Command Biographies
MALS-26 Commanding Officer
Lieutenant Colonel Stephanie L. Cothern

LtCol Stephanie L. Cothern is a native of Illinois and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in December 2003 after graduating from Purdue University with a degree in Manufacturing Computer Graphics. Second Lieutenant Zvan completed The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia in February 2005 and then reported to Aircraft Maintenance Officer School in Milton, Florida where she earned the Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) designation of 6002.  

Upon graduation from MOS school in May 2005, Second Lieutenant Zvan was assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 26 (MALS-26) at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina where she served as the Airframes Officer in Charge.  Second Lieutenant Zvan deployed to Al Asad, Iraq with MALS-26 from June 2005 to February 2006.   She was promoted to First Lieutenant in December 2005. 

In May 2006 First Lieutenant Zvan was transferred to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 266 (HMM-266) where she served as the Maintenance Material Control Officer (MMCO).  While stationed with HMM-266 First Lieutenant Zvan assisted in the squadron’s sundown of its CH-46E aircraft.  She was then transferred to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 (VMMT-204) in June 2006 where she served as the Assistant Aircraft Maintenance Officer (AAMO). 

In November 2006 First Lieutenant Zvan executed orders to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162 (VMM-162) where she served as the AAMO for the stand-up of the squadron.  First Lieutenant Zvan deployed to Al Asad, Iraq with VMM-162 from March 2008 to October 2008 where she filled both the AAMO and the Maintenance Material Control Officer billets.  She was promoted to Captain in July 2008.  Captain Cothern executed orders to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina in July 2009 where she served as the Integrated Product Team deputy for the engine program at Fleet Readiness Center (FRC) East.  

Upon the completion of her tour at FRC East, Captain Cothern was selected for Resident EWS and reported to Quantico, Virginia in July 2012.   Following graduation from EWS, Captain Cothern was selected to service at Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) as the AAMO for the Marine Corps Flight Detachment during a critical period as the squadron executed an in-stride transition from the CH-46E to the MV-22B.  Major Cothern transitioned to be the Executive Flight Detachment of HMX-1 in May 2015 where she served as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer for the VH-3D and VH-60N Presidential aircraft.  Major Cothern completed the Command and Staff College Seminar during her time at HMX-1. 

In June 2017, Major Cothern reported to MALS-26 to serve as the Executive Officer.  In June 2018 Major Cothern transitioned to II Marine Expeditionary Force where she served as the Aide-de-Camp for the Commanding General.  In July 2019 Major Cothern transitioned to 2d Marine Aircraft Wing where she served as the Aviation Logistics Department Plans and Opertations Officer.  LtCol Cothern assumed command of MALS-26 in June 2020.

During her time in the Marine Corps, LtCol Cothern has obtained the additional MOSs of 8057 - Acquisition Professional Candidate, 8056 - Hazardous Material/Hazardous Waste Officer, and 8640 – Requirements Manager.  Additionally she has obtained Leve II certifications within the Life Cycle Logistics and the Production, Quality, and Manufacturing career fields through Defense Acquisitions University (DAU).  LtCol Cothern has also obtained her Level I certification in the Program Manager career field through DAU.

LtCol Cothern’s personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star in lieu of 2nd award, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal.