CDR John M. Quillinan is a P-3C Maritime Patrol Aircraft Commander, Instructor Pilot, and Mission Commander. Raised in Connecticut and New Jersey, he earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Mississippi in 1996 and was commissioned through the NROTC program.
Following flight training, he was designated a Naval Aviator in 1998. His first operational tour was in Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Barbers Point, Hawaii. While in VP-47, he completed two separate six month Western Pacific deployments. In 2002, CDR Quillinan reported to NAS Sigonella, Italy, serving as the Operations Officer of the Tactical Support Center, where he planned and executed Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions in support of Operation JOINT FORGE in Bosnia, Operation JOINT GUARDIAN in Kosovo, and Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.
In 2004, he joined the staff of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and FIFTH Fleet in Manama, Bahrain as a planner in the N5 Plans Department. In 2005 CDR Quillinan reported to Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 2 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. He served concurrently as the Wing Operations Officer and as CTF-32 Operations Officer, directing the operational and exercise commitments of seven Maritime Patrol squadrons, two Reconnaissance Squadrons, two Tactical Support Centers and a Mobile Operations Command Center.
CDR Quillinan reported to the “Wizards” of Special Projects Patrol Squadron 2 (VPU-2) for his department head tour in 2008. He completed six detachments in remote locations around the world as Officer in Charge and as a Special Mission Aircraft Commander in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. As a result of their performance, the “Wizards” were awarded the Battle Efficiency (Battle “E”) ribbon in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
CDR Quillinan joined the staff of Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group in Norfolk, Virginia in 2010 as the Assistant Director of Training, Transition, Requirements and Integration, as the Maritime Patrol Force transitioned from the P-3 to the P-8A aircraft. During this tour he completed a 17-month Individual Augmentee (IA) assignment as Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa's Liaison Officer to the Somalia Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.
From 2014-2017 he was assigned as a Personnel Exchange Officer to the Royal Navy, and served as a staff college instructor at the Defense Academy of the United Kingdom’s Advanced Command and Staff College in Shrivenham, England.
CDR Quillinan earned an Executive MBA from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and is a graduate of the USAF Air Command and Staff College. Personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (two Strike/Flight awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), as well as numerous unit, service, and campaign medals.