Colonel Chris Starling
US Marine Corps, Retired
Chris retired from the US Marine Corps in December 2014. As an infantry officer, the majority of his 26 years on active duty were spent in the operating forces where he served in all four Marine Divisions. Over his career, he completed numerous overseas deployments which included three combat tours. Command assignments included Company K, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines in Kaneohe Bay, HI, 2d Battalion, 2d Marines in Camp Lejeune, NC, and the 23d Marines in San Bruno, CA.
Staff assignments included Instructor duty at the US Military Academy, West Point, NY, as a Ground Operations Officer at Joint Task Force Five in Alameda, CA, and as Chief of the Partnership Division, US Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany. He also spent one year as an Advisor to the Emirati Presidential Guard in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
A 1988 graduate of Virginia Military Institute, Chris earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the City University of New York in 2001. From 2007-2008, he was a Hoover Fellow at Stanford University where he wrote on China’s expanding influence in Africa. Currently, Chris serves on Spirit of America’s Advisory Board.