordination of a military, government and contractor team for the safe and efficient conduct of complex test events. LtCol Saddler also served as an augment instructor pilot with HMHT-302, training newly winged aviators in the employment of the CH-53E.

LtCol Saddler reported to Marine Corps University to attend Command and Staff College where he earned a Masters in Military Studies. After graduation, LtCol Saddler reported to MAG-16, in July 2012, where he served as Maintenance Officer, and Operations Officer (OPSO) for HMH-465. While with HMH-465 he attended the Naval Aviation Maintenance Program Management Course at NAS Whiting Field, Milton, FL. 

LtCol Saddler deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 14.1 and 14.2 as the 3D MAW (FWD) TACC Senior Watch Officer (SWO) and Current Operations Officer at Camp Leatherneck, from January to November 2014. Upon return from OEF, he assumed the billet of MAG-16 Future Operations Officer.

In June 2015, LtCol Saddler reported to HMH-466 to serve as Executive Officer (XO) where he deployed to Okinawa on a UDP. Post deployment, LtCol Saddler transferred back to MAG-16 HQs to serve as MAG-16 OPSO.  He was promoted to his current rank on 1 November 2016. He assumed the billet of MAG-16 XO on 1 June 2017 until he transferred to MATSG-22, NAS Corpus Christi in Jul7 2018.  At MATSG-22, LtCol Saddler served as OPSO and XO before moving to MAG-29.

LtCol Saddler holds a Level II Certification in Test and Evaluation and the additional Military Occupational Specialties of 8057 and 6002. He is a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and has attended the Defense Acquisition University’s Intermediate and Advanced Test and Evaluation Courses. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with 2 gold stars, Air Medal Strike/Flight (10), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with 2 gold stars, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Marine Aircraft Group 29