Commanding Officer, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161
Lieutenant Colonel Allen R. Whitlow

Lieutenant Colonel Whitlow was commissioned in 2008 through the University of Virginia’s NROTC program with a Bachelor of Arts in History. He was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2011.

Following a tour flying the CH-46E with Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron (HMMT) 164 and HMM-268 at Camp Pendleton, CA, Captain Whitlow transitioned to the MV-22B. In October 2013, he reported to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 161 aboard MCAS Miramar. Captain Whitlow deployed with VMM-161(REIN) and the 15th MEU aboard the USS Essex in May 2015 as the Current Operations Officer and Flightline Division Officer. After attending Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course 2-16, he again deployed in 2017 with the 15th MEU aboard the USS America where he served as the VMM-161(REIN) Pilot Training Officer. During this deployment, the squadron conducted contingency operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in Kuwait and Iraq. Upon his return from deployment, Captain Whitlow served as the Operations Officer and was promoted to the rank of Major in May 2018.

Major Whitlow reported to HMX-1 in June 2018. He served in the Operations Department and as a White House Liaison Officer where he was responsible for coordinating Presidential travel with the White House Military Office, Presidential Staff, U.S. Secret Service, and the Department of State. As a White House Tiltrotor Aircraft Commander, he flew numerous executive support missions for the President, Vice President, First Lady, Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Major Whitlow reported to MAG-16 in July 2021 where he was assigned back to VMM-161 as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer. The “Greyhawks” subsequently deployed to Djibouti, Africa in October 2021 where they were the first squadron assigned as the Aviation Combat Element- Crisis Response- Africa. They supported operational tasking throughout the Horn of Africa region in support of Operation Octave Quartz and Operation Enduring Sentinel. Upon the squadron’s return in April 2022, Major Whitlow was selected to serve as the 3d MAW Commanding General’s Staff Secretary. In June 2023, Major Whitlow transferred back to MAG-16 Headquarters where he currently serves as the Group Operations Officer. He was promoted to his current rank in October 2023.

Lieutenant Colonel Whitlow’s personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (gold star in lieu of third award). He is authorized to wear the Presidential Service Badge.