Col Robert C. Kuckuk, USMC
Col Kuckuk graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a BS in Industrial Education in 1986. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1987 and designated a Naval Aviator in 1990.
Following AV-8B transition training, he reported to Marine Attack Squadron (VMA)-214 in MCAS Yuma in January 1991. During this tour he deployed twice to the Western Pacific.
In 1995, Captain Kuckuk reported to Marine Attack Training Squadron (VMAT)-203 for duty as a flight instructor. There he served as the Flight Officer, Pilot Training Officer and Operations Officer.
In 1998 Major Kuckuk was transferred to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland for duty with PMA-257 (the AV-8B Program Office) as the engine program manager.
In 2001 Major Kuckuk returned to Yuma. During this tour he served as the Operations Officer for VMA-214 and Detachment Officer in Charge to the 31st MEU in Iwakuni Japan. Returning from Japan, he served as the Marine Air Group-13 Operations Officer.
In 2005, LtCol Kuckuk assumed the duties as Commanding Officer of VMA-311, then deployed to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. After completing a successful combat tour in May he returned with the squadron to Yuma, AZ.
In 2006, he attended the Naval War College, graduating with distinction while earning a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies.
In 2007, he was assigned to a joint billet with the United States Transportation Command. During this tour he was promoted to Colonel.
He commanded Marine Corps Air Station Yuma from May 2011 until June 2014.
Col Kuckuk is currently assigned as the Commanding Officer, NROTC detachment at Norwich University in Northfield VT.
His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with 2 gold stars, Air Medal with numeral 3, Defense Commendation Medal, Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal with 1 gold star. He is married to the former Jennifer Fischer of Madison, WI. They have three children, Emily, Betsy and Sam.
Commander August Joseph Trottman Jr., USN
A native of Bourne, Massachusetts, Commander August Joseph Trottman Jr. enlisted in the Navy, 7 December 1986, as an Avionics Technician (AT). He was designated a P-3 Orion UD III, Inflight Technician in 1988, and deployed with VP-56, the “Dragons”, and VP-49 the “Woodpeckers”, both home ported out of Jacksonville, FL, to Keflavik, Iceland; Rota, Spain; Sigonella, Sicily; and numerous detachment locations. In 1996, while serving as a Fleet Replacement Student (FRS) Inflight Technician Instructor at VP-30, then AT1(NAC, AW), Trottman was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program (ECP). He attended Jacksonville University, FL, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and was commissioned in May 1998.
Commander Trottman was designated a Naval Flight Officer in August 1999 following flight training at NAS Pensacola, FL, and Randolph AFB, TX.
Commander Trottman was then assigned to VP-26, the “Tridents”, NAS Brunswick, ME, in July 2000, as a Flight Officer onboard P-3C Orion UD III and AIP aircraft. He completed deployments to Sigonella, Sicily; Keflavik, Iceland; and Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico and help positions such as Tactical Development and Evaluation Officer, Assistant Admin Officer, P-3 Mission Commander, and Instructor Tactical Control Officer (TACCO).
He then reported to the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS) Millington, TN, where he served as the General Aviation Detailer, ACIP/ACCP Program Manager, Initial Student Placement, and Assistant VP/VQ Placement Officer. While at BUPERS he earned a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management from the University of Arkansas.
In May, 2005 he was assigned to the Navy’s only forward deployed aircraft carrier, USS KITTY HAWK (CV-63), NS Yokosuka, Japan, as a Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer or “Shooter” and given charge of V5, Admin; V4, Fuels; and then V1, Flight Deck Divisions for its four underway periods between 2005 and 2007. While onboard Kitty Hawk he completed Bridge qualifications for Conning Alongside, Force Protection Action Officer and all requirement for Command Duty Officer (Underway).
Commander Trottman then reported to COMSEVENTHFLT in October 2007, where he served as a Staff Officer in Current Operations (N31), as the Crisis Action Officer, Air/ISR Officer, Ballistic Missile Defense Watch Officer, Battle Watch Officer and Flag Briefer. While at C7F he completed JPME phase I through the U.S. Naval War College Distance Education program.
Then assigned as a Department Head to SPECIAL PROJECTS PATROL SQUADRON ONE, (VPU-1), the “Old Buzzards” NAS Jacksonville, FL, in January 2009, he qualified as Sensor Coordinator (SC), completed three detachments in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and served as the squadron’s Intelligence Department Head (DH), Training DH, Detachment Officer in Charge (OIC) and Maintenance DH.
CDR Trottman then reported to Commander Patrol Reconnaissance Wing FIVE SEVEN, the “Desert Sharks” Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain, in January 2012 where he served as Operations Officer and Requirements Officer supporting all P-3, EP-3 and BAMS-D operations in the FIFTH FLEET Area of Responsibility (AOR).
In January 2014 he reported to NROTCU Norwich University, VT, where he is currently serving as the Executive Officer.
His decorations include: the Meritorious Service Medal, two Air Medals, four Navy Commendation Medals, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, two Navy Achievement Medals as well as numerous unit commendations and awards.
His wife of 20 years is the former Leanna Joyce Goodman of San Diego, CA. They reside in Vermont with their wonderful daughter, Janet Ann.