Colonel William “Skull” Mitchell is a native of Redford, MI, and is a 1998 graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Criminology. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant through the Platoon Leaders Course in April 1998 and was designated a naval aviator in September 2001 after flight training in Pensacola, FL, Corpus Christi, TX, and Kingsville, TX.
Colonel Mitchell has served as an F/A-18 pilot in the Fleet Marine Forces (FMF) with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (All Weather) 224, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251, and as the Commanding Officer of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323. His B-Billet assignments include a tour with Battalion Landing Team 1/8 as a Forward Air Controller while attached to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and a tour with 5th Marines as the Regimental Combat Team 5 Air Officer during a 12-month deployment to Afghanistan. During his time in the FMF, Colonel Mitchell deployed nine times and supported multiple combat operations from land and while embarked on the aircraft carriers USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Nimitz, and the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima. His staff assignments include two years at Headquarters Marine Corps Aviation as the TACAIR Integration and F/A-18 requirements action officer. Prior to assuming command of MAG-11 he was the director of safety and standardization for 3D Marine Aircraft Wing.
Colonel Mitchell served as a Commandant of the Marine Corps fellow at Yale University’s International Security Studies program during the 2021 academic year. In addition, he is a graduate of the Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course, MAWTS-1 Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course (WTI), MAWTS-1 Air Officer Course, Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Course (TOPGUN), and the Joint Combined Warfighting School, Joint Forces Staff College.
Colonel Mitchell has logged over 3,500 flight hours in the F/A-18 Hornet, is qualified in the F-35C, and has flown more than 500 combat flight hours. He has earned the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with two Gold Stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Air Medal with numeral 10, Humanitarian Support Medal, and various unit and campaign awards.