Major Dallas “Stella” Hayes received his commission after attending Platoon Leader’s Course in Quantico during the summer of 2003 and 2004, and then graduating from Central Michigan University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration.
Upon commissioning as a Second Lieutenant, he attended The Basic School in Quantico, VA, followed by Aviation Preflight Indoctrination at NAS Pensacola, FL, and then conducted his flight training syllabus through various training squadrons including VT-27 and VT-35 at NAS Corpus Christi, TX, and HT-8 at NAS Whiting Field, FL. First Lieutenant Hayes was designated a Naval Aviator in September 2008 and reported to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 (VMMT-204), MCAS New River, NC for training in the MV-22B Osprey.
After qualifying as a Tiltrotor Second Pilot in the MV-22B Osprey, First Lieutenant Hayes’ first operational assignment was to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261 (VMM-261), serving with the “Raging Bulls” from March 2009 to June 2013. During this period, he was promoted to Captain and completed two deployments with the squadron, the first of which was to Camp Bastion, Afghanistan from November 2009 to July 2010, and the second was with the squadron during a deployment with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in 2012. His squadron duty assignments during this tour included serving as a Schedule Writer, Ground Training Officer, Flight Line Division Officer in Charge, Current Operations Officer, Future Operations Officer, and Weapons and Tactics Instructor.
Upon completion of his tour with VMM-261, Captain Hayes then received orders to Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) in Quantico, VA where he served as a Nighthawk from June 2013 to August 2016. During this tour, he traveled to dozens of locations throughout CONUS and OCONUS in support of Presidential travel requirements. Captain Hayes’ duties included the facilitation and planning of numerous travel requirements for the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, as well as various Heads of State and visiting foreign officials as directed by the Marine Corps and the White House Military Office. His squadron duty assignments while at HMX -1 include serving as a Schedule Writer, a White House Liaison Officer (WHLO) and a White House Tiltrotor Aircraft Commander (WHTAC). During his tour as a Nighthawk, he completed Expeditionary Warfare School, was promoted to Major, and also completed Command and Staff via the College of Distance Education Program.
Upon completion of his tour at HMX-1, Major Hayes received orders to report to the II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) G-3 in Camp Lejeune, NC where he served as the Strategic Engagements Officer from August 2016 to May 2017. While on staff at II MEF, he coordinated, planned, and executed dozens of engagements for visiting Flag Officers, Congressional Delegations, Senators, and Foreign Military Officials. At the conclusion of this tour, he then received orders to report to Marine Aircraft Group 26 and was assigned to serve as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer for the Black Knights of VMM-264. From October to November 2017, Major Hayes deployed with the Black Knights to Puerto Rico to provide disaster relief support in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Major Hayes then deployed with the Squadron during the 22nd MEU deployment from December 2018 to July 2019. While serving with the Black Knights, Major Hayes earned his Masters of Business Administration Degree from Central Michigan University and he is currently serving as the Executive Officer for VMM-264.
His personal decorations include the Strike/Flight Air Medal with numeral “3”, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.