Command Biographies
MAG-26 Commanding Officer
Colonel John W. Spaid

Colonel John Wesley Spaid VI is a native of Louisiana and Texas.  He attended Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in May 1994. Colonel Spaid subsequently reported to Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia for initial officer training at the Basic School. Following graduation in June 1995, he reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida for initial flight training. Colonel Spaid was designated a Naval Aviator in October 1997 and reported to Marine Corps Air Station New River for initial training in the CH-46E in December, 1997.

In April 1998, he reported to Marine Aircraft Group 16, Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California and was subsequently assigned to HMM-164 the re-assigned to HMM-161. From August 2000 to February 2001, Colonel Spaid deployed with HMM-161(Rein) and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Colonel Spaid attended the Tactical Air Control Party course at EWTGPAC and was designated as a Forward Air Controller in May 2001. He then reported to Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, Camp Pendleton, California to serve as the Battalion Landing Team (BLT) Air Officer.

From December 2001 to June 2002 Colonel Spaid deployed with BLT 3/5 and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. Following his tour with 3/5, Colonel Spaid reported to Quantico, Virginia to attend the newly designated Expeditionary Warfare School from August 2002 to February 2003. Prior to completing the academic year, Colonel Spaid was re-assigned to 3/5 to serve as the Battalion Air Officer during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM I from February to May 2003.
In June 2003, Colonel Spaid reported to HMM-263 at Marine Corps Air Station New River. From June 2004 to February 2005, Colonel Spaid deployed with HMM-263(Rein) and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II and served as the Aviation Combat Element Administration Officer. He subsequently served as the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing Deputy A/CS G-1 and MV-22 Liaison Officer from May to October 2005, while HMM-263 stood down for the MV-22B transition.

In October 2005, Colonel Spaid reported to VMMT-204 at Marine Corps Air Station New River and designated an MV-22B pilot in April 2006. As a VMM-263 “plankowner”, he served as the Intelligence Officer and Assistant Operations Officer. From September 2007 to April 2008, Colonel Spaid deployed with VMM-263 during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM 06-08.2.  He then served as the Marine Corps’ first Aviation Maintenance Officer for a composite Osprey squadron from April 2008 to February 2010, while deploying with VMM-263(Rein) and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.

During the summer of 2010, Colonel Spaid executed orders back to Marine Aircraft Group 16 at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California and assumed the duties as the Tiltrotor Training Unit Officer in Charge and was responsible for all initial MV-22 pilot transition training for the West Coast. He then assumed the duties of Executive Officer for VMM-165 from March 2011 to March 2012.  Colonel Spaid then deployed on a Joint Individual Augmentation billet to Kabul, Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEEDOM to serve as the Deputy Director for Operations for NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan.

In June 2013, he returned to Marine Corps Air Station New River and assumed the duties of Marine Aircraft Group 26 Operations Officer.  From April 2014 to April 2016, Colonel Spaid served as Commander of VMM-365, quickly went composite, and deployed with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit from which the squadron was recognized as the Tiltrotor Squadron of the Year. Post command, Colonel Spaid served as Marine Aircraft Group 41 Executive Officer stationed at NAS-JRB Fort Worth, Texas from July 2016 to July 2017. Colonel Spaid reported to Naval Striking and Support Forces, NATO in July 2017 and served as the ACOS J7 for Education, Training, Exercises and Evaluation. In July 2018, Colonel Spaid graduated from the United States Army War College Distance Education Program with a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies.

Colonel Spaid has logged over 2,700 total mishap-free hours. His personal decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with one gold star, Strike/Flight Air Medal with numeral “10”, Navy Commendation Medal with combat “V” and 3 gold stars, Navy Achievement Medal with one gold star.