Colonel Terry M. Paustenbaugh graduated from Hanover College, Indiana, and was commissioned in December 1995. Upon completion of The Basic School in June of 1996, he reported to 2d Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2d Marine Division, in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
While assigned to 2d Assault Amphibian Battalion, Colonel Paustenbaugh deployed with Battalion Landing Team 3/8, 26th Mari Expeditionary Unit. During the deployment he participated in Operation Joint Guardian, conducting stability and support operations in Kosovo. During the same deployment, he supported Operation Avid Response, conducting humanitarian relief operations in Turkey.
In January of 2000, Colonel Paustenbaugh joined 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, 4th Marine Division, in Tampa, Florida. In April of 2002, Colonel Paustenbaugh received orders to 3d Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division and was assigned as a Company Commander, deploying in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom from February to May of 2003.
Following combat operations, Colonel Paustenbaugh deployed his company twice to Okinawa, Japan, in support of the Unit Deployment Program. Additionally, Colonel Paustenbaugh served as 3d Assault Amphibian Battalion’s operations officer until June of 2005, when he was assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps Plans, Policies, and Operations as the Assault Amphibian Occupational Field Sponsor.
In July of 2008, Colonel Paustenbaugh was assigned to 2d Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2d Marine Division, where he deployed with Regimental Combat Team-8 to Al Asad, Iraq as the Future Operations Officer. Following the deployment, Colonel Paustenbaugh served as 2d Assault Amphibian Battalion’s Executive Officer until his selection to the School of Advanced Warfighting, beginning in July of 2010. Upon graduation, Colonel Paustenbaugh was assigned as the Regional Operations and Plans Officer - Africa, for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command.
In June of 2012, Colonel Paustenbaugh assumed command of Combat Assault Battalion in Okinawa, Japan. Following command, Colonel Paustenbaugh was selected to attend Top-Level School at the Naval War College during academic year 2014-15.
Following school, Colonel Paustenbaugh was assigned to U.S. Africa Command where he served as a plans Branch Chief and Executive Assistant for the Deputy Combatant Commander. In the summer of 2018, Colonel Paustenbaugh reported to I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), where he served as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-5 Plans until his 2019 assignment to serve as the Commanding Officer of Assault Amphibian School.
Colonel Paustenbaugh personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three Gold Stars, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two Gold Stars, and the Combat Action Ribbon.