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Command Biographies
VMM-266 Commanding Officer
Lieutenant Colonel Jason W. Potter

Lieutenant Colonel Potter is a native Texan and 2002 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University. Commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps upon graduation from the Officer Candidate Course December 2003, he then completed The Basic School with follow-on orders for aviation training at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, July 2004. First Lieutenant Potter was designated a Naval Aviator February 2006. He then reported to Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron 164 aboard Camp Pendleton, California, for training in the CH-46E.

Following completion of CH-46E training June 2006, First Lieutenant Potter reported to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265, Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan.  Billets held with HMM-265 included S-5, Family Readiness Officer, Schedule Writer, Assistant Operations Officer, Airframes Division Officer, Pilot Training Officer (PTO), and Weapons & Tactics Instructor (WTI).  During the time period as PTO and WTI, HMM-265(REIN) was named the Marine Corps' Squadron of the Year.

As an HMM-265 Dragon, First Lieutenant and later Captain Potter completed six 31st MEU deployments.  He participated in multiple Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) exercises in the PACOM AOR to include Talon Vision and PHIBLEX (Philippines 2006 & 2007), FOAL EAGLE (Korea 2007), Talisman Saber (Australia 2007), Cambodia (2007), Cobra Gold (Thailand 2008 & 2010), and Balikatan (Philippines 2010).  As part of the 31st MEU, Captain Potter participated in three Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR) operations to include Operation Caring Response after Cyclone Nargis (Myanmar May-June 2008) and HADR efforts in the Philippines after Typhoons Ketsana/Parma (October 2009) and Super Typhoon Megi (October 2010).

Following Captain Potter’s tour with HMM-265, he completed the Tactical Air Control Party Course receiving the secondary MOS 7502, Forward Air Controller (FAC), and reported to 2nd ANGLICO as the Company Air Officer July 2010. While at 2nd ANGLICO, he deployed in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF). During March 2011, he supported Bravo Battery, First Battalion, Tenth Marines at Kajaki Dam. From April through June 2011, Captain Potter supported International Security Assistance Force Special Operations Forces (ISAF SOF) for Task Force (TF) 196 providing Marine Air Ground Task Force surface and aviation fires.  While supporting TF-196, he was responsible for liaison between Regional Command Southwest, 2d MAW, ISAF SOF, and all other subordinate battle space owners where TF 196 operations were conducted.  In May 2011, before returning home from Afghanistan, Captain Potter was board selected for conversion to the CH-53E.

Upon receiving the CH-53E pilot designation at HMMT-302, Captain Potter reported to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 in April 2012. He served as the Future Operations and Assistant Operations Officer and deployed in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM 13.1. While in Afghanistan, Captain Potter was selected as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot. Captain Potter promoted to Major in April 2014.

While at MAWTS-1, June 2014-June 2017, Major Potter held billets including Assault Support and Heavy Lift Subject Matter Expert in the CH-53E Division, MAWTS-1 Director of Safety and Standardization responsible for safety of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course and standardization across all Marine Corps Type Model Series, and MAWTS-1 Assault Support Department Head responsible for of all rotary wing and tilt-rotor aviation at MAWTS-1.  

In July 2017, Major Potter reported to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464 where he held the billets of Aircraft Maintenance Officer and Executive Officer. After his time with HMH-464, Major Potter transferred to MAG-29 to serve as the Operations Officer and oversee operations of five tactical squadrons and one Fleet Replacement Squadron. 

In December 2019, Major Potter executed orders to the Pentagon where he served at Headquarters Marine Corps Aviation as APW-51, CH-53E Heavy Lift Requirements Officer, promoting to Lieutenant Colonel in March 2020. 

Following command selection, Lieutenant Colonel Potter reported to Marine Air Group 26 and began MV-22 transition training in January 2021with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204. Lieutenant Colonel Potter assumed command of VMM-266 on 13 April 2021. 

Lieutenant Colonel Potter has over 2600 mishap-free flight hours.  His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, Air Medal Strike/Flight numeral “5”, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat “V” and two gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and Humanitarian Service Medal.