David J. Harris grew up in a Pittsburgh, PA suburb after living four years in Millington, TN. He enlisted in the delayed entry program in July of 2007 and attended boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina in January 2008. He reported to his Primary MOS School at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri where he attended the Motor Vehicle Operator's Course and was assigned the 3531 Military Occupation Specialty. In the SMCR, he served as a Motor Vehicle Operator with Truck Company HQBN, 4th MARDIV in Ebensburg, PA and Landing Support Equipment Company, LSBN, 4th MLG in Vienna, OH.
After completing OCS through PLC-Combined in July 2009 and graduating with a Bachelors in Music Education from Mount Union College in December of the same year, 2ndLt Harris accepted his commission and reported to The Basic School in October 2010. After the completion of TBS, 2ndLt Harris reported to Marine Aviation Training Support Group 21 aboard NAS Pensacola, FL for Naval Flight Training. Following Aviation Preflight Indoctrination, 2ndLt Harris reported to VMT-6 at NAS Whiting Field for Primary Flight Training in the T-6B Texan II.
1stLt Harris reported to HT-28 for Advanced Flight Training in the TH-57B/C Sea Ranger. After completing Advanced, 1stLt Harris was designated a Naval Aviator in April 2013 and subsequently was ordered to Marine Air Group-29, MCAS New River in Jacksonville, NC where he was trained to fly the mighty CH-53E Super Stallion at HMHT-302. Upon completion of the Fleet Replacement Squadron syllabus in October 2013, 1stLt Harris was designated a Helicopter Second Pilot and reported to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464.
While serving with the Condors of the 464th, Captain Harris held many collateral billets while working in Operations. Deploying to the Kingdom of Norway in support of Exercise COLD RESPONSE 2016, Captain Harris served as the ACE COPSO and flew over 50 hours of direct operational support. Upon return, Capt Harris served as the Quality Assurance Officer before attending WTI 1-18 in the fall of 2017. Captain Harris earned designation as a CH-53E Weapons and Tactics Instructor and returned to the squadron to serve as the Pilot and Aircrew Training Officer until November 2018. During his time with HMH-464, Capt Harris supported two ITXs in Twentynine Palms, CA, two cold weather training detachments in Brunswick, ME, multiple RAVEN MRXs throughout the eastern US, and, notably, gained recognition from Guinness World Records for conducting the most sporting event national anthem fly-overs in a single flight event during Marine Week-Charlotte 2018.
In December 2018, Captain Harris Graduated with Distinction from EWS Blended Seminar and proceeded to NAB Coronado for TACP School where he was the academic high-achiever during his class. Captain Harris earned qualification as a 7502 Forward Air Controller in March 2019 before reporting to 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company in Okinawa, Japan. Capt Harris participated in KMEP and JRTC exercises, partnering with ROKMC and Canadian 3rd RCR forces as AirO and Team Lead before promoting to his current grade in May 2020.As the 2nd Brigade Air Officer, Major Harris served as the key exercise planner and participated in CCPT 21-1 and CCPT 21-2 as Day Fires Officer and Aviation Fires SME to the ROKMC Commandant, 1st ROK MARDIV CG, and 1st ROKMC Brigade Landing Team CO. In October 2021, Major Harris supported MCWL experimentation during US Army Futures Command exercise PROJECT CONVERGENCE 2021. As the senior ANGLICO representative in the Maritime Operations Center, Major Harris gained experience with JADC2 and killweb processes in support of joint-fires. Upon returning to Okinawa, Maj Harris was designated a JTAC-I and augmented 3rd MEB as Air Officer of CTF-76/79 during real-world EXERCISE NOBLE FUSION. Major Harris Graduated with Distinction from Command and Staff College Seminar in Spring 2022.
Major Harris reported to MAG-16 in July of 2022 and completed CH-53E refresher training at HMHT-302 in December of 2022. He reported to HMH-361 in March of 2023 and is currently serving as the Executive Officer.
His decorations include the Armed Forces Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, and Navy Commendation Medal with Gold Star in lieu of second award. Designations include WTI, AMC, FLSE, FAC/JTAC, and JTAC-I.
He is happily married to the former Jami Florin of Akron, OH. They have two beautiful children: Georgia and Cooper.