Lieutenant Colonel Bret J. Knickerbocker received his commission in 2003 and was attached to Echo Company at The Basic School in Quantico, VA for initial officer training. Upon graduation from the Basic School, LtCol Knickerbocker reported to Naval Aviation Schools Command at NAS Pensacola where he completed Aviation Preflight Indoctrination. He then transferred to Fixed Wing Training Squadron 28 (VT-28) in Corpus Christi, TX for primary and VT-35 for intermediate flight training. Following completion of intermediate flight training, LtCol Knickerbocker transferred to Helicopter Training Squadron 18 (HT-18) in Milton, FL for advanced helicopter training and was designated a Naval Aviator in September 2005.
After receiving his wings, LtCol Knickerbocker reported to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 (VMMT-204) aboard Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, NC for MV-22 pilot training. Upon completion, he was designated a Tiltrotor Second Pilot in 2006 and reported to VMM-263 at New River. In 2007, LtCol Knickerbocker deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). In 2009, he deployed with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (22nd MEU). With VMM-263, LtCol Knickerbocker held several billets to include Ground Safety Officer, Pilot Training Officer, and Future Operations Officer.
In 2010, LtCol Knickerbocker transitioned back to VMMT-204 as an instructor pilot. He held billets in Training Systems and Standardization, Airframes Officer, and Quality Assurance Officer.
In 2012, LtCol Knickerbocker returned to VMM-263, this time holding the billets of Aviation Safety Officer, Director of Safety and Standardization, and Aviation Maintenance Officer.
In June 2013, LtCol Knickerbocker reported to VMM-261 to be the Aviation Maintenance Officer and deployed in 2014 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) 14.1 and 14.2. He served as the Aviation Combat Element (ACE) Executive Officer for Special Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Africa (SPMAGTF-CR-AF) from July 2015 to January 2016.
From July 2016 to June 2017, LtCol Knickerbocker attended the Army Command and General Staff College and completed a Masters of Military Arts and Science.
Following Staff College in July of 2017, LtCol Knickerbocker reported to VMM-268 at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, HI and was assigned as the Operations Officer and then served as the Aviation Maintenance Officer for Marine Rotational Force Darwin 2018.
In November of 2018, LtCol Knickerbocker became the Officer in Charge of Marine Aviation Training Systems Site Kaneohe.
In January 2020, LtCol Knickerbocker reported to Marine Aircraft Group 26 (MAG-26) as the MV-22 Type/Model/Series Lead Readiness Officer.
LtCol Knickerbocker’s personal awards include the Air Medal (5th strike), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.