LtCol Purcell graduated in 1997 from the University of Montana with a degree in Economics. He worked in finance and in pharmaceutical sales prior to joining the Marine Corps. LtCol Purcell was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps in December of 2002.
LtCol Purcell completed The Basic School in June of 2003 and Flight School in May 2005. He reported to HMMT-164 in Camp Pendleton where he learned to fly the CH-46E as an H2P (helicopter-2nd pilot) in preparation for his first fleet assignment.
LtCol Purcell joined HMM-265 in February of 2006 and remained attached to the 31st MEU for two years. During his tenure in the squadron, he upgraded to Section Lead while serving as the Adjutant/Legal Officer and Flightline OIC. From June 2008-June 2009, LtCol Purcell served as the 1st MAW Aide de Camp under MajGen Fox. In 2009, LtCol Purcell moved to New River, North Carolina and deployed with MAG-26 to Al Asad Airbase in Iraq. He worked in the MAG S-3 as an ATO Development Officer and Watch Officer. In the spring of 2010 he reported to VMMT-204 to begin transition training in the MV-22.
After qualifying in the Osprey, LtCol Purcell was reassigned to VMM-166 during their transition from CH-46 to MV-22. He served as the Aviation Safety Officer until moving into the Operations Department where he served as the PTO, FOPSO, COPSO, and OPSO from October 2011- May 2015. LtCol Purcell was one of the squadron’s WTIs for the WESTPAC 13.2 deployment with the 13th MEU.
LtCol Purcell continued his relationship with the 13th MEU when he was given orders to be the Air Officer in the summer of 2015. He deployed with the MEU from February 2016-September 2016, and supported operations in CENTCOM and PACOM.
In January 2017, LtCol Purcell joined HQMC Aviation to work International Plans and Policy, which focused primarily on the service’s posture in the Pacific. In March of 2018 he was reassigned to be the Requirements Officer for MV-22. In August of 2019, LtCol Purcell was selected for command and reassigned to Manpower and Reserve Affairs, where he worked as the Aviation Lieutenant Colonels’ Monitor.
LtCol Purcell has 2,200 flight hours. His personal awards are the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.