5th Battalion 11th Marines Leaders

Lieutenant Colonel Nickolas D. Whitefield
Commanding Officer, 5th Battalion, 11th Marines

Lieutenant Colonel Whitefield was born on 11 October 1980 in 29 Palms, CA.  He attended Texas A&M

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Major Matthew M. Browning
Executive Officer, 5th Battalion, 11th Marines

Native of Vacaville, California. Major Browning holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the American

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Sergeant Major Diana E. Bacolod
Sergeant Major, 5th Battalion, 11th Marines

Sergeant Major Bacolod was born in Houston, Texas in 1981, and raised in Brownsville, Texas. In May

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Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines
Lieutenant Colonel Pastel

Lieutenant Colonel Pastel graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in May 1996.  Second Lieutenant Pastel then completed The Basic School and the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course and reported to Battery K, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines.

As a member of Battery K, he served as the Forward Observer for Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines and deployed as part of Battalion Landing Team 2/5, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.  After returning to Las Pulgas he served as the assistant executive officer, fire direction officer, and executive officer deploying again with BLT 2/5 and the 31st MEU. 

In August 2000, Captain Pastel was ordered to instructor duty at The Basic School. He served as the Fire Support Instructor, Staff Platoon Commander, and Company Executive Officer.  From 2003-2004 he attended the Expeditionary Warfare School.

After graduating from the Expeditionary Warfare School, Captain Pastel reported to 1st Battalion, 10th Marines and assumed duties as Headquarters Battery Commander.  He later deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from August 2005 to March 2006 as the Headquarters Company Commander, Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division. After returning from Iraq, Captain Pastel assumed duties as the Operations Officer for 1st Battalion, 10th Marines and later became the Battalion Executive Officer in August 2006.

From July 2007 - June 2008, Major Pastel attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and then reported to Headquarters Marine Corps, Manpower and Reserve Affairs (MMEA-6).  After spending six months in manpower, Major Pastel was selected to be the Junior Aide de Camp for the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps and reported to the Pentagon in December 2008. 

Major Pastel spent two years as the Aide and in November 2010 was ordered to the Joint Staff and reported to the Deputy Director for Regional Operations J-33 / JODCENT.  During this tour he was promoted to his current rank of lieutenant colonel. 

In June 2013 he reported to Camp Pendleton for his current assignment as the Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 11th Marines.

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