Leaders
Commanding Officer, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303
LIEUTENANT COLONEL MARK KOVAL

Lieutenant Colonel Mark A. Koval assumed command of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 (HMLAT-303) on 21 May 2021.

Lieutenant Colonel Koval enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in May 2000. He graduated recruit training from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego as the Platoon Honorman and was meritoriously promoted to Lance Corporal. Upon completion of 0351 Assaultman training in October 2000, he joined Kilo Company, 3d Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment based in Terre Haute, IN.

During the summer of 2001, he conducted annual training (AT) at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms and attended Platoon Leader’s Class (PLC) Juniors. The following summer, he conducted AT at Marine Corps Base (MCB) Quantico and attended PLC Seniors, earning Commanding Officer’s Honor List and Academic Achievement honors. While assigned to 3/24, Lieutenant Colonel Koval served as an Assistant Shoulder-fired Multi-purpose Assault Weapon (SMAW) Gunner, Gunner, and Team Leader.

In May 2003, Lieutenant Colonel Koval earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. He graduated The Basic School (TBS) in June 2004 with Commanding General’s Honor Roll distinction. Following TBS, Lieutenant Colonel Koval attended flight school in Pensacola, FL and was designated a Naval Aviator in October 2005, earning Commodore’s List and Academic Achievement honors.

In May 2006, upon completion of the AH-1W Fleet Replacement Squadron at Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 303 (HMT-303), Lieutenant Colonel Koval reported to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269 (HMLA-269) at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River. In February 2007, he deployed to Al Asad Airbase in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF). In September 2008, Lieutenant Colonel Koval attended the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) Course 1-09 and upon graduation, joined the squadron in Iraq for a second OIF deployment. In January 2010, Lieutenant Colonel Koval deployed with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162 (VMM-162) (Rein) on the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, supporting Operation UNIFIED RESPONSE in Haiti and participating in Exercise SEA SOLDIER in Oman and Exercise INFINITE MOONLIGHT in Jordan.  During this tour in the operating forces, Lieutenant Colonel Koval served as Ground Safety Officer, Airframes Division Officer, Standardization Officer, and composite squadron Future Plans Officer.

In January 2011, Lieutenant Colonel Koval reported for duty as a student at the U.S. Army Maneuver Captain’s Career Course (MCCC) in Fort Benning, GA. He graduated MCCC in June 2011 with Commandant’s List distinction.

In July 2011, Lieutenant Colonel Koval reported to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1), MCAS Yuma, for duty as an AH-1W Instructor Pilot. He served as an AH Division Instructor, Forward Air Controller, Range Officer/External Air Support Coordinator, and FINEX 3 Evolution Coordinator. Concurrent with WTI 2-14, Lieutenant Colonel Koval completed the Air Officer WTI Course and earned the 8077 Air Officer WTI MOS.

In June 2014, Lieutenant Colonel Koval reported to 3d Marine Regiment, MCB Kaneohe Bay Hawaii, for duty as the Regimental Air Officer. During this tour, Lieutenant Colonel Koval completed the Marine Corps Command and Staff Distance Education Program and participated in multiple service-level training exercises, joint and combined exercises, and bilateral engagements.

In August 2016, Lieutenant Colonel Koval executed permanent change of assignment orders to HMLA-367, serving as the Assistant Operations Officer and Operations Officer.

In June 2018, Lieutenant Colonel Koval executed PCS orders to the Pentagon for duty in the OPNAV N9I Program Integration Branch. In December 2018, he transferred to Headquarters Marine Corps Aviation to serve as the Air-to-Ground Weapons Requirements Officer (APW-72).

In December 2020, Lieutenant Colonel Koval executed PCS orders to Marine Aircraft Group 39 for conversion to the AH-1Z and assignment as the Commanding Officer of HMLAT-303.

Lieutenant Colonel oval’s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Strike/Flight Numeral 4, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three gold stars, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

He is married to the former Jennifer Franciski of Whiting, IN.  They have two children, Landon and Laylah.           

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing