LtCol William Mitchell is a 1998 graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Criminal Justice. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant through the Platoon Leaders Course in April 1998. Second Lieutenant Mitchell completed The Basic School in May 1999, and the Infantry Officer Course (IOC) in September 1999 before reporting to NAS Pensacola for flight school.
First Lieutenant Mitchell was designated a Naval Aviator in September 2001 at NAS Kingsville. After completion of initial F/A-18 training with VMFAT-101 at MCAS Miramar, Captain Mitchell reported to VMFA(AW)-224 at MCAS Beaufort where he held the billets of Ground Training Officer, Powerline Officer, and Schedules Officer. Captain Mitchell completed one deployment to the Western Pacific and one deployment to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 04-06.
In December 2005, Captain Mitchell reported to 1st Battalion 8th Marines at Camp Lejeune as a Forward Air Controller. Captain Mitchell deployed on the USS Iwo Jima with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1/8 and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit for six months to the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf. In addition to participating in multiple joint exercises and providing theater security in the region, BLT 1/8 conducted a Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) in Lebanon.
Captain Mitchell returned to VMFA(AW)-224 at MCAS Beaufort in December 2006. He deployed three times to the Western Pacific between January 2007 and January 2011. Captain Mitchell graduated from the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course (WTI 2-08) in MCAS Yuma and the Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Course (TOPGUN 1-10) in NAS Fallon. Newly promoted Major Mitchell held the billets of Quality Assurance Officer, Pilot Training Officer, and Assistant Operations Officer.
In March 2011, Major Mitchell reported to 5th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton as the Regimental Air Officer. Major Mitchell attended WTI 2-11 and graduated from the MAWTS-1 Air Officer Course. In June 2011 Major Mitchell deployed with Regimental Combat Team 5 (RCT-5) to Camp Dwyer Afghanistan for 12 months in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. In September 2012 Major Mitchell was temporarily assigned to VMFAT-101 in MCAS Miramar and completed a CAT IV F/A-18 refresh syllabus.
Major Mitchell reported to VMFA-251 at MCAS Beaufort in January 2013 and served as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer, Operations Officer, and Executive Officer. In March 2015 Major Mitchell deployed with the “Thunderbolts” and Carrier Air Wing One (CVW-1) on the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), and supported Operation INHERENT RESOLVE while completing an “around the world cruise”.
In May 2016 Major Mitchell reported to HQMC Aviation and spent two years as the TACAIR Integration and F/A-18 requirements action officer. Following his tour at the Pentagon, Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell reported to VFA-106 at NAS Virginia Beach and completed CAT III refresh training before reporting to MAG-11 in October 2018. Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell served as the MAG-11 Headquarters Squadron Commanding Officer prior to assuming command of VMFA-323.
Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell has logged over 3000 flight hours in the F/A-18 and has flown more than 500 combat flight hours. He has earned the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with one Gold Star, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Air Medal with numeral 9, Humanitarian Support Medal, and various unit and campaign awards