Lieutenant Colonel Ryan J. Franzen is from Poway, California. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) under a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship and earned his commission as a 2ndLt in June 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. He completed The Basic School in 2003 and was designated a Naval Aviator on 6 May, 2005. In October 2005, 1stLt Franzen reported to VMFAT-101 at MCAS Miramar for initial F/A-18 pilot training.
In October 2006, Captain Franzen was assigned to VMFA-314 at MCAS Miramar. During his time with the “Black Knights”, he served as the Legal Officer, Powerline Officer, Quality Assurance Officer, Administration Officer, and Future Operations Officer. Captain Franzen executed one deployment with the squadron to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in support of the Unit Deployment Program (UDP) in July 2007 and to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in March 2009.
In December 2009, Captain Franzen reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego where he served as a Series Commander in Company H, 2d Recruit Training Battalion.
In December 2010, Captain Franzen reported back to MCAS Miramar and was assigned to VMFA(AW)-225. During his time with the “Vikings” he graduated from Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course and served as the Flight Officer and Pilot Training Officer. Captain Franzen executed two UDP deployments in January 2011 and July 2012.
In June 2013, Captain Franzen was selected for the Marine Corps Personnel Exchange Program in the United Kingdom to fly the Eurofighter FGR4 Typhoon. Upon completion of training at Royal Air Force (RAF) Coningsby, England, Captain Franzen joined 6 Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland. During his time with the “Flying Canopeners”, he promoted to Major and served as the Pilot Training Officer and Operations Officer. Major Franzen executed one deployment to Amari Air Base, Estonia in support of NATO Operation BALTIC AIR POLICING and one combat deployment to Akrotiri Air Base, Cyprus in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
In July 2016, Major Franzen received orders back to MCAS Miramar for his Department Head assignment to VMFA-232. Major Franzen executed two UDPs in 2017 and 2019. During his tour with the “Red Devils” he served as the Operations Officer, Aircraft Maintenance Officer, and Executive Officer.
In January 2020, LtCol Franzen was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps in the Pentagon. During his tour, LtCol Franzen was responsible for F-35 Future Capabilities and Air-to-Air Missiles for the Deputy Commandant of Aviation.
In July 2021, LtCol Franzen reported back to MCAS Miramar to VMFAT-101 and assumed command of the “SharpSHooters” on 18 February, 2022.
Lieutenant Colonel Franzen’s personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (strike/flight numeral five), Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal (third award) and the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal (second award).