Colonel Vivian is a native of Englewood, Colorado. He graduated from Omaha Westside High School in June 1983, and attended the University of Michigan from the fall of 1983 until the spring of 1986. In September 1986, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and graduated from recruit training 1 May 1987. After graduating from the Communications and Electronics School, he was assigned to Headquarters Battery, 1st Light Anti-Aircraft Missile Battalion on Camp Hansen, Okinawa. Selected for the Marines Enlisted Commissioning Education Program, he graduated from the University of Kansas and was commissioned in December 1991.
After completing the Basic Officer and Infantry Officer Courses, Colonel Vivian was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3d Marines, in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. During this tour, he served as 3d Platoon Commander, Company C, and 81mm Mortar Platoon Commander, Weapons Company. He twice deployed with the battalion to Okinawa. In September 1995, he transferred to Inspector-Instructor duty with 3d Battalion, 24th Marines, in St. Louis, Missouri. At the conclusion of this tour in July 1998, Colonel Vivian transferred to the Amphibious Warfare School, Quantico, Virginia, graduating in May 1999.
Upon graduation, Colonel Vivian was assigned to 3d Battalion, 3d Marines. During his tour with the battalion, he held the billets of Commanding Officer, Weapons Company, and Battalion Operations Officer. In addition to two deployments to Okinawa, Colonel Vivian deployed twice with the battalion to Australia and also graduated from the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course in Yuma, Arizona.
In September 2002, Colonel Vivian transferred to the Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity (MCOTEA), Quantico, Virginia, serving as an operational test project officer. While at MCOTEA, Colonel Vivian volunteered as an individual augment with Regimental Combat Team 7, serving with the RCT from September 2004 to March 2005 in al Anbar, Iraq. In June 2005, Colonel Vivian transferred to the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. He graduated from Command and Staff in June 2006 and from the School of Advanced Warfighting in June 2007.
Upon graduation, Colonel Vivian joined I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), Camp Pendleton, California. During this assignment, he deployed to al Anbar, Iraq, as a planner for Multi-National Force-West and for the State Department’s Provincial Reconstruction Team – Anbar. Following this deployment, he was assigned to 5th Marine Regiment as the Operations Officer from March to June 2009, and then as the Executive Officer from June 2009 to July 2010.
In July 2010, Colonel Vivian took command of 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, “The Magnificent Bastards.” During this tour, he led the battalion to the Musa Qal’ah and Now Zad Districts of Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from August 2011 to March 2012 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
After relinquishing command in June 2012, Colonel Vivian attended the Eisenhower School of National Security and Resource Strategy in Washington, DC, beginning in July 2012 and graduating in June 2013. He was then assigned as the Expeditionary Policy Branch Head in the Operations Division of Plans, Policies, and Operations, Headquarters Marine Corps from July to December 2013. In January 2014, Colonel Vivian assumed the duty of Marine Representative for Force Development to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. In December 2015, he assumed his current duties as the Commanding Officer of 7th Marine Regiment.