Major Rafferty is a native of New Jersey. After graduating from The Citadel, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant through Officer Candidate Course in 2005. Following commissioning, he reported to The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, Virginia for initial officer training. Following completion of TBS, he reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida for flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in September 2008. Subsequently, First Lieutenant Rafferty reported to Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron 164 (HMMT-164) “Knight Riders” aboard Camp Pendleton, California for training in the CH-46E and was designated a helicopter second pilot in January 2009.
In February 2009, First Lieutenant Rafferty reported to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 165 (HMM-165) “White Knights” aboard Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, California where he served for 6 years. During this period, he deployed in support of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to the Central Command (CENTCOM) area-of-responsibility, and twice in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF). Upon return of the 15th MEU, HMM-165 transitioned from the CH-46E to the MV-22B, and was redesignated Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 165 (VMM-165). Upon the transition he reported to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 (VMMT-204) “Raptors” aboard MCAS New River, North Carolina in the spring of 2011 and was designated a tiltrotor second pilot in August 2011. His first deployment to OEF was in 2012 with 3rd Marine Air Wing Forward (III MAW (FWD)) as Future Operations Planner (FOPS) in the G-3 Operations Division, and his second OEF deployment was with VMM-165 in 2013. His flight designations included Weapon and Tactics Instructor (WTI) and Air Mission Commander (AMC). His billets included S-5 Officer, Flight Equipment Officer, Ordnance Officer, FOPS planner (III MAW), S-1 Officer, Pilot Training Officer, and Assistant Operations Officer.
In March 2015, Captain Rafferty was transferred to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 (VMM-268) “Red Dragons” aboard MCAS Miramar. He served as the Assistant Operations Officer, and deployed in support of the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Crisis Response - CENTCOM (SPMAGTF-CR-CC) 16.1, in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.
In July 2016, Major Rafferty reported to Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) “Nighthawks”. During this time he served as a Schedule Writer, Operations Duty Officer, and White House Liaison Officer. He also received the flight designation of White House Tiltrotor Aircraft Commander.
In September 2019, Major Rafferty received orders to report to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 “Thunder Chickens” (VMM-263) aboard MCAS New River. Upon arrival at VMM-263 he served as the Operations Officer and deployed in support of the SPMAGTF - Crisis Response - AFRICOM (CR-AF) 20.1. In September of 2020, Major Rafferty transitioned to his current billet as the squadron Executive Officer.
Major Rafferty’s personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal Individual Action, Air Medal with Strike Flight Numeral “5”, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with 2 gold stars, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.