Executive Officer, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303
Maj R. J. Fender

Major Fender grew up in Portage, Michigan. A Western Michigan University graduate in December of 2013, he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in January 2014. After completion of The Basic School and Naval Flight Training, he reported to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron (HMLAT) 303, Camp Pendleton, CA for AH-1Z Cobra training.

Major Fender completed AH-1Z Cobra training in April 2017 and reported to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 369 “Gunfighters”. While at HMLA-369 he served as the Ground Safety Officer, NATOPS Officer, Aviation Safety Officer, Flight Line Officer in Charge, and Quality Assurance Officer between 2017 and 2021. During his time at HMLA-369 he deployed two times to Okinawa, Japan in support of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and the Unit Deployment Program (UDP).

In July of 2021, Major Fender reported to HMLAT-303 for duties as an AH-1Z Instructor Pilot. Prior to becoming the Executive Officer, Major Fender served as the AH-1Z Pilot Training Officer and the Operations Officer.