Maj Gerlach graduated from Central Washington University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Anthropology and Geography and was commissioned a second lieutenant in August 2010 via the Platoon Leaders Course program. After completing The Basic School and Air Support Control Officers Course, he was transferred to Marine Air Support Squadron 3.
In October 2011, 2ndLt Gerlach reported to MASS-3 aboard Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Pendleton and served on various exercises. In September 2013, 1stLt Gerlach deployed with Marine Aircraft Group 50 to Bahrain serving as a Senior Watch Officer and Personnel Recovery Officer, redeploying to CONUS in March 2014.
In September 2014, 1stLt Gerlach deployed to Kuwait as the Air Support Element Officer in Charge (OIC) and Personnel Recovery Officer with Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command (SPMAGTF-CR-CC). Halfway through the deployment, 1stLt Gerlach was promoted to Captain and assumed the billet of MACG-38 Detachment OIC. Capt Gerlach redeployed to CONUS in April 2015.
In June 2015, Capt Gerlach was transferred to Marine Air Support Squadron 1 on Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, NC. At MASS-1, Capt Gerlach served as the Assistant Operations Officer and Communications & Electronics Company Commander. During this tour Capt Gerlach attended the Joint Interface Control Officer (JICO) course and the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course. In May 2017, Capt Gerlach was transferred to MACG-28 and served as the Assistant Operations Officer. In September 2017, Capt Gerlach served as the MACG-28 Detachment OIC with 26MEU Detachment A responding to Hurricane Irma Defense Support of Civil Authorities in Key West, FL.
In June 2018, Capt Gerlach was transferred to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) and served as the Direct Air Support Center Division Head.
In June 2021, Major Gerlach reported to MACG-38 on MCAS Miramar to serve as the Assistant Operations Officer. During this tour Maj Gerlach helped lead the MAOC transformation efforts, coordinating an Aviation C2 Integrated Planning Team with Headquarters Marine Corps.
In August 2022, Maj Gerlach reported to MASS-3 and served the Operations Officer. In June of 2023, he assumed his current billet as the MASS-3 Executive Officer. Maj Gerlach’s personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4th award) and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Maj Gerlach is a graduate of Expeditionary Warfare School (Non-resident) and Command and Staff College (Non-resident).
Maj Gerlach is married.