Lieutenant Colonel Christian Harshberger entered the Marine Corps via the Platoons Leader’s Course after graduating from Virginia Tech in December 1992. In August 1996, First Lieutenant Harshberger was designated a Naval Aviator and reported to HMMT-204, MAG-29 MCAS New River for training as a CH-46E pilot.
In May of 1997, First Lieutenant Harshberger was assigned to the Black Knights of HMM-264 where he completed three deployments with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit participating in Operations DYNAMIC RESPONSE, JOINT GUARD and ALLIED FORCE in Bosnia-Herzegonia, NOBLE ANVIL and JOINT GUARDIAN in Kosovo and SILENT LANCE in Macedonia.
In March 2001 he reported for duty to the Tactical Training and Exercise Control Group in 29 Palms, CA as the Assault Support Representative (Coyote 14S) serving as a Combined Arms Tactics Instructor, Forward Air Controller Instructor and Live-Fire Controller.
In June 2002, Captain Harshberger reported to VT-27 in Corpus Christi, Texas for duties as a Primary Flight Instructor. While at VT-27, he served as the Senior Marine, Training Officer, and Operations Officer.
Upon completing refresher training, Major Harshberger reported to MAG 29 at MCAS New River, North Carolina. After reporting, Major Harshberger was granted assignment as MWSS-274 Air Operations Company Commander for deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Upon returning from Iraq in October 2006, Major Harshberger reported to HMM-365 and was assigned Operations Officer for the Blue Knight’s upcoming deployment as the Aviation Combat Element for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. After completing shipboard work-ups for expected Mediterranean deployment, 24 MEU was re-tasked in January 2008 to immediately deploy to Afghanistan via air assets for combat employment by Commander, International Security Assistance Forces (COMISAF) through November 2008.
In January of 2009, Lieutenant Colonel Harshberger reported to II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF) for assignment as the G-3 Expeditionary/Ground Operations Section Head and then as Assistant Officer-in-Charge, II MEF Special Operations Training Group.
After completing MV-22 Transition Training, Lieutenant Colonel Harshberger reported to VMM-365 in June 2011 for duty as the Executive Officer before assuming command of the squadron in April 2012 while deployed to Afghanistan
Lieutenant Colonel Harshberger’s decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.