Maj Bussard is a native of Ringoes, NJ. He attended New York University, and upon graduation in 2000 attended Officer Candidates’ School. He was commissioned a 2nd Lt on 8 August, 2000. Following the Basic Officers’ Course, he transferred to NAS Pensacola, FL for naval flight officer training. After receiving his wings, 1st Lt Bussard reported for replacement F/A-18 training at MCAS Miramar, CA, completing in August of 2003.
1st Lt Bussard subsequently reported to VMFA(AW)-533, MAG-31, 2d MAW in MCAS Beaufort, SC. Squadron assignments included schedules officer, legal officer, and family readiness officer. During this time he attained Night Systems Instructor and Forward Air Controller (Airborne) qualifications and participated in deployments to Iwakuni, Japan and Al Asad, Iraq.
In October of 2006, Capt Bussard left Beaufort for assignment to Marine Wing Support Squadron 374, Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3d MAW aboard MCAGCC 29 Palms, CA. Capt Bussard was assigned as the Airfield Company Commander and Aviation Safety Officer, responsible for maintaining the 29 Palms Strategic Expeditionary Landing Field (SELF) in support of training exercises for Marine, joint and coalition pre-deployment and aviation specific training. During the squadron’s deployment to Iraq, Capt Bussard was designated the Remain Behind Element OIC, departing 29 Palms after the squadron’s return in October of 2008.
Capt Bussard once again reported to MCAS Beaufort and was assigned to VMFA(AW)-224, MAG-31, 2d MAW. While with the squadron Capt Bussard participated in several training exercises; two deployments to Iwakuni, Japan; and attended both the US Navy Strike-Fighter Weapons School and Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) Course. He served as the squadron’s administrative officer, assistant operations officer, and finally WSO training officer. Maj Bussard departed Beaufort in June of 2012, and transferred to Okinawa, Japan.
Upon arrival in Okinawa, Maj Bussard reported to 4th Marine Regiment, 3d Marine Division, for duty as the regimental air officer. He was responsible for the integration, training, and equipment of tactical air control parties of infantry battalions assigned temporarily to 4th Marines as part of the newly revitalized infantry Unit Deployment Program (UDP.) During this time he supported several training exercises throughout the Western Pacific, and attended the WTI Air Officer Course. In 2014 Maj Bussard departed Okinawa, executing his present orders to VFA-106 and MATSG-33.
Maj Bussard’s personal decorations are the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with strike flight numeral (6), and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (second award.)