Lieutenant Colonel Clester received a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Kansas in May 1997. In December 1998, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant following the completion of Officer Candidate School and subsequently attended The Basic School, Air Support Control Officer Course, and Low Altitude Air Defense Officer Course.
Lieutenant Colonel Clester’s leadership assignments include Platoon Commander, Battery B, 2d Low Altitude Air Defense (LAAD) Battalion (Bn); LAAD Detachment Officer-in-Charge (OIC), Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 263, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) (Special Operations Capable); Commanding Officer, Battery A, 3d LAAD Bn; Commanding Officer, Headquarters and Service Battery, 3d LAAD Bn; Marine Air Control Group (MACG) Detachment OIC, HMM-163, 13th MEU; and Commanding Officer, Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron (MTACS) 38.
Lieutenant Colonel Clester’s staff assignments include Adjutant, 2d LAAD Bn; Executive Officer, Battery A, 2d LAAD Bn; Assistant Operations Officer, 2d LAAD Bn; Ground Based Air Defense Representative, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Representative, and Marine Air Command and Control System Representative, Tactical Training and Exercise Control Group; Iraqi Security Forces Coordinator and Air Officer, G-3 Operations, 1st Marine Division; Chief of Plans, Theater Air and Missile Defense Branch, J-3 Command and Control Division, U.S. Central Command; Deputy Marine Liaison Officer, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) to U.S. Air Forces Central Command Combined Air and Space Operations Center; Operations Officer, MTACS-28; Executive Officer, MTACS-28; Operations Officer, MACG-28; Executive Officer, 11th MEU; and Executive Officer, MACG-28.
Lieutenant Colonel Clester has seven overseas deployments, three of which were combat tours, to locations including Kosovo, Iraq, Djibouti, and Qatar. He is a graduate of Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, Expeditionary Warfare School (nonresident), Tactical Air Control Party Course, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Mission Commander Course, and USMC Command and Staff College (resident). He holds a Masters in Military Science and was the recipient of the 2010 Colonel Bevan G. Cass Writing Award, First Place. His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with one Gold Star in lieu of second award, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two Gold Stars in lieu of third award, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.