Colonel John A. Bolt graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in History and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in May 1991. He was designated a Naval Aviator in April 1994 and selected for F/A-18 conversion training.
Colonel Bolt reported to MAG-31, MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina in June 1995. He was assigned to VMFA(AW)-224, and served as the Ground Safety Officer, Ground Training Officer, and Avionics Officer. During his tour with the “Fighting Bengals”, he deployed twice to Aviano, Italy in support of Operations Deliberate Force, Deny Flight, Decisive Edge, and Silver Wake.
In February 1998, Colonel Bolt reported to MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina. He served in Second Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment as a Series Commander and Company F Executive Officer.
In October 1998, he reported back to MAG-31 and was assigned to VMFA(AW)-224, serving as the Assistant Operations Officer, Pilot Training Officer, and Operations Officer. During deployment to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan Colonel Bolt served afloat with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit as the F/A-18 Liaison Officer.
In 2002, Colonel Bolt attended Marine Corps Command and Staff College. During the school year, he was assigned as an individual augment to Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, Operation Enduring Freedom, where he served from February to August 2003 as the Joint Fires Officer and Air Officer.
In September 2003, Colonel Bolt assumed duties as the Commanding Officer of Recruiting Station Jacksonville, Florida, and served in this assignment until July 2006. He returned to MAG-31 in January 2007 and was assigned as an individual augment to II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), serving in Ramadi as the Deputy Team Chief, 7th Iraqi Army Division Military Transition Team. He returned from Iraq in November 2007 and served as the Executive Officer of VMFA(AW)-224. In October 2008, he was assigned as the Executive Officer of MAG-31.
Colonel Bolt assumed command of VMFA-122 in June 2009. He deployed the “Werewolves” to Kandahar, Afghanistan from November 2010 to June 2011, conducting NATO combat flight operations in support of coalition forces throughout Helmand Province.
Colonel Bolt received his Masters of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College in 2012, graduating with highest distinction. He reported to Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO in July 2012, serving as the J3 Air Fires Officer and subsequently as the Joint Targeting & Effects Branch Head.
Colonel Bolt has over 2,800 flight hours with over 2,500 in the Hornet. His personal decorations include two Bronze Stars, the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (nine Strike/Flight awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. He is married and has three children.