Commanding Officer, Assault Amphibian School
Colonel Benjamin M. Venning

Colonel Benjamin M. Venning  graduated from Virginia Military Institute and was commissioned via the Officer Candidate Course in 1996. A career Assault Amphibian Officer, he operated and commanded at every level in the AAV community from platoon commander to serving as commanding officer of Assault Amphibian School Battalion, Training and Education Command.


Designated as an Assault Amphibian Officer in 1997, Colonel Venning served as an AAV Platoon Commander assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit from 1998 to 2000. He was then assigned as a Staff Platoon Commander at The Basic School until 2003. In September 2005, he was selected for the CMC Legislative Fellowship, and served as a Legislative Fellow for the Assistant Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate.  Subsequently, Colonel Venning served as the Deputy Director, Marine Corps Senate Liaison Office from January 2007 to January 2009. His next assignment was Inspector-Instructor, 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion from February 2009 to May 2011.  Upon return to CONUS, he was assigned as the Operations Officer, Marine Corps Force Integration Office, responsible for coordinating and implementing the Marine Corps gender integration policy.  In 2015, he assumed command of the Assault Amphibian School Battalion.  Following battalion command in 2017, Colonel Venning reported to the Eisenhower School, National Defense University for Top Level School.  Upon graduation in June 2018, he reported to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Operational Testing and Evaluation Directorate, to serve as a Senior Military Evaluator for Combat Vehicle Systems, focused on Amphibious Combat Vehicle operational testing prior to fielding during 2021.


Colonel Venning’s deployments include a 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II, II MEF (FWD), C-3 Directorate in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, CJTF-HOA, J-5 Directorate, and Operation INHERENT RESOLVE in Baghdad, Iraq, serving as the Chief of Operations (CJ33).


Other assignments include: ARG-MEU Expeditionary Operations, Amphibious Operations, Joint / Combined Operations, Ground Combat Vehicles (Tank, AAV, ACV, ARV), combat development and integration; Defense Acquisitions; Developmental and Operational Testing and Evaluation;  Congressional Liaison / Legislative Affairs, Marine Forces Africa; CJTF-HOA; CJTF-OIR;  Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Afghanistan, Security Force Assistance (SFA), Training and Education Command; Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES) and Director, Plans and Policy (ACoS N-5) SECOND Fleet.


Colonel Venning is a graduate of The Basic School, Assault Amphibian Officer Course, Amphibious Warfare School, Armor Captains Career Course, USMC Legislative Fellowship Program, Joint Interagency  Multinational Planner Course, Joint Forces Staff College, Command and Staff College Distance Education Program, and Commanders Course .