Major Daniel Willett enlisted in the Marine Corps in January of 2001 and attended recruit training at 1st Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina. He subsequently attended the School of Infantry and reported to Company I, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment as an infantryman. While assigned to 3/1 he deployed with the 11th MEU(SOC) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and with RCT-1 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2003, Major Willett was assessed and selected to join 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. He completed the Amphibious Reconnaissance pipeline, and completed subsequent deployments in support of Operation's Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
In 2006 Major Willett was honorably discharged from active duty and attended the University of Florida NROTC. He completed OCS and graduated with a BA in Criminology in 2010. Upon commissioning he attended TBS and language training before reporting to MATSG-21 for flight training in 2011.
Major Willett was designated a Naval Aviator in August 2013 and reported to HMLAT-303 for FRS training in the AH-1W. In 2014 Major Willett was assigned to the “Gunrunners” of HMLA-269 at MCAS New River. During his tour with the “Gunrunners” he served as a logistics officer and maintenance officer, and deployed on UDP to Okinawa.
In April 2017, Major Willett deployed as an Air Advisor and Forward Air Controller with Task Force Southwest supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and NATO Mission Resolute Support in Helmand, Afghanistan. In February 2018 he returned to the "Gunrunners" to serve in the Department of Safety and Standardization as a squadron Aviation Safety Officer.
Major Willett reported to the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Washington in June 2019 and served as Assistant Professor of Naval Science, Marine Officer Instructor, and battalion operations officer.
In August 2022, Major Willett reported to Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 373 to serve as the “Aces” Executive Officer.
He is a graduate of the Expeditionary Warfare School, U.S Navy Aviation Safety Officer’s school, Tactical Air Control Party Course, U.S Army Airborne school, Marine Corps Combatant Dive school, and U.S Navy SERE school. Major Willett’s personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with “C”, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with bronze star in lieu of second award and the Combat Action Ribbon.