Lieutenant Colonel Donnell was born in Elkhart, Indiana, graduated from Elkhart Baptist Christian School in 1992, and attended Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina where he graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.
Lieutenant Colonel Donnell enlisted in the Select Marine Corps Reserves during his sophomore year of college, completing recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina in August 1994 before checking into Ammunition Company, 4th Supply Battalion, 4th Force Service Support Group in Greenville, South Carolina. Working his way up the ranks to Sergeant as an Ammunition Technician, he took Active Duty Special Work orders to the Ammunition Supply Point at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia in February 1999. He was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in December 1999 after graduating from Marine Officer’s Candidate School at Quantico, where he subsequently graduated from the Officer Basic Course at The Basic School before proceeding to Aviation Maintenance Officer Basic Course in Pensacola, Florida for further training in July 2000.
Lieutenant Colonel Donnell reported to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS) 16 at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego in October 2000, and served as the Ground Support Equipment Division Officer-In-Charge. Since then, he served in a wide range of assignments including:
• Maintenance Material Control Officer for Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 161 (Reinforced) from November 2001 to September 2003, deploying with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and participating in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM combat operations between March and May of 2003.
• Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIRSYSCOM) Logistics and Industrial Operations Marine Liaison Officer and Metrology Automated System for Uniform Recall and Reporting (MEASURE) Program Manager at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland from October 2003 to May 2006.
• Assistant Aviation Maintenance Officer for Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16 (MALS-16) at MCAS Miramar from May 2006 to July 2009, participating in combat operations during OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM-2 from January to August 2008
• Requirements Officer for Chief of Naval Operations, Air Warfare Division, Maintenance and Materials Programs, managing budgeting and execution of budget for aircraft Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD), Aircraft Armament Equipment, Aviation Weapons Support Equipment, and Maintenance and Material Science and Technology Programs from July 2009 to July 2011.
• MV-22 Osprey Logistics Action Officer at Headquarters Marine Corps, Department of Aviation, Aviation Logistics Branch from July 2011 to July 2013 supporting the Marine Corps’ transition from CH-46E Sea Knight to the MV-22B Osprey.
• Operations Officer from July 2013 to June 2014 and Executive Officer from June 2014 to February 2018 for MALS-11 at MCAS Miramar.
• Commander Naval Air Force N422 Aviation Maintenance Management Inspection Team 5, from February 2017 to July 2018.
Lieutenant Colonel Donnell assumed his present duties as Executive Officer for Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Smedley D. Butler in July 2018.
Lieutenant Colonel Donnell’s decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two Gold Stars.