Col Nathan S. Marvel was born and raised in Northwest Montana. He enlisted in the Navy in 1992 and attended the Broadened Opportunity Officer Selection Training program (BOOST) in San Diego, California. In 1994 he accepted an appointment to the United States Naval Academy. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering in 1998 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.
After completing The Basic School, he reported for flight training at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida and NAS Corpus Christi, Texas. He was designated a Naval Aviator on 20 December 2000 and reported to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Camp Pendleton, CA for instruction as an AH-1W Super Cobra pilot at Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 303 (HMT-303).
In June 2001, Col Marvel reported to the “Gunfighters” of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369 (HMLA-369) where he served as the ground training officer, operations schedule writer, current operations officer, adjutant, future operations officer, logistics officer, tactics officer, and squadron Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI).
Col Marvel deployed in June 2002 to Okinawa, Japan as part of the Unit Deployment Program (UDP). Traveling from Okinawa on the High Speed Vessel (HSV), he supported operations in the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Philippines, and the Kingdom of Thailand.
In April of 2003, Col Marvel deployed to Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Shortly after his return he was deployed a second time to Okinawa Japan in 2004 where he participated in operations in the Republic of South Korea and Thailand. Col Marvel attended the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) Course in March of 2005. In July 2005 he deployed with Medium Marine Helicopter 163 (reinforced) (HMM-163(REIN)) “Evil Eyes”, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) ((MEU)(SOC)), Expeditionary Strike Group One (ESG-1) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Upon return, he joined the “Stingers” of HMLA-267 where he served as the Aviation Safety Officer.
Col Marvel then reported to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) where he served as an AH-1W Instructor, USMC Assault Support Survivability Subject Matter Expert, AH-1W/Z Course Catalog Manager, AH-1W/Z T&R Program Manager and the Academic Department Head. After completing his tour in June 2010 Col Marvel reported to Command and Staff College, MCU, Quantico, Virginia and received a Master’s degree in Military Studies.
In June of 2011, Col Marvel reported to Marine Air Group 39 (MAG-39) and was assigned to HMLA-469 as the Tactics Officer and subsequently the Assistant Operations Officer. In February of 2012, he became the Operations Officer and in April deployed to Camp Leatherneck Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM 12.1 & 12.2. Col Marvel completed his tour in HMLA-469 “Vengeance” as the Executive Officer.
Col Marvel reported to HQMC Aviation, Pentagon, Washington D.C. in the Summer of 2014 and served as the Requirements Officer (RO), Aviation Programs and Weapons (APW-74) for Digital Interoperability (DI), Electronic Kneeboard (EKB) and Joint Mission Planning Software (JMPS). In the summer of 2015, he returned to MAG-39 and began his conversion to the AH-1Z Viper.
In December of 2015, Col Marvel assumed Command of HMLA-369 the “Gunfighters”. Upon completion of command, Col Marvel reported to the National War College in June of 2017 and received a Master’s degree in National Security Strategy. From June 2018 until December 2020 Col Marvel served as a Special Assistant to the Director and Marine Corps Operational Liaison at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington Virginia.
Col Marvel is married to Therriault Clover Leilani Vredenburg of Eureka, Montana. They have four children. Lily, Lola, Lucia and Leo.