True American Hero Dinner Guest Speaker

col-buhl.jpColonel Willard A. Buhl

USMC (Ret.)

Adjunct Faculty Advisor, Expeditionary Warfare School, Camp Pendleton, California

Col Buhl grew up in Los Gatos, CA. Enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1981, he served as a Recon Man & Team Leader with Det 4th Force Recon Co in Reno, NV (1982-6), earning the Recon MOS and rank of Sergeant.

Commissioned a 2d Lt in April 1986, he was trained as an Infantry Officer and assigned to 1st Bn, 9th Marines, where he commanded rifle, weapons and heavy machine gun platoons, and a weapons company, deploying twice to the Pacific with Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs).

Trained as an Intel Officer in 1990, he served as Asst Regt Intel Officer, 1st Marines, and Bn Intel Officer & Scout Sniper Plt Cdr,

1st Bn,4th Marines, including Operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM – the liberation of Kuwait and UN Operations in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Other tours include Asst OpsO 22d MEU; CO of Co B, 1st Bn, 6th Marines;

I-I Staff Wpns Co, 2d Bn, 23d Marines; and CO of Marine Corps Security Force Company, Kevlavik, Iceland. Col Buhl served during Op IRAQI FREEDOM I (Kuwait & Iraq), as OIC of the I MEF Jump CP. He also commanded the 5th Marine Regiment (2009-11) and the Wounded Warrior Regiment (2012-14) and led the I MEF Special Operations Training Group. Non-FMF tours include the privilege of serving with Secretary Gates as a Military Assistant, Office of the SecDef (2007-9), and as a Military Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, New York City (2012).

Col Buhl is particularly proud of service with the Marines & Sailors of 3d Bn, 1st Marines, the “Thundering Third” (2003-5), where he participated in Op IRAQI FREEDOM II & Op AL FAJR which included clearing Fallujah as the First Marine Division Main Effort (Nov 2004).

A distinguished graduate of USMC Amphibious Warfare School (1993), USMC Command & Staff College and School of Advanced Warfighting (2001-3), he also attended USMC War College (2006) and served as a faculty advisor at USMC Command & Staff College (2006-7). He holds a B.A. in History-Intl Relations from Cal State Chico (1985) & two M.S. Degrees (Military Science & Strategic Studies) Marine Corps University (2002 & 2006).

His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit with (2) Gold Stars, Bronze Star Medal with “V” & Gold Star; Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star; Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal; Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal; and Combat Action Ribbon with Gold Star. He is married to the former Michaela Zanier, of Innsbruck, Austria. The Buhls have three children, Viktoria (26), Tim (20) and Liam (18) and a son-in-law, Captain Ben Broadmeadow, USMC.