Lieutenant Colonel Willis is a native of Hamilton, Ohio. He commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in December 2004. Before commissioning, he served as an infantry Marine with Company L, 3d Battalion, 25th Marines from 2000 - 2004.
Lieutenant Colonel Willis' company-grade assignments included Scout Sniper Platoon Commander, 3d Battalion, 6th Marines and Scout Sniper and Mobile Assault Platoon commander, Company Executive Officer, and Company Commander, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines. He also served as the Chief Instructor and Director of an Officer MOS-producing course at the Marine Detachment Dam Neck, VA. After instructor duty, he served at 2d Reconnaissance Battalion as a Platoon commander, Company Commander, Ground Combat Element Commander for the first Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) Crisis Response Africa, and Commanding Officer (CO), Force Reconnaissance Company, II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF).
Lieutenant Colonel Willis’ field-grade assignments included CO, Force Reconnaissance Company, II MEF and Maritime Raid Force Commander, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Company Commander, Marine Raider Support Battalion, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Staff, and Executive Officer, Marine Raider Regiment. Lieutenant Colonel Willis most recently served as the Reconnaissance Advocate, Ground Combat Element Branch, Operations Division, Deputy Commandant, Plans, Policy, and Operations, Headquarters Marine Corps.
Lieutenant Colonel Wills’ other duties included deployments in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Inherent Resolve, a MEU deployment, and a deployment in support of SPMAGTF Crisis Response Africa.
Lieutenant Colonel Willis’ military and civilian education include the College of Naval Command and Staff, a B.A. from The Ohio State University, and an M.A. from the U.S. Naval War College.