Lieutenant Colonel Eric N. Starr graduated from DePauw University with a major in Economics and worked for two years as a financial advisor prior to joining the United States Marine Corps in January 2002 through the Officer Candidate Course (OCC) entry program. After completing Officer Candidate School and The Basic School, LtCol Starr proceeded to Pensacola, Florida in October 2002 for Naval Flight Training. He completed Aviation Preflight Indoctrination at NAS Pensacola and Primary Flight Training at NAS Whiting Airfield in Training Squadron 6 (VT-6) in July 2003. LtCol Starr proceeded to NAS Meridian, Mississippi for intermediate and advanced jet training at Training Squadron 9 (VT-9). Upon completion of training, and being winged as a Naval Aviator, in October 2004, he selected EA-6B Prowlers and proceeded to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington for the Fleet Replacement Squadron, Electronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129).
LtCol Starr completed the FRS, was designated an EA-6B pilot in September 2005 and proceeded to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina where he reported to Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 (VMAQ-2). As a member of VMAQ-2 from September 2005 to June 2007, he held the billets of Tactics Officer, Assistant Electronic Warfare Officer (AEWO) and Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO). He deployed with the squadron to Al Asad Airbase, Iraq from January through August 2006 in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. During his tour with VMAQ-2 he obtained the qualification of Night Systems Qualified (NSQ), attended Surface to Air Missile University (SAM U) and High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile University (HARM U). LtCol also attended Tactical Air Control Party School, at Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Atlantic (EWTGLANT), in April 2007 and was designated a Forward Air Controller (FAC) for follow on orders to 2d Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO).
LtCol Starr was a member of 2d ANGLICO from June 2007 through October 2009. While in the unit, he held the billets of 1st Brigade Platoon Air Officer, Firepower Control Team (FCT) Leader, Supporting Arms Liaison Team (SALT) Leader, and 1st Brigade Platoon Commander. He attended the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) Air Officer Course (AOC) in July of 2007. LtCol Starr deployed with 2d ANGLICO from September 2007 through April 2008 to Habbaniyah, Iraq in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and the 1st Iraqi Army Division. Upon return from deployment, LtCol Starr obtained the qualifications as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller Evaluator (JTAC-E), attended the Joint Urban Fires Prototype (JUFP) Target Mensuration Training course at Joint Force Command (JFCOM) to become a Precision Strike Suite – Special Operations Forces Instructor (PSS-SOF I), attended the Joint Firepower Course at Nellis, AFB and augmented multiple WTI Air Officer Courses as an instructor.
After completing his tour with 2d ANGLICO, LtCol Starr received orders back to VMAQ-2 and checked into the squadron in October 2009. During his flight refresher with VAQ-129, LtCol Starr obtained the qualification as a Field Landing Signals Officer (LSO). While at VMAQ-2, he conducted work ups and deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan twice in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM from April through October 2010 and April through September 2012. Upon return from the first deployment, LtCol Starr obtained the qualifications of Section Lead, Mission Commander, Night Systems Instructor (NSI), Functional Check Flight (FCF) Pilot, Division Lead, Defensive Tactics Instructor (DEFTAC-I), Assistant NATOPS Instructor (ANI) and Crew Resource Management (CRM) Facilitator. During the second deployment LtCol Starr returned to CONUS for his TACP refresh at EWTGLANT during the month of June, in preparation for his follow on orders as a FAC at Marine Corps Augmentation and Training Support Unit (MCATSU). LtCol Starr served as the Administrative Officer (S-1) Department Head, the Assistant Aviation Maintenance Officer (AAMO) and the Pilot Training Officer during his tenure with VMAQ-2.
Upon returning from the 2012 deployment, LtCol Starr immediately moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia and as a FAC/Fire Support Officer conducted research and development, and refinement of tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) in the joint combined arms environment from September 2012 through July 2014. After two years in Virginia Beach, LtCol Starr received orders back to VMAQ-2. During his third tour at VMAQ-2 he held the billets of Director of Safety and Standardization (DoSS) and Aviation Maintenance Officer (AMO). He deployed with the squadron to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in support of the PACOM Commander and the Unit Deployment Program (UDP) from January to August 2015 and to Incirlik Airbase, Turkey from September 2016 to April 2017 in support of combat operations for Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. While in VMAQ-2 he held the qualifications of Section Lead, Division Lead, Mission Commander, FCF Standardization Pilot, Flight Leadership Standardization Evaluator, NATOPS Instructor, Instrument Evaluator, NSI, DEFTAC-I and Field LSO.
In April 2017 LtCol Starr reported back to MCATSU as a FAC/Fire Support Officer and once again conducted research and development, and refinement of tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) in the joint combined arms environment until April 2019 when he was selected for command of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
LtCol Starr's personal awards include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal Strike/Flight with numeral "20", Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with Gold Star in lieu of second award and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal along with several unit awards.