LtCol Benjamin Beard was born in North Carolina and raised in Southern California. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1998 following graduation from Penn State University. Designated a Naval Aviator in April 2002, he was selected to fly the AV-8B “Harrier” and in June 2003, reported to Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 211 in Yuma, AZ. He deployed in July 2004 as part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. In April of 2006, LtCol Beard transferred to San Diego, CA for duty as the Third Marine Aircraft Wing Fixed Wing Frag Officer.
LtCol Beard transferred to Monterey, CA in April of 2008 upon selection to the Personal Exchange Program. He graduated with an Associate of Arts degree from the Defense Language Institute and subsequently reported for duty in Puglia, Italy with Gruppo Aerei Imbarcati (GRUPAER), the Italian Naval Harrier Squadron. He served as the squadron Pilot Training Officer and completed multiple NATO shipboard exercises flying from the Italian aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi. Selected for resident school in 2010, LtCol Beard served as the Commandant of the Marine Corps Fellow at Tufts University. He earned a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and designation as a Western European Foreign Area Officer.
LtCol Beard returned to the fleet in July 2011 and served as the Marine Aircraft Group 13 Operations Officer until his transfer to VMA-311 in July 2012. LtCol Beard served as the Operations Officer and deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon return from deployment, he assumed duties as the Executive Officer for VMA-211 and deployed to Sheik-Isa Air base, Bahrain in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Selected for the Defense Attaché Service in 2015, LtCol Beard reported for duty to the Defense Intelligence Agency and graduated from Joint Military School class 1503. He subsequently reported to the United States Embassy in Rome, Italy and served three years as the Marine Attaché.
LtCol Beard reported to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Japan in 2019 and assumed duties as the Installation Operations Officer. He currently serves as MCAS Executive Officer and as a Citation UC-35D instructor pilot. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service medal, Meritorious Service medal (2), Air medal (numeral 10), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal.