Hailing from Brunswick, Georgia, Ryan Stevens pursued his undergraduate education at the United States Naval Academy earning a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a commission in the Marine Corps as a Second Lieutenant in May 2005. Following graduation, Second Lieutenant Stevens completed instruction at The Basic School and reported to Marine Aviation Training Support Group 21 in Pensacola, Florida for training as a Naval Aviator. After earning his wings in 2008, First Lieutenant Stevens selected the CH-46E Sea Knight as his fleet platform and reported to Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron 164 at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Camp Pendleton, California for training. Upon completion, he deployed with the First Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) to Camp Fallujah, Iraq where he served in the Current Operations Section in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.
Subsequent the deployment, First Lieutenant Stevens reported to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 165 on MCAS Miramar, California where he served as the Administration Department Head. In 2010, the "White Knights" deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit participating in multiple Theater Security Cooperation Exercises throughout the Central Command and Pacific Command Areas of Operation as well as Humanitarian Aid/Disaster Relief Operations in Pakistan. As the squadron returned from deployment and re-designated as a Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron, Captain Stevens was selected to remain as part of the core transition group. In 2011, he completed training with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 on MCAS New River, North Carolina and received a new Military Occupational Specialty as an MV-22B Osprey Pilot.
During his time with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 165, Captain Stevens served in various roles including Current Operations Officer, Aviation Safety Officer, and Director of Safety and Standardization. In 2013, following completion of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, Captain Stevens deployed with the squadron to Camp Bastion, Afghanistan in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. Shortly after the deployment, Captain Stevens was selected as an Olmsted Scholar and following language training at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, began studies at Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany, ultimately earning a Master of Arts in Internationale Politik und Internationales Recht.
Returning to the fleet in 2017, Major Stevens was assigned as the Operations Officer for Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264 on MCAS New River, North Carolina. In 2018, the "Black Knights" deployed with the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit, during which Major Stevens forward deployed to Camp Buehring, Kuwait as the Officer-in-Charge of an MV-22B Detachment supporting OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE.
Following deployment, Major Stevens assumed the duties of Aviation Maintenance Officer and shortly thereafter was selected as a Commandant of the Marine Corps Fellow to study at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Upon completion of his Fellowship in 2021, which culminated with earning a Master of Arts in International Relations, Major Stevens reported to Headquarters Marine Corps, Department of Aviation in Washington, DC to serve as the Staff Secretary. During his time at the Pentagon, Major Stevens was selected to return to MCAS Miramar, California for squadron command. In June 2022, Lieutenant Colonel Stevens proudly assumed command of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 - "The First!"