Colonel Eric Garcia attended New Mexico State University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. He was commissioned a second lieutenant through the Platoon Leaders Course in February 1994. Upon Completion of The Basic School he reported to Marine Aviation Training Support Group, Naval Air Station Pensacola for flight training and was designated a naval aviato in December 1996.
In January 1997, he reported to Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron 204, Marine Aircraft Group 26, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, North Carolina for Replacement Aircrew Training in the CH-46E Sea Knight. Upon completion of initial training in the CH-46E, he reported to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 162 (HMM-162), Marine Aircraft Group 29, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing where he served as a current operations officer and squadron Weapons and Tactics Instructor. Between November 1998 and May 2001, he deployed twice with the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit supporting Operation Joint Forge in the Adriatic Sea and Albania in 1998.
Following his second deployment, he reported to Marine Corps Base Quantico to attend Amphibious Warfare School. After graduation in June 2002, he returned to HMM-162 where he served as the Director of Safety and Standardization. From December 2002 until May 2003, he deployed with 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
In September 2003 following his return from OIF, he reported to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 22 at MCAS New River, NC to begin the transition to the MV-22B Osprey. While there, he served as the Logistics Officer, Information Assurance Officer, and Family Readiness Officer. Following the successful operational evaluation of the MV-22B, he transferred to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 to serve as the Future Operations Officer and as an instructor pilot.
In March 2006, he reported to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 at MCAS New River, NC where he served as the Director of Safety and Standardization. During this period, he participated in the squadron's transition from CH-46E to MV-22B. In September 2007, he deployed in support of OIF 06-8.2 under 3d Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) at Al Asad Airbase, Iraq.
Following his return from deployment, he transferred to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261 at MCAS New River, NC where he served as the Aircraft
Maintenance Officer during the squadron's transition from the CH-46E to MV-22B. In November 2009, he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom under Marine Aircraft Group 40 and then under 3d Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.
After this deployment, he transferred to Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing at MCAS Miramar, California in preparation for assumption of command. Prior to assuming command, he served as the MV-22B Transition Training Unit Officer in Charge and as the MAG-16 MV-22B Transition Officer and Subject Matter Expert. In December 2011, he assumed command of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163, MAG-16, 3d MAW where he led the squadron through its transition from CH-46E to MV-22B. He relinquished command in June 2013 and transferred to the Naval War College at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island. Upon graduation, he reported to Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO where he served as the Joint Targeting and Effects Branch Head from July 2014 until June 2017. Col Garcia was promoted to his present rank in July 2017. While at 2d MarDiv, he served as the Deputy G-3 and Air Officer and subsequently as the Assistant Chief of Staff (AC/S) G-3 at 2d
Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, NC.
His personal decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat "V", Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Strike/Flight Numeral "13", Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Joint Service Achievement Medal.