ROBERT J. PAUGH, MAJOR, USMC
Major Robert J. Paugh enlisted in the Marine Corps in September of 1999 as a 0622 Digital Wideband Transmission Equipment Operator. Upon completion of Boot Camp and Marine Combat Training (MCT) he was assigned to 1st Marine Division Communications Company in Camp Pendleton, California, where he served until June 2003. While enlisted he deployed to Iraq and served as a retransmission site chief in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. In June 2003, then Sgt Paugh was accepted into the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Educational Program (MECEP). He attended the University of San Diego, and graduated with a degree in Business Administration, he commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, on 27 May 2007.
Major Paugh graduated from The Basic School in May of 2008 and reported to Marine Aviation Training Support Group 21 in June 2008 for pilot training. He was designated a Naval Aviator in April of 2010 and selected to fly the CH-53E Super Stallions. In May 2010, he reported to Marine Heavy Helicopter Training Squadron 302 at MCAS New River.
Upon completion of the Fleet Replacement Squadron syllabus, Major Paugh reported to Marine Aircraft Group 29 in New River, North Carolina and was assigned to HMH-366 where he deployed with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in support of Operations ODYSSEY GUARD, ODYSSEY DAWN and UNIFIED PROTECTOR. While deployed, Major Paugh served as the S-1, S-2, S-4, and S-6 Officer in Charge while supporting disaggregated MEU operations. After returning to his parent squadron Maj Paugh was designated as an Aircraft Commander, Functional Check Pilot, and Section Leader.
In November 2012, Major Paugh volunteered to transfer to HMH-461 and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. During this deployment Major Paugh flew 96 missions in direct support of operations in the Helmond River Valley. He was designated as a Division Leader and Terrain Flight Instructor while deployed to the Helmond Province. Upon redeployment, he was selected for and attended the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) Course 14-2. Upon graduating from WTI, Major Paugh returned to the squadron and took over as the Pilot Training Officer where he developed training plans to prepare the squadron to support the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force in Honduras.
In August of 2015, Major Paugh attended resident Expeditionary Warfare School in Quantico VA, graduating in May of 2016. Following the tragic loss of two aircraft from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 in January 2016, he was handpicked to assist the squadron in their recovery, first as the Director of Safety and Standardization, and then as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer. Major Paugh played a critical role in rebuilding the squadron and training the next generation of CH-53E pilots. In May 2018 Major Paugh again deployed in support of the 31st MEU 18.2 patrol where he acted as the CH-53E Detachment OIC. During this deployment his detachment supported humanitarian aid operations in Guam, as well as other operations in the South China Sea. Upon returning home, Major Paugh transitioned from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 to Marine Aircraft Group 24 where he took over as the Tactics Development Officer. Major Paugh is married to the former Tiffany Caliendo who he has 3 children with, Charlotte (12) Olivia (9) and RJ (1). He currently serves as the Carnegie Mellon University Executive Officer.
Major Paugh’s personal decorations include the Air Medal with numeral 3, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Meritorious Unit Citation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal with gold star, National Service Defense Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medial, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with 3 bronze stars, and the NATO Medal (ISAF and Libya).